Mac OS: How to Connect to File Sharing or Apple File Services (AFP)

This document explains how to connect to one of the various Apple sharing services, which are known by names such as File Sharing, Personal File Sharing, AppleShare, Apple Filing Protocol (AFP), and Apple File Service. This document includes steps for Mac OS 8, Mac OS 9, and Mac OS X.

Note: If you do not know whether the connection you are about to make is local or remote, click here.

 

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Mac OS X

Follow these steps for a local connection (Note 1):

    1. Choose Connect to Server from the Go menu.
    2. Select the computer's name from the list (Note 2).
    3. Click Connect.


Follow these steps for a remote connection (Note 3):

    1. Be sure you are already connected to the Internet.
    2. Choose Connect to Server from the Go menu.
    3. In the Address field, type either the IP address or the DNS name of the computer to which you wish to connect (Note 4).
    4. Click Connect.


After a successful connection, an icon for the shared disk appears in the Computer listing of your Finder window, and on the desktop when you have selected the option for "Connected servers" to appear on the desktop in Finder Preferences.

Mac OS 8 or Mac OS 9

Note: A Mac OS 8 or 9 computer must have an IP address to connect to a Mac OS X computer. For more information, see technical document 106779: "Mac OS: 'The connection to this server has been unexpectedly broken' Message".

Follow these steps for a local connection (Note 1):

    1. Choose the Chooser from the Apple menu.
    2. Click the AppleShare icon.
    3. If AppleTalk Zones appear on your network, choose the desired zone. If not, disregard this step.
    4. Select the computer name from the computer list (Notes 2, 5).
    5. Click OK.


Follow these steps for a remote connection (Note 3):

    1. Choose the Chooser from the Apple menu.
    2. Click the AppleShare icon.
    3. Click the Server IP Address button.
    4. Type either the IP address or the DNS name of the computer to which you wish to connect (Note 4).
    5. Click Connect.


After a successful connection, an icon for the shared disk appears on your desktop.

Notes

    1. A local computer can also use the same method available to remote computers, if preferred. On larger networks, the remote method may be necessary, as determined by router configuration. If this seems to be an issue for you, see your network administrator.

    2. When browsing by name, Mac OS X computers appear by default in the Local Services neighborhood. You can change this using the steps in technical document 106335, "Mac OS X Server 10.0: How to Set SLP Neighborhood". On Mac OS 9 computers, neighborhoods appear in the Network Browser application, not in the Chooser.

    3. Computers connecting between remote locations on the Internet cannot browse by Computer Name.

    4. The IP address of the sharing computer may be found by opening its copy of the Apple System Profiler application. It will be in a form similar to "10.0.1.203". A DNS name is defined by your network administrator or Internet service provider, such as "my-computer.apple.com". It is not the name that you give to the computer, which is a name used for local browsing only.

    5. If you do not see the name of a Mac OS X computer in the Chooser, you may do one of three things: Be sure the Mac OS X computer has AppleTalk on the correct port, use the Network Browser instead of the Chooser, or use the remote method instead of the local method.


Are you local or remote?

The steps you will use depend on whether the connection you are about to make is local or remote.

A local computer is one connecting from the same network that the sharing computer is on. A simple example is two household computers connected to an Ethernet hub. A more complex example would be two computers in separate buildings on the same campus, each connected to a different network segment but joined by a properly configured router. When on a local network, you may browse by computer names before connecting, choosing the computer you want from a list.

A remote computer is one connecting from a remote network or site, "over the Internet." A simple example would be a computer in Austin with a dial-up modem connecting to a computer sharing from a cable modem in Cupertino. In a more complex example, computers on two different institutional networks might communicate. In either case, the information for browsing local computer names would not be routed across the Internet, so you enter the DNS name (such as "my-computer.apple.com") or IP address (such as "10.0.1.201") instead.

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