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I regularly plug my Macbook Pro into a network at work, but because of the way Mac networking works, my computer's name instantly becomes available to any other Mac on the network. Is there a way to hide my computer's name so that I do not appear on the network list of other people's computers? Also, can I set this up so as a network specific profile? For instance, I would like my computer's name to show up on my home network, but not my work network.

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

The easiest method is to make sure your computer is not broadcasting any Bonjour messages about what services are available on your computer by turning off the services.

In terms of the Finder, make sure File Sharing, Remote Management and Screen Sharing are all unchecked and your computer won't appear in another user's sidebar. If it has already shown up on the other user's sidebar it may not disappear right away but nothing will be accessible. This won't prevent it from appearing elsewhere (eg. if you're sharing printers then it will show up in Print dialog boxes).

The other alternative is to turn off Bonjour all together which requires a restart. Apple has posted instructions on how to do this. Coles notes/faster version:

sudo /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "Add :ProgramArguments: string '-NoMulticastAdvertisements'" /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

To turn back on:

sudo /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c "Delete :ProgramArguments:2" /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

After completing that run the following command as well to make it take effect:

sudo launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
sudo launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
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Thanks. Can I specify whether I want file sharing turned on based on network location? – Choy Jun 18 '10 at 18:37
With Mac OS X itself? Not really. Using a program like NetworkLocation yes. – Chealion Jun 21 '10 at 18:24

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