How to Share Files Between Mac and PC on Your Network

Mac Pc Network

Do you have a Mac and a Windows PC on the same network? Perhaps you’re currently working from home and want an easy way to transfer files between your work-issued Mac and your home PC? Whether you want to share documents, photos, videos or music, there are several ways to share files between Mac and PC on the same network. Here we will show you three quick and easy ways to exchange files between macOS and Windows PC. 

1. Use Apple’s Windows File Sharing

If you’re a macOS user, your computer has file sharing built in. With a bit of configuration, you can set up file sharing between your Mac and any Windows PC on your network:

1. In your Mac’s toolbar, select the Apple logo.

2. Navigate to “System Preferences … -> Sharing.”

3. In the menu on the left, select “File Sharing.”

Enable macOS' file sharing settings.

4. Select “Options … “

5. “Windows File Sharing” lists all the user accounts registered on this Mac. Select the account you want to share with Windows.

In the "Windows File Sharing" section, select every user account that you want to share.

6. When prompted, enter the password for this user account.

7. Select “Done.”

8. Next, navigate back to the main “System preferences … ” screen and select “Network.”

9. In the menu on the left, select your active connection.

In your Mac's "Network" settings, select your active connection.

10. Click “Advanced … ”

11. Select the “WINS” tab.

You'll need to enter the Workgroup for the Windows PC that you want to connect to.

12. Enter the workgroup name used by the Windows computer on your network. Windows normally uses either “WORKGROUP” or “MSHOME.” If you don’t know the workgroup name, on the Windows computer, navigate to “Control Panel -> System and Security -> System.” You should now see the workgroup name. 

13. Back on your Mac, click “OK -> Apply.”

14. You’re ready to start sharing files with your Windows PC.

15. To exchange files, open a new macOS “Finder” window and select “Network.” You should now see a list of all the known devices on this network, including the Windows PC(s) you registered earlier.

2. Exchange files using Snapdrop

Alternatively, if you just want to exchange an occasional file, you may want to try Snapdrop. If you’ve ever used Apple’s AirDrop, this tool should look strangely familiar.

Snapdrop is a file sharing tool that looks strangely familiar.

Snapdrop is a cross-platform, online tool that lets you exchange files across a range of operating systems, including macOS and Windows. Simply open Snapdrop on your Windows PC and your Mac, and this tool should detect both devices automatically.

You can then exchange files by dragging and dropping them into this window, exactly the same way you use AirDrop.

3. Try the cloud

If you’re regularly sharing files with another device, it may help to set up a shared cloud storage account.

Today, there are countless free cloud-based tools where you can exchange files and even collaborate with other people in real time. If you just want to share static files, DropBox is always a popular option, while Google Drive lets you work collaboratively on documents. 

What’s your go-to method for sharing files between Mac and PC? If you are looking to share files between Windows and Android or Windows with Linux, we have the solutions.

Jessica Thornsby Jessica Thornsby

Jessica Thornsby is a technical writer based in Derbyshire, UK. When she isn’t obsessing over all things tech, she enjoys researching her family tree, and spending far too much time with her house rabbits.

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