Sharing a Folder in Mac OS X Lion - dummies

Sharing a Folder in Mac OS X Lion

By Bob LeVitus

Suppose, while using Mac OS X Lion, you have a folder you want to share, but it has slightly different rules than those set up for the Public folder, for the Drop Box folder within the Public folder, or for your personal folders. These rules are permissions, and they tell you how much access someone has to your stuff in OS X Lion.

To share a folder with another user, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Apple→System Preferences (or click the System Preferences icon in the Dock).

  2. In the System Preferences window, click the Sharing icon.

  3. Click File Sharing in the list of services on the left.

    If an entry in, for example, the Shared Folders list is too long for you to make out the folder name, hover your pointer over it, and a tooltip will appear, giving you the full name.


  4. Click the + (plus) button under the Shared Folders column to add the folder you wish to share.

    If you select the Shared Folder check box in a folder’s Get Info window, that folder already appears in the list of Shared Folders, so you won’t have to bother with Step 4.

    Alas, while checking the Shared Folder check box in a folder’s Get Info window causes it to appear in the Sharing System Preferences pane’s Shared Folders list, you still have to complete the steps that follow to assign that folder’s users and privileges.

  5. Click the + (plus) button under the Users column to add a user or group if the user or group you desire isn’t already showing in the Users column.

  6. Click the double-headed arrow to the right of a user or group name and change its privileges.

    You can choose among three types of access for each user or group.

    If you’re the folder’s owner (or have administrator access), you can click the padlock icon and change the owner and/or group for the file or folder.

Permission What It Allows
Read & Write A user with Read & Write access can see, add, delete, move,
and edit files just as though they were stored on her own
Read Only A Read Only user can see and use files that are stored in a
Shared folder but can’t add, delete, move, or edit them.
Write Only (Drop Box) Users can add files to this folder but can’t see
what’s in it. The user must have read access to the folder
containing a Write Only folder.
No Access With no permissions, a user can neither see nor use your Shared
folders or drives.