How to Access Mac Files from Windows 7

If you have both Mac and PC at home or Office and i am sure you want to either access Mac files form PC or access PC files from Mac. In this guide you will see how to share Mac files for Windows using Mac OS X Snow leopard and Windows 7. This process is simple and easy but first you need to setup your Mac to share files / folder with windows by enabling file sharing option.

File sharing

This guide is created using Mac OS X Snow leopard and Windows 7. See also File sharing Mac OS X Lion and Windows 7

Step-1

Make sure both computers Mac and PC are connected to the same network Either Wireless or Cable.

Step-2

Right click on desktop and create a “New Folder”, put your all stuff in it that you want to share with Windows 7 (Instead of desktop you can create this folder some other place as you want).

Create a new folder macShared folder

Step-3

Click on “System Preferences…” option under “Apple” menu.

Mac system preferences

Step-4

Click on “Sharing”  icon under “Internet & Wireless” section.

Mac file sharing

Step-5

Enable file sharing on Mac:

  • Note down the IP address of you Mac computer.
  • Check the “File Sharing” check box on the left side.
  • Click on “+” sign to add share folder that we have created in step-2.

Enable file sharing mac

Select folder form “Desktop” and hit “Add” button.

Selete sharing folder

Step-6

Add a new user:

  • Shared folder is added, now Hit the “+” sign to add a user as show below. You will use this user to log in from Windows while accessing Mac.

Add windows user

Hit the “New Person” button.

Adding Windows user

Enter User Name and Password and hit “Create Account” button.

Windows user info

Select User Name that you have added and hit “Select” button.

Selete Windows user

Step-7

Final Step on Mac:

  • You can see the Windows user is listed under “User” section (You can manage user rights by clicking on “Arrows” in front of user name).
  • Now do the final step on Mac, Click the “Options” button

Mac SMB Windows settings

Sharing options

  • Make sure the following check boxes are checked “Share files and folders using AFP” and “Share files and folders using SMB (Windows)”.
  • Also check the Windows user name check box that you have added in step-6 this will prompt to enter password,

Windows user and SMB settings

Enter the user’s password that you entered while creating new user in step-6 and hit “OK” and then “Done” button.

Enter Windows password

Step-8

Now Windows Part:

In Windows 7 Press Windows + R keys from keyboard to open Run Window, and type the Mac computer IP address as shown below. You have noted Mac IP address in step-5.

Access Mac using IP address

You will see a login Window, Enter the User Name and Password that we have created in Step-6.

Enter User Name and Password to access Mac

Finally you can see the folder in Windows 7 that you have shared on Mac.

Shared folder

This took lot of time to write, you should give some comments below and feel free to ask anything.

see also:

38 comments… add one

Wefun July 9, 2010, 1:48 am

Precise and accurate set of steps to access Mac from Windows. I try it by myself works perfect.

Poni July 15, 2010, 7:39 am

I also accessed Mac data from Windows 7 with this provided guide

Russ October 29, 2010, 5:53 am

Most concise, accurate article on subject I have read. Thank you.
I have Mac OS-X 10.6.4 on an iMac and Win7 Home Premium on a HP Laptop.

Worked fine until step 8 after doing the run command. Instead of a Windows Security window, the Windows Explorer came up with the MAC directories. No chance to “Remember My Credentials”. Thus after putting my HP laptop into sleep and reactivating it, the iMac computer did not show up in the Network directory of Explorer and I had to redo step 8.
On caveat in showing Win7 on the iMac. I had to disable my Norton Smart Firewall and later change the “Trusted Status” in Norton for the network connection.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

Stellafella March 8, 2011, 1:19 am

Excellent many thanks, I have only had my Mac for 4 days and so this has been a huge help connecting to my existing windows PCs. Thanks for taking the time to educate others.

Du Soliel June 16, 2011, 2:42 pm

Great guide, I followed it and successfully got access to Windows 7 computer through Mac.

MommaBof3 August 5, 2011, 8:52 pm

I just got a windows 7 laptop…want to interact with my iMac. Windows won’t accept/acknowledge mac ip address. Verified it was correct multiple times. Suggestions?

trickYguY August 6, 2011, 7:18 am

Make sure both computers are on the same Network

reamz August 19, 2011, 4:32 pm

Hey guys, i followed everything step by step but when i reached step 8 it doesn’t work, it says cannot access IP…
we are on the same network, same subnet. both firewalls are turned off.

any thoughts? appreciate the help!

Abbizoy September 5, 2011, 11:54 am

Same issue here – followed all the steps bit after entering the IP address of the Mac, the Win 7 machine seems to be doing nothing and faster a minute or so I get a “Windows cannot access \\xxx.xxx.x.xxx”

May Mac can’t see my windows machine either, even though I have network discovery on and firewalls off on both machines. Both machines are on the same home wireless network.

TucciDesigner November 14, 2011, 10:37 pm

This was immensely helpful! We just bought new PC laptops for our small office that needed to coordinate with a Mac computer, which contains all of our central documents. Your steps were perfectly accurate and easy to follow! Our office is very grateful for this article… Mainly because it kept me from throwing the pretty new PC across the room in frustration!

Chad K November 16, 2011, 5:03 am

I do want to throw the windows laptop accross the room!!! I have tried everything I can think of. I can see the mac in the network page of windows 7 but when I try to access it I get a login failure and am asked to login again.

Simon January 1, 2012, 5:53 pm

Thanks, this helped a lot! I did this with 0S 10.5 and Windows 7 Home Premium.

