How to set up file sharing on a Mac


You can share the files and folders on your Mac with other users and computers on your network. File Sharing controls how much of your stuff share, and who with.

Don't worry if it sounds complicated, we'll help you share your files, and show you how to get at them too.


Sharing your Mac's files and folders


File Sharing lets a Mac User get to their own files from another piece of kit on the network. Each User also has a shared folder which anyone can access.


Click Apple > System Preferences > Sharing.


Tick the File Sharing box on the left (you might have to click the padlock to make changes).


Click the 'Add' button (+) and choose a folder. to share. To stop sharing a folder, click it's name then 'Remove' (-).


By default, anyone with a User account on the Mac can connect to it over the network. If they're an administrator on the Mac, they'll be able to see everything on the computer.

To change who can access a shared folder, highlight it in the Shared Folders window, click Add '+' then do one of the following:

  • Pick a User from the Users & Groups list
  • Pick a Network User or Group
  • Pick one of your contacts (if you do this you'll have to make them a password).

Change access levels to control what each user can do in a shared folder.

  • Read & Write: The user look at the folder, and make changes (add, edit and remove items)
  • Read: Users can view the folder but not make changes
  • Write Only (Drop Box): The user and copy files to the folder, but can't see them.
  • No Access: The user can't see the folder or its contents.

Make a note of the 'Computer Name' in the box at the top, you might need this when you try to connect later. You'll also need your Mac Username and password.

Your Mac's now sharing your stuff on your network. Let's see how to look at it on another computer.


Seeing your stuff


Connect another computer to the 'host' Mac to see your shared files.

Connecting from another Mac

file sharing mac
mac share files
mac network share

Click Finder in the Dock.


Click Go on the menu bar, then click Network.


Look in the 'Shared' section on the left-hand panel, and click your Mac's name.


Click the Connect as button.


Type the Username and password for your account on the host Mac and click Connect.

Connecting from a Windows computer

file share mac to pc
access shared files on mac
mac shared folders

Hold the Windows key down and press R to open the 'Run' box.


Type \\computername\ replacing 'computername' with the name of the Mac that's sharing the files.


Type the computer name and your User name in the top box like this: \computername\username. Put your password in the bottom box, and click OK.


If they're right you'll see a window with the Mac's shared folders ready for you to look at.

Hopefully that's all you need to know about sharing your Mac's files on your home network. If you want to know more, get in touch with an Expert from Team Knowhow here.

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