How to Connect a Mac to a PC on a Local Network: 4 Steps
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Over time, Mac OS and Windows computers have grown more compatible, sharing standards and technologies such as Intel processors and USB. This means that most peripherals that connect with one will also connect with the other. One "great equalizer" is Internet Protocol addressing, the basis of connecting computers to each other, both over the Internet and locally. Using an inexpensive CAT5 or CAT6 Ethernet cable, you can connect directly to a PC from your Mac without routers or other hardware.


  1. 1
    Connect an Ethernet cable between the two computers. If you have a network router, you may connect your computers via the router. The MacBook Air doesn't have an Ethernet port, and requires a Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter to network using its Thunderbolt port
  2. 2
    Open the "Network and Internet" control panel on your Windows PC, click "Network and Sharing Center," click "Change Advanced Sharing Settings" and turn on "Network Discovery" and "File And Printer Sharing." To protect your data, especially if your PC is also connected to the Internet, enable "Password Protected Sharing.
  3. 3
    Choose "Connect to Server" from the "Go" menu on your Mac and either click "Browse" and locate your PC in the browsing window or enter "smb://myPC" without quotes, substituting your PC's network name for "myPC."
  4. 4
    Choose a shared folder from the dialog box and click "OK." To skip this step, you can enter the full server path after "smb://myPC" to open the folder directly.


  • To find your PC's network name, click the Start button, right-click "Computer" and click "Properties." The network name is usually listed as "Full Computer Name."
  • To share folders from your Mac to the Windows PC, open your Mac's "System Preferences" panel, click "Sharing" and enable "File Sharing." Click "Options," check "Share Files and Folders using SMB" and select your user account. Click "Done" and make note of the IP address. On your PC, choose "Run" from the Start menu and enter "\\\" with no quotes and substituting your Mac's IP address. Sign in using your Mac username and password.

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Categories: Mac

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