Adding Macs to Your Windows 7 Network : Letting Windows Computers See Your Mac Shares

4/29/2011 6:21:42 PM
The techniques you’ve seen so far have assumed that you want to access a Windows shared network folder from your Mac. However, if your Mac has data of interest to Windows users, you’ll need to set things up so that those Windows users can see that data. You do that by sharing one or more folders on your Mac in such a way that Windows PCs can see and access them.

This feature isn’t turned on by default on your Mac, so you need to follow these steps to turn it on:

Click the System Preferences icon in the Dock (or select Apple, System Preferences). The System preferences appear.

Click the Sharing icon. The Sharing preferences appear.

In the list of services, activate the File Sharing check box.

Click Options.

Activate the Share Files and Folders Using SMB (Windows) check box, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. To share your Mac with Windows PCs, select SMB sharing.

Select the check box for each user account to which you want to give access.

Click Done.

To share a folder, click the + icon under Shared Folders in the Sharing preferences, select the folder, and then click Add.

Click the folder in the Shared Folders list, click + under Users, select a user, and then click Add.

Click a user in the Users list, and then click the permission level you want to assign from the drop-down menu. You have four choices:

  • Read & Write— The user can read the folder contents and make changes to the data.

  • Read Only— The user can only read the folder contents.

  • Write Only (Drop Box)— The user can only add new data to the folder.

  • No Access— The user can’t open the folder.

Repeat steps 8–10 to share other folders and set other user permissions.

Select System Preferences, Quit System Preferences.

Figure 2 shows the Sharing preferences with several folders and users.

Figure 2. The Sharing preferences with Windows Sharing activated and several folders shared and permissions assigned.


Macs often end up with long-winded computer names, such as Paul McFedries’ MacBook Pro. Because you need to use the computer name to log on to the share, consider editing the Computer Name field to something shorter.

One way to access the Mac shares from a Windows PC is to enter the share address directly, using the Start menu’s Search box, the Run dialog box, or Windows Explorer’s address bar. You have two choices:


Here, IP is the IP address shown in the Sharing window (shown in Figure 29.15 as //, Computer is the Mac’s computer name (shown in Figure 29.15folder is the name of a shared folder on the Mac. If you prefer to see all the shares, you can leave off the folder name. Here are some examples: as Mac-mini), and in both cases,



Again, just as IP addresses are the most reliable way to may Mac connections to Windows shares, I also find that IP addresses are the best way for Windows PCs to connect to shared Macs.

You’re then prompted for the username and password of the Mac account that you enabled for Windows Sharing. Figure 3 shows an example, and Figure 4 shows a Mac opened in Windows 7 to reveal its shared resources.

Figure 3. When you connect to the Mac, you’ll most likely have to log in to an account on the Mac.

Figure 4. A shared Mac opened in Windows 7.
Other -----------------
- Adding Macs to Your Windows 7 Network : Using a Mac to Make a Remote Desktop Connection to Windows 7
- Adding Macs to Your Windows 7 Network : Connecting to a Windows Shared Folder
- Adding Macs to Your Windows 7 Network : Connecting to the Windows Network
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- Windows 7 : Controlling and Customizing Your Website (part 4) - Disabling Anonymous Access
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- Windows 7 : Controlling and Customizing Your Website (part 1)
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