Let’s say, you are using Windows PC and wanted to share a folder with your friend who is using Mac. Though emailing or using file transfer apps is an easy option, they have limitations of sharing limited file size. Similarly, using cloud storage services like OneDrive or iCloud also have limitations in size and syncing. The best option is to easily setup file sharing from Windows PC to Mac. This will allow sharing of files, folders, or the entire PC drive. The advantage is that you can quickly add additional folders for sharing or remove permissions instantly.
File Sharing from Windows PC to Mac
Here are the requirements for enabling file sharing from Windows and Mac.
- Correct username of your Windows PC
- Enable sharing for required folders in Windows
- Connecting Windows PC from Mac
- Accessing shared folders in Mac
Let us go through these steps in details so that you will not miss any detail. We will use Windows 11 and macOS 12.5 in this article. The process remains same if you are using Windows 10 or other macOS versions with some minor changes in the screen.
1. Getting Username in Windows 11
The first step is to find the username of your account in Windows PC.
- Click on Windows Search icon in the taskbar and type “system information”.
- You will see System Information desktop app in the results and click on it to open the app.
- Check the details on the right pane under “System Summary” section and find “User Name”.
- Alternatively, use the “Find what:” box to type “user name” and click on “Find” button. This will highlight the “User Name” item and note down the value.
2. Share Folders in Windows 11
Next step is to share the required folders on your Windows PC.
- Right-click on the folder that you want to share and select “Properties” option.
- Go to “Sharing” tab and click on “Share” button under “Network File and Folder Sharing” section.
- On the next screen, select the user account and change the permission level if required. if you set the permission to only “Read”, then you will not be able to edit the shared files on Mac. If you want to edit the shared files on Mac, make sure to select “Read/Write” permission or select “Owner” user for that folder. After selecting user and required permission level, click on “Share” button.
- If your computer’s network discovery turned off, then Windows will prompt you to enable it. Select the private network option to turn on file sharing option.
- You will see a success message “Your folder is shared” and the full path of the shared folder. Note down the full path which you need to use in different format on the Mac for connecting to this folder.
3. Connecting Windows Shared Folder from Mac
Now that you have a folder on Windows Pc, it’s time to access the folder from Mac.
- Go to your Mac and launch Finder app.
- Click on “Go” menu and then select “Connect to Server…” or press “Command + K” shortcut keys.
- Type the correct path of the Windows shared folder in the text box. Here you should type the path starting with smb: and use forward slash (or slash). This is different than the backslash used in Windows. Therefore, make sure to change the slashes and use correct format. Below is example of the paths of shared folder in Windows and Mac.
Windows Path - \\Windows_PC_Name\Users\Username\Desktop\Folder_Path Mac Path - smb://Windows_PC_Name/Users/Username/Folder_Path
- After entering the correct folder path, click on “Connect” button. You will be prompted to enter the username and password of your Windows user account. Select “Registered User” option, enter the name/password, and click “Connect” button. Check “Remember this password in my keychain” option if you want the Mac to store password in iCloud. We recommend disabling this option unless you frequently connect Windows PC for file sharing.
- You will not see any success message, but Mac will connect the shared Windows folder in Finder app.
4. Access Shared Windows Folder in Mac
Check Finder app and you will see the name of Windows shared folder is mounted. Browse through the folder and copy the required files to Mac.
If you have setup read/write permissions, you can edit and save the files on the shared folder. However, we do not recommend edit Windows files on Mac as this may result in incompatibilities when you open the files again in Windows PC. It is also possible to add additional file in the shared folder from Mac with read/write permission. If you have only provided read permission, then you can neither edit nor add additional files to the shared folder. You will see permission error when trying to edit files.
Note: If you are connecting with Windows administrator account, it is possible to browse through entire PC from Mac though you share only one folder.
Other Sharing Options from Windows to Mac
As mentioned, there are few other options you can use to transfer files from Windows to Mac.
- Simply ZIP and send the folder through email if this is a one-time task.
- Install file transfer apps to send files.
- Use social apps like WeChat or WhatsApp for sending files. Apps like WeChat has a separate built-in File Transfer feature which you can use for sending file from Windows and them access on Mac or mobile.
- Use cloud storage options like OneDrive or iCloud for sharing files from Windows to Mac. For example, you can install OneDrive app on Mac and access synchronized file from all your devices. Similarly, you can use iCloud for Windows for sharing files across Windows and Mac computers.
If required, you can enable file sharing on Mac to share the folders from Mac to Windows PC.