file sharing between Windows and Mac

windows mac

What do you do when you want to transfer files between your PC and your Mac? The answer is probably “usb stick” or “i don’t have Mac / PC, so this doesn’t apply to me”. Well if you want to know how to do it over your existing wireless network, here’s how…

Step 1

Creative Commons License photo credit: e-Lexia :: Compañía Colombiana de Contenidos

Make sure both your PC and Mac are hooked up to the same network. If you want to do this wirelessly, make sure your PC and Mac both have wireless cards. Stating the obvious, but i’m gonna treat you like a fool because that’s what we’re taught to do in college. Oh and i almost forgot, “Is it switched on?”.

Step 2

Set up a workgroup on your Mac and call it ‘workgroup’ or something to that effect. Do the same on your windows PC. Make sure the workgroup names are exactly the same. Exactly the same. That’s worth repeating just so you understand that’s very important.

Step 3

Now you gotta enable file sharing on your windows PC. Click the start icon and type ‘advanced sharing settings’. You’ll see this crap here;

network profiles

Copy my settings above and click ‘save changes’.

Step 4

If you don’t have a guest account set up on your windows machine, set one up. If you do have one, then just right click on some random folder, choose ‘share with’ and then ‘specific people’. Choose the guest account and bang, you’ve just shared a folder.

Step 5

Desktop: My name is Finder
Creative Commons License photo credit: Yeray Hernández

Click the finder icon on your Mac dock. That’s the little icon that looks like a smiley face with a lightening bolt through it. Now at the very top of the screen (where you have the apple logo and ‘file’, ‘edit’ menus etc… click on ‘Go’ and then ‘connect to server…’ we’ll come back to this in a second….

Step 6

Find out the IP address of your PC. Start icon, type in ‘cmd‘ and a little black window will pop up, then type ipconfig /all. You’ll find your IP there. Now type that address in to the window that’s now open on Step 5.

Put smb:// before that IP address so it looks like this;

Then just click ‘connect’, make sure you go back to the ‘finder’ (smiley face with lightening bolt) and your PC should now appear in under the heading ‘shared’. If it doesn’t that’s your problem, not mine.

That’s it for today’s tech support tutorial. For a more detailed walkthrough, check out this article on which explains all the steps i’ve taken only it adds more plus it assumes you’re an even bigger idiot than i did 🙂 And that’s the secret to a good tutorial – making it idiot proof. Assuming nobody can do anything. If i had to read my own tutorial i’d probably be swearing at myself…

1 thought on “file sharing between Windows and Mac”

  1. couldnt have come at a better time! i am just about to transfer some files, but i think i will use this for small files, not my larger ones.

    My router is a bit slow to handle those kind of files, must buy a new one!

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