You’re not a loyalist: your network has both Windows and macOS machines. The good news is you can access your Windows shares from macOS pretty easily, if you know how.

RELATED: How to Share Files Between Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs on a Network

We’ve shown you how to share files between macOS, Windows and Linux systems, so check that out if you want a complete guide. Keep reading if you just want to access your existing Windows shares from a Mac.

Connect to a Windows Share

For the most part, connecting to a Windows share is simple. Just open Finder and look for the share you want in the sidebar, in the “Shared” section.

There’s a chance the Windows computer you want to connect to won’t be there. Installing Bonjour for Windows on your Windows machine might help, but isn’t necessary: you can connect to a network share directly. With the Finder open, click Go > Connect to Server in the menu bar.

Type smb:// followed by the name of the Windows computer to which you’d like to connect. If you’re not sure of the name (or want to change a Windows PC’s name to something friendlier), check out our guide on the subject. And, if connecting by name doesn’t work for some reason, you can find that computer’s IP address and use that instead.

RELATED: How to Find Your Private and Public IP Addresses

You should be asked the specific folders to which you’d like to connect. Select one or more, and then click the “OK” button.

You may be asked for a username and password, after which your folder should open.

You can now browse the files on your Windows share from your Mac, and transfer files. There’s a little easter egg here, too: the icon for a Windows share is a CRT monitor with a blue screen of death.

Open Share at Boot

You can automate the process of opening shares at boot, assuming there’s a Windows share you pretty much always need access to. Just head to System Preferences > Users & Groups.

RELATED: Mac OS X: Change Which Apps Start Automatically at Login

Click your username in the left panel, and then click the “Login Items” tab—you’ll see a list of the applications that start up when your Mac does. Now open a Finder window and drag the Windows share to which you want to connect at boot into this list.

From now on, your Mac will attempt to open this share every time you log in. Note that, if you’re a laptop user, this could get annoying: your Mac will try to connect to the share even when you’re not connected to that network. It’s perfect for desktops users, though, assuming you don’t take your iMac to Starbucks on the regular.

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Justin Pot has been writing about technology for over a decade, with work appearing in Digital Trends, The Next Web, Lifehacker, MakeUseOf, and the Zapier Blog. He also runs the Hillsboro Signal, a volunteer-driven local news outlet he founded.
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