Mac 101: Sharing Files Between Two Macs

One of the reasons I like Mac’s so much more than Window’s boxes is their outstanding networking capabilities. No matter if I need to add a network printer or share files with someone on my network, it can be done in a matter of minutes.

Setting up two Macs to network and share files can be done wirelessly or wired (if you do it wired just run a regular network cable between the two computers). The following steps are generally the same for both Leopard and Tiger users. There will be a few interface differences, so if you have any trouble just post your question in the comments.

  1. Open System Preferences on the computer that you want to share files from.
  2. Under the Internet and Network section open the “Sharing” folder.
  3. In Leopard, click the box that says “File Sharing”. In Tiger there should be a prompt stating “Personal File Sharing is Off” on the right hand side of the sharing folder. You should always turn personal file sharing off when you are not actively using it to protect your personal information. Under the prompt there should be a button that says “Start.” Click the start button.
  4. Now that you are sharing your personal files with the other Mac (and any other computer around you) can see your public folder in Username/Public. Anything you put in that folder your friend will be able to get.
  5. After your done sharing, be sure to turn file sharing off.

I often use this technique to quickly move mp3’s from my laptop to my desktop because it’s faster than ziping and uploading them to a server.