Apple has developed an easy-to-use file-sharing system for its Mac operating systems, allowing Mac users to easily share files, data, and folders with others. The Mac’s Shared and Public folders are primarily responsible for determining which specific files and folders can be accessed by users other than yourself.
How to share files on a Mac with others
Using the Shared folder for file sharing
When you save files to your Mac’s Shared folder, any other user account on your system will be able to view their contents.
- Open Finder as the first step. Enter users in the search bar to locate and open the Users folder. The Shared folder will be displayed in this location. Take a look inside.
- Go to the Finder and open a new window. Drag and drop the files and folders you want to share with other users into Shared, or copy and paste them.
When another user logs in to their account on your Mac, the files you placed in the Shared folder will be visible to them.
File sharing via the Public folder
The system’s Public folder is another way to share files and folders with others on a Mac.
- Launch Finder then navigates to the public folder.
- Drag and drop anything you want to share into the Public folder.
Permissions for Shared and Public folders can be customized.
How to customise specific permissions for both the shared and public folders
- Select “Sharing” from the System Preferences menu.
- Click on the public folder, which should be visible in the Shared folders section. The admin account has read and write control (can edit and delete) by default, while all other users have read-only access.
However, by selecting a user’s Read Only field, that person’s permission can be changed to read and write as well.
- Select the + button in the Shared folders section and add the shared folder. Apply Step 2 for any necessary changes to who has read and written permission.
- If you want to share files and folders with other network users who are using a different system than your Mac, click the Options button, check the Share files and folders using the SMB box, and then click Done. You can now use the SMB address to share files on your Mac with another system.
Similarly, you can enable Windows file sharing for Windows-based systems within that same window.