From the KnowledgeBase

Mac OS X: How to enable Windows sharing and create a shared folder
How to create a Mac OS X-to-PC file share connection.


Mac OS X is equipped with built-in SMB (Server Message Block technology) which can allow a user to map Unix drives or Windows folders. Windows users can also access your shared folders provided both computers enable sharing.

I. Preparing to Share

  • Before reading further, make certain your Mac is properly configured for use on the Princeton network.
  • If you interested in mapping a folder, please see Solution 9534.
  • If you interested in mapping your H: drive on the Central File Server, or departmental files on the Central File server, please see Solution 9268.
  • To allow Windows computers to access a shared folder on your Macintosh, see the steps below.

II. To start Sharing

  1. Make sure your present profile has Admin rights, if not log in as an Administrator for the computer.
  2. From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
  3. From the View menu, select Accounts.
  4. Select the user and then select Edit Use. Check the box for "Allow user to log in from Windows".

  5. You will be prompted to reset the password. Click OK. Enter the new password and click Save.
  6. Place files you wish to share in your Public Folder (HD\Users\your net id\Public). OS X will only allow users to view the public folder of the profile you are using.
  7. From System Preferences, go to the View menu and select Sharing.
  8. The Rendezvous name will be used for the Mac OS X SMB host name (this is the name that appears in the Windows Network Neighborhood).
  9. Check the box for Windows File Sharing.
  10. Carefully read the text at the bottom of the Sharing window. This will give you the \\ address of your computer on the Windows network.

III. How to View Shared Folders on Windows computers

  1. With the finder active select the Go Menu and then select "Connect to Server."
  2. In the address bar enter the host address of the shared computer using the following format.
    • smb://netid@hostname/
  3. The hostname must be the full hostname and DNS domain of the computer on the network. For example, (for student computers) or (for non-student computers) or hostname.DNS (for computers in other subnets).

  4. You will be given the option of which folder to access as well as the option of using a different username and/or password (if the shared folder requires different authentication).

  5. Once completed the shared folder will appear on your desktop.

Last Updated:
March 20, 2015

Solution ID: