Sharing files and folders from your Mac OS X to the Windows computers or other devices, is extremely easier now than it used to be. Credit goes to in-built support in OS X for the Microsoft Sever Message Block (SMB) Protocol, enabling read/wrote access to Windows computer with just a few clicks in System Preferences.

Once you go through the steps given in this article, your Windows computers would be able to watch your Mac on a local network, allowing you setting various shared folders, each having different read/write access. In this article, we are demonstrating sharing from Mac OS X with Windows 7.

Here is how you do it:

1. Start by clicking “Sharing” pane in “System Preferences”. It is found in “Internet & Wireless” section.
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2. In the “Sharing” pane, you could see the box given next to “File sharing”. Pit a check mark on it. If CD/DVD sharing is also required, check the boxes given beside these options too.

Once “File Sharing” is activated and chosen, Mac OS X would show your Mac’s IP address. Once you see it, click “Options”.
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3. In the “Options” pane, you could see box given next to “Shares files & folders using SMB (Windows)” and “Share files & folders using AFP”. Check both boxes.

You can also select user accounts whom you want to enable sharing with. Use these user accounts while connecting from Windows to Mac’s shared folders. If there is no sharing enables for a user account, its credentials to connect to Mac’s shared folders from Windows, won’t be able to be used. Click “Done”. You would be back to “Sharing” pane.
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4. At this point, you might be asked by Mac OS X to enter password. In this case, click the “+” button on order to add a “Shared Folder”.
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The “Finder” would be opened. Add the folders and click “Add”.
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5. Once you add the “Shared Folder”, you may set the read/write access. Go to “Users” section and choose the access/permissions you would like to assign to listed users. You may select any of the following:

  • Read & Write
  • Read only
  • Write Only
  • No Access

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6. The simplest route is to just enable read/write access to everyone. However, it is done just in trusted networks.

By using this process, multiple folders can be added, with different permissions. This is quite useful if a Write Only drop box or a Read Only folder to be set up.