How to Connect to Windows File Sharing (SMB) From MAC OS X 10.1

Last Updated: December 03, 2007


How to Connect to Windows File Sharing (SMB) from Mac OS X 10.1 or Later.


Follow the steps in this article to connect to Windows File Sharing (SMB) from Mac OS X 10.1 or later. SMB is the native sharing protocol for Microsoft Windows operating systems, but it may be offered by other computers.

Follow these steps:

  1. Click the Finder icon in the Dock.
  2. Choose Connect to Server from the Go menu (see Note 1).
  3. In the address field of the Connect to Server dialog, type the URL using this syntax (see Note 3 below):


  4. Click Connect.

You will be prompted for the workgroup, user name, and password. In addition to connecting to actual Microsoft Windows computers, you may also use the Connect to Server dialog to connect to a Macintosh that is offering Windows File Sharing.

Important: Review all of the Notes section, below, for important information on Windows File Sharing. To set up sharing service, see the Related Documents.


  1. When you go to the Connect to Server dialog, you may browse by computer name. In Mac OS X versions 10.0 to 10.1.5, the names of SMB-sharing computers do not appear. In Mac OS X 10.2 or later, the names of SMB computers do appear (see Note 2). However, only the names of computers on your subnet appear.
  2. You may not always see the expected user-defined computer name when browsing via SMB. See technical document 107085, "Mac OS X 10.2: Windows (SMB) Computer Name Does Not Appear in Connect to Server Dialog".
  3. "ServerName" may be an IP address or DNS name. If it is required or more convenient in your environment, you may also use other valid URL formats, such as:


  4. The name of the "share" (the shared disk, volume, or directory) must be specified. You will not be prompted for it.
  5. You cannot type spaces as part of the share name when connecting. In place of any space in the share name, type: %20
  6. You cannot connect to a share with a name that contains a hyphen. Resolve the issue by giving the share a name that does not contain a hyphen.
  7. Connecting to (mounting) two or more SMB volumes simultaneously may cause a kernel panic. Drag one volume to the Trash to eject it before connecting to another (versions 10.1 to 10.2.8 only).
  8. The only alert message that Mac OS X versions 10.0 to 10.1.5 display for SMB login difficulties is "There's no file service available at the URL <URL>." This is sometimes correct and sometimes incorrect. This is the message that would appear if you mistyped your password, for example.
  9. Mac OS X uses SMB only over the TCP/IP protocol, not over the NetBEUI protocol.
  10. When troubleshooting a connection failure, you can ping the IP address of the Windows computer using the Mac OS X Network Utility. A successful ping verifies a TCP/IP connection between the two computers.
  11. Check Microsoft support resources for information on setting up file sharing on your Microsoft Windows-based computer. These may include Help files installed on your computer or the Microsoft online Knowledge Base ( For an example, see article Q304040: "Description of File Sharing and Permissions in Windows XP."
  12. When troubleshooting an SMB connection issue, try checking the Console, which is located in the Utilities folder. The Console log may help advanced users identify an issue.
  13. If you are connecting to Windows XP, make sure that the Internet Connection Firewall settings are not interfering with your connection. SMB uses ports 137, 138 and 139. These ports should be open on the Windows XP computer. This may require "Advanced" configuration of the Windows XP firewall.