Connect to Shared Folder in Windows 8 from OS X

I recently upgraded one of my computers to Windows 8 and setup a shared folder so that I could easily transfer files from my MacBook Pro and Windows 7 machines to Windows 8 over the home network. I did a clean install of Windows 8, created a shared folder and attempted to connect to my shared folder from OS X Mountain Lion.

Unfortunately, I was not able to connect and it took me a little time to figure it out. In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps to connect to a shared folder on Windows 8 from OS X.

Step 1 – Configure Windows 8 for Sharing

Obviously, the first thing you’ll need to do is create a shared folder on Windows 8. Right-click, go to Properties and click on the Sharing tab. Go ahead and share the folder and set the permissions to whatever you desire in terms of access.

Shared folder

The next thing you need to do is make sure that File and Printer Sharing is turned on and allowed through the Windows Firewall in Windows 8. Go to Control Panel and click on Windows Firewall. Then click on Allow an app or feature through Windows Firewall.

Windows firewall

Scroll down until you see File and Printer Sharing and make sure that it is checked.

File and printer sharing

Lastly, you can decide how you want users to access the folder on Windows 8. By default, when connecting from another machine, you have to enter the username and password of an account that has access to that shared folder on Windows 8. If you setup a Windows 8 user account without adding a password, you won’t be able to connect to the shared folder. You’ll first have to add a password and then you could connect. However, if you feel your home network is super secure, you can always turn off password protected sharing, which means anyone can connect to the shared folder without having to type in a username or password.

Password protected sharing

You can do that by going to Control Panel, Network and Sharing Center, Advanced sharing settings and then expanding All Networks. Here you will see an option called Password protected sharing, which you can turn off. I personally keep it turned on, but if you really hate having to type in a username and password to connect, this is an option. Also, if you use Windows 8 without a password, this would save you from having to setup a password on your account. Note that even if you have a Windows account with a password, if you turn off password protected sharing, then people can still connect without typing any credentials.

Finally, on the Mac, open Finder and look under the Shared section for the Windows 8 PC.

windows 8 pc

When you click on it, it will try to connect and you may get a message saying Connection Failed.

connection failed

That’s ok! That’s where that password protected folder setting in Windows 8 comes into play. If it’s turned on, you need to connect using the Windows 8 account credentials. You can do that by clicking the Connect As button at the top right.

connect as

Go ahead and type in your credentials and then click OK. Note that if it’s a Microsoft account you have setup on Windows 8, you’ll need to type in the full email address and the same password as your actual Microsoft account.


That’s about it! Now you should see the Windows 8 shared folders in Finder on your Mac.

finder shared folder

If you have any problems connecting to Windows 8 from a Mac, post a comment here and I’ll try to help out. Enjoy!