How to Add a Mac to an Existing PC Network


Computer networks are a series of computers that are all connected together. They are great for homes and businesses, because they allow users to share applications, files or printers easily without the use of a flash drive or email. Connecting a Mac to an existing PC network is easy to do, but it will not be as versatile as a Mac-to-Mac or PC-to-PC network. A Mac connected to a PC network can only share files and printers with the PC, not applications.

Things You'll Need

  • Mac OS X 10.4 or higher
  • Ethernet or wireless network
  • Plug in your Mac to the PC network through the Ethernet hub or choose the wireless network from the Airport menu.

  • Open "System Preferences" in the Apple menu. Click on "Sharing."

  • Select "Windows Sharing" from the list of network capabilities. Close System Preferences.

  • Open "Network" in the Finder’s "Go" menu.

  • Select the PC network from the list of available networks.

  • Press "Connect." A network icon will appear on your desktop called "Sharedocs."

  • Click on the icon to view the files available for sharing with the Mac. Place files in the shared files on a PC or Mac to access them from either Mac or PC.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may also select "Printer Sharing" from the "Sharing" menu in System Preferences.
  • The shared folder on a Mac is called "Drop Box." The shared folder on a PC is called "My Documents."
  • If your network is wireless, add a password to protect it from outside invasion. The Mac must have the password to access the network.

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  • Photo Credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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