OS X Yosemite: Set up a Mac to share files with Windows users

Set up a Mac to share files with Windows users
Set up a Mac to share files with Windows users

To let users connect to your Mac from a Windows computer, turn on file sharing and enable SMB sharing.

Set up sharing on the Mac

  1. Open Sharing preferences if it isn’t already open (choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sharing).

  2. Select the File Sharing checkbox, then click Options.

  3. Select “Share files and folders using SMB.”

  4. Select the checkbox next to the user account that will be used to share files with Windows users, enter the password for that user, then click OK.

  5. Click Done.

  6. Open Network preferences, select your active connection, then click Advanced.

  7. Click the WINS tab, then enter the workgroup name used by the Windows computer.

    If you don’t know the workgroup name, on the Windows computer open Control Panel > System and Security > System. (Windows computers normally use either WORKGROUP or MSHOME.)

  8. Click OK, then click Apply.

Gather the information Windows users will need

To connect to the Mac, Windows users need the address for your Mac, and the name and password to use to share files with your Mac. To find this information:

To see your Mac computer’s network address, open Sharing preferences, then select File Sharing. The address appears below the “File Sharing: On” indicator, and looks similar to this example: afp://

Give the Windows users a user name and password to log in to your Mac. To help keep your Mac secure, you may want to create a special account for Windows users in Users & Groups preferences.

If you want to use an account that existed before you installed the latest version of OS X, you may need to reset the password for the account in Users & Groups preferences.

Because the passwords of user accounts used for Windows sharing may be stored in a less secure manner, turn off the account when it’s not being used. Before you turn off Windows sharing, turn off all the accounts you enabled. Otherwise, the passwords are still stored less securely.

For instructions on connecting to your Mac from a Windows computer, see Connect to a Mac from a Windows computer.

Published Date: Sep 23, 2015
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