Mac OS X: How to connect to Windows File Sharing (SMB)
Learn how to connect to Windows File Sharing (SMB). SMB is the native sharing protocol for Microsoft Windows operating systems, but it may be offered by other computers.
Mac OS X 10.2, Mac OS X 10.3, Mac OS X 10.4, Mac OS X 10.5, Mac OS X 10.6, Windows OS
To learn the basics of connecting your Mac to a Windows-based PC via SMB, see these articles, then read the Notes below for more information and troubleshooting tips.
- Mac OS X v10.6 Help: Connecting your Mac directly to a Windows computer
- Mac OS X v10.6 Help: If you can’t connect to a Windows computer from a Mac
- Mac OS X v10.5 Help: Connecting your Mac directly to a Windows computer
- When you go to the Connect to Server dialog, you may browse the names of computers that are on your local subnet.
- You can connect to a server via its IP address or DNS name. If it is required or more convenient in your environment, you may also use other valid URL formats, such as:
- The name of the "share" (the shared disk, volume, or directory) must be specified. You will not be prompted for it.
- You cannot type spaces as part of the share name when connecting. In place of any space in the share name, type: %20 .
- When troubleshooting a connection issue, you can ping the IP address of the Windows PC using the Mac OS X Network Utility application (in the Utilities folder). A successful ping verifies a TCP/IP connection between the two computers. This is an important first troubleshooting step when there's no response or a timeout for a connection attempt, since SMB connections involving a Mac require TCP/IP. However, a successful ping does not mean the SMB service is also working or available.
- Check Microsoft support resources for information about setting up file sharing on your Microsoft Windows-based computer. These may include Help files installed on your PC or the Microsoft online Knowledge Base. For example, see this article for Windows XP information: How to use the Simple File Sharing feature to share files in Windows XP.
- When troubleshooting an SMB connection issue, use Console, which is located in the Utilities folder. These Console logs may help advanced users identify an issue: private/var/log/samba, private/var/log/kernel.log, system.log . Note that some log files only appear when logged into Mac OS X with an administrator account.
- If you are connecting to Windows XP, make sure that the Internet Connection Firewall settings are not interfering with your connection. SMB uses ports 137, 138, 139, and 445. These ports should be open on the Windows XP computer. This may require "Advanced" configuration of the XP firewall.
- If you are connecting to a Windows SMB resource, check to see if the firewall is blocking TCP ports 137, 138, 139 and 445. After trying the above steps, you may perform advanced troubleshooting by inspecting log entries in the Event Log of the Windows SMB resource (if you have access to it), and/or the Mac OS X computer's relevant logs in the Console application. If those steps do not help identify the issue, or you do not want to perform advanced troubleshooting, than you should contact your network administrator. It may be necessary to contact your network administrator in some situations in order to grant access to your Mac from the SMB resource, or its host network configuration.
- Mac OS X uses SMB only over the TCP/IP protocol, not the NetBEUI protocol.