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HOWTO: Share your Mac OS files with Windows over the Network (Part 1)


This HOWTO tutorial explains the steps involved in setting up both your Windows PC and your Apple Mac to allow you to access a shared folder on your Mac from Windows. This is part 1 of 3.

This HOWTO explains how to access your MAC files from a Windows PC. If you are looking for the opposite, ie. you’re trying to access your PC from your MAC then try this one:
HOWTO: Access Windows files from an Apple MAC over the Network


  • In Windows. you attempt to ‘Map Network Drive’ to a folder on your Apple Mac and receive the error: ‘The network path cannot be found’
  • When attempting to ‘Map Network Drive’ you receive a ‘Connect to’ dialog requesting a User name and Password but nothing you enters works.


It can be a bit tricky setting up both Mac & PC to talk harmoniously.  Following these steps precisely you should be able to achieve the following:

  • Set up personal file sharing on your Mac (accessible on your local network only)
  • From a Windows based PC ‘Map a Network Drive’ that will allow you to browse, read & write files located in that shared Mac folder

Solutions Below….



  • You are using Microsoft Windows XP on the PC
  • You are using Apple Mac OSX v10.5 (Leopard) on the Mac
  • The Mac & the PC are connected to the same network (LAN)

Note: Whilst this tutorial is based on the assumptions above the principal is the same for other versions and so should work with different versions of both Windows and Mac OS. If you’re stuck, leave a comment below.

Step 1 – Verify Basic Network Connectivity between PC and Mac

On the MAC:

  1. Open System Preferences > Network
  2. Unlock the panel by clicking the lock in the bottom left corner
  3. Select your network adapter from the list on the left in this case Airport
  4. Click the Advanced… button at the bottom right hand corner
  5. Click TCP/IP and take note of your IPv4 Address and Subnet Mask, you will need these later.In the screenshot below, mine are and

On the Windows PC:

  1. Click Start > Run
  2. Type cmd > Click OK
  3. At the command prompt type the following and press ENTER:


Note: Don’t forget to replace my IPv4 Address with your own in the above command!

  • If your basic network setup is correct then you should see 4 lines begining “Reply from…“. If so then continue to Part 2 of this tutorial
  • If you basic network setup is incorrect then you should see 4 lines beginning “Request timed out.” If this is the case then head over to this article – PS: HOWTO: Setup Basic TCP/IP Connectivity for Windows & Mac

helpful tip
Note: You will get the ‘Request timed out.‘ message if your Mac’s firewall has Stealth Mode enabled.  On your Mac, go to System Preferences > Security > Firewall > Unlock Panel > Advanced… > Uncheck Enable Stealth Mode and click OK. Now try your ping again (step 3 above) from Windows cmd.

Now go to Part 2: HOWTO: Share your Mac OS files with Windows over the Network (Part 2) or skip to Part 3: HOWTO: Share your Mac OS files with Windows over the Network (Part 3)

Please Comment! Add your comments below if this solved your issue or if you found that your setup was different. Please let us know your versions and what exactly you were doing when you had this issue so that we can update this solution and help others with the same problem.


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