Mac OS X 10.6: Connecting your Mac directly to a Windows computer

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Connecting your Mac directly to a Windows computer

If your Windows PC has an Ethernet port, you can connect your PC and Mac using an Ethernet cable. If your Mac doesn’t have an Ethernet port, try using a USB-to-Ethernet adapter. By connecting the two computers, you are creating a small local network, consisting of just the two computers. Set up your Windows PC by turning on file sharing. Refer to the instructions that came with your Windows PC if you’re not sure how to do this.

To locate and connect to the Windows computer, you can use the sidebar in a Finder window. You need to know the computer’s workgroup name and the network name (called the “computer name”). To connect to the computer, you also need a user name and password and the name of the shared folder you want to access. If you don’t have this information, contact the person who owns the computer or your network administrator.

If you can’t locate the Windows computer by browsing in the Finder, you may be able to connect to it using the “Connect to Server” dialog.

Make sure the Internet Connection Firewall is turned off on the Windows computer, or if it’s on make sure TCP port 445 is open to allow sharing connections.

To connect your Mac and Windows computers:

  1. In the Finder, choose Go > “Connect to Server.”

  2. Type the network address for the computer in the Server Address field using one of these formats:



  3. Follow the onscreen instructions to type the workgroup name and a user name and password, and choose the shared folder you want to access.

If you connect to the shared folder using the “Connect to Server” dialog, the folder icon may appear in the Finder window sidebar or on your desktop.

Last Modified: Aug 6, 2013
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