2 things I had to do here additionally:

1. it was not enough to just add a simple person for the new connection – I had to add a “standard” account in the accounts panel (otherwise I couldn’t select this account for Samba-Sharing).

2. I had to re-login on Windows 7 – the shared folders weren’t refreshed before.

Riki February 26, 2012, 12:56 am

What do you mean by “I had to add a “standard” account in the accounts panel”? On Windows or Mac? I have a Windows XP desktop, Windows 7 laptop, and a iMac… They are all part of the same workgroup and connected to the same wired network… XP and iMac (Snow Leopard) see each other just fine… Win 7 can not see either of the shared folders from any of them… Everything is configured as this guide suggest… ARRRGGG!!!

Simon February 28, 2012, 12:53 pm

I had to add the account on Mac. I successfully managed to set up a connection with Windows 7 and MacOSX 10.5, maybe this behaves different on newer OSX versions.

xcell February 11, 2012, 11:10 am

I have the same problem; can’t even enter my username and PW (step 8) as the windoze machine does not accept my Mac’s IP adddress. “Windows cannot access \\xxx.xxx.x.x…”

mktrunner February 26, 2012, 6:17 am

This was a great tip. My wife has a Mac & I am a Windows user. We both work together and need to share files, so this was very helpful. Thanks Again.

I have Windows 7 Pro. I made my Username & PW the same on both computer which brought the Windows Explorer menu up right after the Run Command procedure. Because It was no in my WorkGroup I simply had to map the new Shared directory within that Explorer Window. Works Perfect!

tbailess April 5, 2012, 4:54 pm

Thank you! Looked everywhere for help with this.

EMil April 7, 2012, 10:21 pm

Very usefull!!
I have one problem though: When connecting the Win7 by writing the IP-adress of my Mac, it doesn’t ask for any Username and password, it just connects… This shouldnt be any problem, but now it doesnt really work from my Win7

hechizero April 9, 2012, 11:40 pm

Thanks so much. I was getting shafted at every step until I found this guide.

Lino Andrade April 22, 2012, 2:55 am

Superb guide. Thanks a lot for the time devoted to such helpful tool.

Vinn June 11, 2012, 12:11 pm

Accessing Mac from Windows, great article.

alcur August 25, 2012, 2:55 pm

excellent!!! thanks alot!

Dppaz August 27, 2012, 9:52 am

This helped me so much and it was very detailed thank you very much for your time on this guide. For me once I completed this procedure all of my computer was available including the shared drive that I specifically set up and the entire hard drive and the external drive connected with FireWire. Fine with me :)

jmmpls October 11, 2012, 12:09 am

Great article, super helpful! I’m running into a similar issue as EMil, though. No prompt to enter username or password after step 8. I connect to the Mac, but I can only see printers and not the files I want to share. How do you fix this?

noddy December 1, 2012, 8:22 pm

Best I’ve seen. Why something so intrinsic and integral to everyday computing seems overlooked is a mystery – it is assumed you’re network specialist. Most aren’t. Thank you for your work it is appreciated

I have also used your guide (PC to MAC) equally fine.
Any chance of a version connecting over wifi.

Ahmed December 2, 2012, 4:29 am

You can use the same guide for file sharing between Mac and PC over WiFi or LAN.

Noddy December 2, 2012, 4:55 am

Cheers

R6demon December 30, 2012, 3:31 pm

An excellent guide thank you! Having spent 2 hours trying to do this I finally stumbled across your guide and it took 10 mins :) The only thing that was missing was that the PC and the Mac have to be on the same workgroup seemingly??

Thank you again!

prashant March 20, 2013, 4:54 pm

Awesome. thank you very much you saved my lots of time :)

SongSong July 24, 2013, 11:28 am

Thx so much bro. It worked smoothly and perfect. thx.

scott August 29, 2013, 4:39 pm

Three years later it still has worth. Thanks for the help!

Aditya November 17, 2013, 1:11 pm

Thanks. I could do this from Mac to Windows but could not figure out how to do it from Windows to Mac. The catch was in enabling the SMB option in Mac. Logging in as myself from windows into Mac, got me the complete access to all my files on Mac. Now my wife can working on Mac and I can access all my files from my Windows machine!. Incidentally, I have Mountain Lion on my Mac.

Tony March 7, 2014, 5:45 am

best instructions on Earth for this setup. Excellent

RuthClaire Weintraub April 16, 2014, 5:56 pm

I have some old Mac files (probably OS 9) that were saved on Zip disks. I need to retrieve them! When I try to open them from my Windows 7 laptop, I get an error message asking me I need to reformat the disk. Onbiously I don’t want to do that.

Any suggestions how to read those files?

Joss June 7, 2014, 6:47 pm

Hi,
I did this with my hard drive, and it worked up until the point when i had to actually access it. When i click on the hard drive that is being shared, it says that windows cant access the drive?
Any suggestions?

TrickyWays June 7, 2014, 7:32 pm

Please make sure you have performed step-6, 5 and 7 correctly where you select the right folder and gives permission to the user. make sure permissions are in Step-7 Read & Write. If you need help through Teamviewer I can manage that.

frenchi June 9, 2014, 12:43 pm

Thanks very much for this excellent simplification of something which perplexes many amateurs. I take my hat off to you.

Lewis Gibson October 6, 2014, 1:07 am

Fantastic – I’ve been trying for ages to connect the pc to the mac infact it has taken me over 5hours of searching and trying similar steps but to no avail. That was until I discovered your link and after 5mins my PC now talks to my mac hurrah

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