How To: Share Files Between a Mac & PC

Do you happen to be a Mac that lives with a PC? Oh yeah. Interested in sharing files through your network? No problemo. Though it does require a little elbow grease and networking know-how, we've made it easy enough that even your little brother can do it. Get your full set of instructions, after the jump.

Note both the Mac and the PC must be on the same network in order for this to work. Otherwise, you're best sticking with cloud-syncing file services like Dropbox.

Configure Sharing on Vista

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Under Network and Sharing Center (via Control Panel), you need to turn on File Sharing.

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After that, right click a file or folder you wish to share on the network and Select Share. You'll come up to a screen that asks you who you wish to share your files with.

Usually, if your network is secured, we suggest adding "Everyone" to the list and allowing them to "Read-only." Otherwise, use caution when allowing others to have "Full Rights" over your files and folders. Voila! You're done with the PC side!

Configure Sharing on Snow Leopard

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First, you'll have to open up Preferences and select Sharing. There, you will have to enable File Sharing. Like Vista, if you're on a secure network, feel free to leave it open to Read-Only for Everyone (For me, I don't mind people rummaging through my Public Folder, so I've allowed them to Write as well).

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Next, you'll need to go back to Preferences and Select Network. Here, you'll see the screen above. Click Advanced .

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Go to WINS and change your NetBIOS Name to the name you to be viewable over your network. I tend to use a similar naming convention such as "Anthony-MAC" and "Anthony-PC" (for the PC, duh) to make things easier to track. Next, type in the name of the workgroup as the one your PC is in (Default is "Workgroup"). Hit OK and you're set.

Connect the Dots, Samba Style

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Now, go to your Finder toolbar. Select Go and Connect to Server...

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Here, you will use the Samba server to connect to your PC. Type in "smb://" followed by your PC computer name. Select Connect. If you plan to use this shared folder often, you can add it to your Favorite Servers list. Voila! You've now got a shared PC folder on your Mac!

Now, it's PC's turn. This one's easy.

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Well, this part isn't too hard. Go to the Start Menu and Select Network. If you haven't screwed up too badly, you'll immediately see your Mac computer listed as one of the connected computers within your workgroup.

We hope you've enjoyed this short little tutorial and your new found knowledge of Samba servers and workgroup management!

[Image by Peter Olofsson as licensed by CC]

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