I've got a Windows laptop and another Mac laptop. I'm wondering how should I go about setting up my Mac to be able to read files from my Windows laptop?

Let's say I have a file C:\test.txt and I want to be able to open this file on my MacBook Pro. Is this possible?


Mac OS X can connect to network shares on a Windows machine. Create a shared folder on Windows, then open the Finder on Mac OS X and go to the Go menu → Connect to Server to connect to the share.

Finder's Go menu

  • the Go menu is? – Pacerier May 6 '11 at 10:06
  • 1
    Click on the desktop (or Alt-Tab to the Finder icon), to ensure your focus is on Finder. Then you'll see this menu option. – boehj May 6 '11 at 14:58
  • @boehj alright thx – Pacerier May 19 '11 at 7:02
  • @Stephen i can't connect. it ask me for server address – Pacerier May 19 '11 at 7:03
  • @Pacerier: This is where you tell Mac OS X which computer to connect to, using the form "smb://ServerName/ShareName" – Stephen Jennings May 19 '11 at 7:49

Basically, you should be able to just access files and folders shared through Windows. This is for XP. In Windows 7 it's slightly different I guess (haven't used it yet). Here's a Microsoft video tutorial for Windows 7.

First off, enable simple file sharing in Windows, by going to Tools - Folder Options from any folder and enabling the following checkbox:

enter image description here

Then right-click the folder on Windows you want to share, click Sharing and Security, and enable the following two checkboxes:

enter image description here

From your mac, in the Finder, go to Go -> Connect To Server or press Cmd+K and enter the Windows computer's name. Or you might be able to see it in your Finder sidebar, then you can just click it and it will list all shared folders:

enter image description here

You can then just normally browse the files in this folder and also write to them.

Safety Note: I wouldn't share your whole C:/ drive as this can cause unexpected behavior. Imagine someone is on your network and just deletes important files from C:/ without you knowing it. Rather share only one folder your Mac and others can access.

  • i'm using windows vista. it doesn't have the "use simple file sharing (recommended) – Pacerier May 19 '11 at 7:01
  • heys btw i tried "Connect to server" and it ask me for server address? what address is that? – Pacerier May 19 '11 at 7:02
  • @Pacerier You can enter the hostname of the computer or its IP address, both should work. – slhck May 19 '11 at 7:37
  • heys help me with this question thx!: superuser.com/questions/309510/… – Pacerier Jul 12 '11 at 6:09
  • @Pacerier These are from Microsoft, but there are plenty of tools. Don't know of one for Windows though. – slhck Jul 12 '11 at 6:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.