Share Files from Your MacBook with Windows Computers

By Mark L. Chambers

If you’ve deigned to allow PCs running Windows on your network (a generous gesture), you’ll probably want to also share files with those computers. Sharing files with a Windows PC — actually a Windows user — is very similar to sharing files with other Mac users.

File sharing must be enabled. (When you share with other Macs, you’re also making those files available to PCs.)

To allow file sharing with Windows computers, follow these steps:

  1. Click the System Preferences icon in the Dock.

  2. Click the Sharing icon to open the Sharing Preferences pane.

  3. Click the File Sharing entry.

  4. Click the Options button.

  5. Click the On check box next to the user account (or accounts) that will be accessible by Windows PCs.

    Lion will growl while you try to enable SMB sharing. That’s because you have to enable Windows access on the desired account before it can be used. Lion prompts you for your password, smugly informing you that the account password will be stored “in a less secure manner.” (Take that, Mr. Gates!)

    Generally, this isn’t a problem, but never enable an account for Windows access unless only trusted individuals will use it.

  6. Click the Share files and folders using SMB check box to enable it.

  7. Click Done to exit the Advanced dialog, and close the System Preferences window to save the changes.