I want to be able to peruse the Documents, Music and Pictures folders on my Windows 7 machine from my Macbook. The only way I could find to do this was to go the the Libraries, right-click Share With: Specific Users: Everyone, with Read/Write permissions. (I can't use Homegroups with a Mac AFAIK.)

From the Mac I connect using smb://mycomputername and then I need to log in with my Windows username and password. (Guest access is forbidden.) I then see the entire Users directory, containing my user folder and all its contents.

So, this does what I want, but is it a significant security risk? Is it better practice to share just a single "My sharing folder" on each computer, and just use that as a conduit for copying files across? What do other people do?

  • Try connecting from Windows to your Mac, logging in as an account with administrative privileges: The whole disk is shared. It's no different.
    – Daniel Beck
    Oct 30, 2010 at 23:16
  • Hmm, that's not what I found in practice. My user account on the Mac is an admin account, and until I shared a folder on the Mac, I wasn't able to see anything (when I logged in as myself from my PC.)
    – francois
    Nov 6, 2010 at 0:15

2 Answers 2


If its still asking for your password, its not a huge security risk. (unless your password is blank or really bad).

As long as you have the network at home identified as your "home network" and when you are traveling with your windows 7 computer, you make sure to choose "public network" when you connect to other networks. choosing public networks makes it automatically block the file sharing and a few other things to protect you.

  • Fortunately it's a desktop PC, so it's not going anywhere :) Thanks for the reassurance!
    – francois
    Oct 29, 2010 at 23:34

It's not a huge problem -- the only reason this would be a problem would be if you had multiple users on the machine, and wanted to restrict access between those users. However, NTFS DACLs are probably the better solution to manage those, rather than sharing permissions.

  • Thanks for the answer! Multiple users... on which machine? The PC or the Mac? The Mac has only one. The PC has one, but I'm planning to add a user account for my daughter which will probably limit file access.
    – francois
    Oct 29, 2010 at 23:37
  • @francois: Whichever machine is doing the sharing. Generally speaking, if the users are admins there's no way to keep them from getting in to other users' data on the same machine anyway. Oct 29, 2010 at 23:43

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