iMac: Sharing Files Via IrDA

This article describes how to set up an infrared capable iMac to communicate via infrared to another Macintosh computer.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
First verify your computer supports IrDA by reviewing Article 20928: "Macintosh Infrared: Is It IrDA Compatible?".

If your computer is equipped with infrared technology that uses the IrDA protocol, you can establish a wireless TCP/IP or AppleTalk connection to a network using an IrDA network access device, or exchange files with another IrDA equipped computer.

Depending on the type of network protocol that you are going to use, choose Infrared Port (IrDA) from the "Connect via" pop-up menu in either the AppleTalk control panel or TCP/IP control panel.

AppleTalk Setup

In the AppleTalk control panel, set the Connect via option to Infrared Port (IrDA) as shown in Figure 1. Close the window and save changes.

Figure 1 AppleTalk control panel

TCP/IP Setup

Open the TCP/IP control panel, shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 TCP/IP control panel

Create an infrared configuration by selecting the Configurations option under the File menu, or press Command-K. Create a new set by selecting an existing set, duplicating it, and renaming it Infrared. Click Make Active. This step will make it easier to switch between IR, Ethernet, or other configurations later.

Select Connect via option "Infrared Port (IrDA)."

Enter an IP address and a default Subnet mask value as described in Article 30821: "TCP/IP: Setting up a Private Network". If you are switching the connection from an existing Ethernet network you can use the previous network values.


Computer 1:

- IP addr10.0.0.1

- subnet mask

Computer 2:

- IP addr10.0.0.2

- subnet mask

Close the window and save changes.

Establishing an IrDA Connection

To establish an IrDA connection, position your computer within three feet of the other computer or infrared network access device. IrDA devices that are in range will appear in the Infrared control panel.

Verify File Sharing is turned on and the appropriate volume is being shared. Review the setup in the Mac OS Help under "Sharing files with others on the network." You may now open your Chooser, select AppleShare and select the file server you wish to connect to.


If you are unable to enable IrDA, verify the following extensions and control panels are active by viewing them in the Extensions Manager control panel. If they are inactive, make them active and restart your computer. If they are missing, you will need to reinstall those components from your original system software CD.


IrDALib Extension

InLanScanner/PPC Extension

Control panels:

Infrared Control Panel

If the Infrared Port (IrDA) choice is not available

For PowerBook computers, make sure that IrDA is selected in the Options section of the Infrared control panel, shown in Figure 3. The iMac will not have this choice, it will display Infrared built-in.

Figure 3 PowerBook Infrared control panel

Published Date: Feb 20, 2012