Networking with Windows

Macs and Windows PCs can see each other on the network, with no special software (or talent) required. In fact, you can go in either direction. Your Mac can see shared folders on a Windows PC, and a Windows PC can see shared folders on your Mac.

It goes like this.

Seated at the Mac, Seeing the PC

Suppose you have a Windows PC and a Mac on the same wired or wireless network. Here’s how you get the Mac and PC chatting:

  1. On your Windows PC, share some files.

    This isn’t really a book about Windows networking (thank heaven), but here are the basics.

    On a recent Windows 8 (or 8.1) PC, there may be nothing to it. All your personal files probably come pre-shared. You can skip to step 2.

    If step 2 doesn’t seem to work, then maybe your PC files aren’t already shared, and you have some reading ahead of you:

    Just as on the Mac, there are two ways to share files in Windows. One of them is super-simple: You just copy the files you want to share into a central, fully accessible folder. As long as nobody has turned off the Guest access feature, no passwords, accounts, or other steps are required.

    In Windows Vista, that’s the Public folder, which appears in the Navigation pane of every Explorer window. (In Vista, there’s one Public folder for the whole computer, not one per account holder.)

    In Windows 7, there’s a Public folder in each library. That is, there’s a Public Documents, Public Pictures, Public Music, and so on.


    There is no system of Public folders in Windows 8 and 8.1—but ...

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