How to Set Up Network File Sharing on macOS, Without Sharing Your Username and Password

How to Set Up Network File Sharing on macOS, Without Sharing Your Username and Password

Here we can see, “How to Set Up Network File Sharing on macOS, Without Sharing Your Username and Password”

Sharing files over a network is convenient, but it comes with its own set of dangers. Anyone on the network can see all of your files if permissions are left open, which isn’t ideal on large networks. You’ll have to share your Mac’s user account with anyone who needs access to the files if you lock things down. For a variety of reasons, this isn’t ideal.

This is why, in macOS, you should create a Sharing Only user account. This is a network-only account that exists solely for accessing files on your Mac. This account cannot be used to log into the Mac and run the software locally, but it can browse and grab shared folders. It’s the ideal way to share files over a network securely.

Step 1: Create a Sharing Only User Account

To get started, we’ll make a user account that’s only for sharing. We’ve already shown you how to create multiple user accounts, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do now. Keep in mind that only Administrator accounts can create new user accounts, so if you’re not one, you’ll need to log into one.

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  1. To begin, go to System Preferences and then to “Users.”
  2. To unlock the seeings, click the lock in the bottom-left corner.
  3. You’ll be asked for your password or, if you have Touch ID, your fingerprints. The “+” and “-” buttons above the lock will no longer be greyed out after that; click “+” to create a new account.
  4. The top field is the most important for our purposes: you must create a “Sharing Only” account, so select “Sharing Only” from the drop-down menu.
  5. After that, select a username and password before clicking “Create User.”
  6. Sharing Only accounts, unlike other accounts, have no settings in the Users & Groups panel.
  7. You’ve properly set up an account if it says “Sharing Only.”

Step 2: Enable File Sharing

  1. Following that, we’ll enable file sharing over the network. Return to the System Preferences main page and select “Sharing.”
  2. Check “File Sharing” in the left panel to see if it is enabled.
  3. The ability to share files has been enabled! If you want to share files with Windows computers, make sure to click “Options” to access some advanced options.
  4. SMB, the file-sharing format used by Windows, is the default in recent versions of macOS. However, you must enable Windows Files Sharing for the sharing only account you created in step one to log in from a Windows machine. When you check the box next to its name, you’ll be prompted for your password.

This isn’t asking for your administrator password; instead, enter the password you used for your sharing only account.

Step 3: Set Up Specific Folders For Sharing

  1. Now that file sharing is enabled, it’s time to share some files. Below the list of shared folders, click the “+” button.
  2. You’ll be asked to choose which folder you’d like to share. Navigate to the directory you want to add, then click “Add.”
  3. The “Shared Folders” panel will now show your folder.
  4. Then, below the “Users” panel, click the “+” button.
  5. Select your only-sharing account from the drop-down menu, then click “Select.”

The account can read but not modify files by default. So if you’re sharing files, it’s probably best to leave it this way, though you do have the option to change it.

You’ve successfully created a sharing account and shared a folder with it! Step three should be repeated for any other folders you want to share.

Access Your Shared Folder From Another Mac

  1. It’s simple to access your shared folder from another Mac. Go to “Network” in the Finder after opening it. Your computer should appear on the list.
  2. After clicking it, sign in using the Sharing Only account you created earlier.
  3. You should be able to see your shared folders if everything goes well.
  4. You can now access the files on this Mac.
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Access Your Shared Folder From Windows

We’ve already shown you how to share files from Mac to Windows, and the steps outlined above should work in most cases. First, open Windows Explorer on a Windows computer then navigates to the Network section. Your Mac should appear on the list.

  1. Double-click your Mac, then type the password you created for Sharing Only.
  2. You should now see a list of your shared folders.

You’ve been accepted! Take whatever files you require.


I hope you found this information helpful. Please fill out the form below if you have any questions or comments.

User Questions:

  1. How can I share files without credentials?

Change advanced sharing settings > Enable Turn Off password protect sharing option in Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center. We can access the shared folder without a username or password by using the above settings.

  1. Why won’t My Mac Let me zoom in screen?

To share your screen on macOS 10.15 Catalina, you must grant Zoom access to screen recording. This can be done in System Preferences. First, select Security & Privacy from the drop-down menu, then click the Privacy tab, scroll down to Screen Recording, and finally check the box for

  1. How do I log into a shared folder?

On the desktop, right-click the Computer icon. Select Map Network Drive from the drop-down menu. Choose a drive letter for accessing the shared folder, and then type in the UNC path to the folder. A UNC path is simply a special format for referencing a folder on another computer.

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  1. How to make file sharing only accessible to Administrators?

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