Exchanging Data with Other Macs

Considering how many ways there are to move files back and forth between Macs, it seems almost comical that anybody complained when Apple discontinued built-in floppy disk drives. Here’s a catalog of the different ways you can move your files from one computer to another, including some that might not have occurred to you.

By Network

You can shoot a file to another Mac with a single drag-and-drop operation, thanks to AirDrop (AirDrop) or another file-sharing method. You can open files from the other drives, copy stuff back and forth—anything you would do with your own disk. Step-by-step instructions start on File Sharing: Three Ways.

Best for files of any size, when the computers are in the same building.


And for $0, you can create an ad hoc network, meaning a tiny wireless network between just two computers (or a handful). Great when you’re in the car somewhere, or in the airport waiting lounge, or a hotel lobby, and someone says, “Hey, can I have a copy of that?” Details are on Wi-Fi Networks.

By Email

High on convenience; computers can be in different countries.

Of course, the traditional problem with email was that it couldn’t handle file attachments larger than 5 or 10 megabytes. To get around that limitation, you had to use a free website like sendthisfile.com, which can handle enormous files by sending the recipient only a link to them by email.

The world has changed, though. Nowadays, the Mail program can cheerfully send huge file attachments to ...

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