Have you ever needed to access a file from another computer on your home/office network when the computer is turned off? It might have been late at night and you were too tired to wait for the other computer to boot. Or perhaps you are at a remote site and realize that you can easily access the files that you need on your PC at home. Whatever the case, finding out how to access files from another computer on the same network might seem puzzling at first. But it is quite simple. All you need are a couple of steps – See below
If two computers are connected to the same network, you can use one of the computers to access the files of the other one. You can view as well as share files between the two computers. This article will help you learn how to access another computer’s files connected to the same network for both Windows and macOS.
Viewing Files on Windows 10
- Open the file explorer by
a). Clicking the icon, or
b). Pressing the “E” while holding the “Windows” button on your keyboard.
- Click on “Network” at the left to open the network window.
- You can find the computers connected to the network directly.
- If you don’t find it directly, on the address bar, type “\Computer Name” hit enter.
- You can use the IP of the computer instead of the name.
- If you don’t know the name, then:
a). Open settings of Windows 10.
b). Go to “System” and open “About.” It can be found on the left panel at the bottom.
c). You will find the “Device Name” there.
- If you don’t know the IP, then:
a). Run the command prompt and enter the command “ipconfig,” or
b). Google “What’s my IP” to know the IP.
- Input the “Microsoft Account Email Address” and “Password” set by the computer’s admin you require to connect to.
You can now access and view all the folders and files shared by the owner.
Viewing Files on macOS
- Launch the macOS “Finder” application.
- Click on “Go” on the top to open a drop-down menu.
- Click on “Connect to server” at the bottom.
- Alternatively, you can press the “Command Key” and “K” together to open the “Connect to server” box.
- In the “Server Address:” field, type “smb://computer name” or “smb://(IP address of the computer)” which you want to access.
- To know the computer name on MacOS:
a). Launch the “System Preferences” of MacOS.
b). Go to “Sharing”.
c). You will find the name in the following field: “Computer Name”.
- To know the server address on macOS:
a). Go to “Network” from “System Preferences”, or
b). Click the Wi-Fi icon at the top and open “Network Preferences…”.
c). From the left panel, click on “Wi-Fi”.
d). You will find the IP address as shown.
- After entering the name or IP address as said in step 5, click on the “Connect” button.
- You will need to input the “Name of the User” and also the “Password” (if any).
After that, you will view, access, or edit the folders and files on the connected computer.
- If you are using the computer’s IP address rather than the name, make sure the address is static. A dynamic IP will cause connection problems while accessing another computer.
- Type the computer name carefully because the name is case-sensitive.
- The computer owner you are about to access must give you the user name (for macOS), email address (for Windows), and password. Without that, you cannot access it.
- If the owner doesn’t have a password set, then you can access it directly.
Summary: Access Files from Another Computer on the Same Network
- In the Start menu, click on Control Panel.
- If you're in the Large Icons View of the Control Panel, click on System and Security. If you're using Small icon view, click on System.
- Make sure you're in Advanced Sharing Settings. You'll see a status next to each network location that shows if file sharing is turned on or off for that particular network location.
- To share access with all of your computers, make sure Network Discovery, File and Printer Sharing, and Public Folder Sharing are all set to "ON" (green check mark).
- Now that your files are shared, here's how to access them from another computer on the same network!