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Is there a quick an easy way to share files between two macs (OS X Lion) over wifi?

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A nod to Dropbox. – james.garriss Feb 29 '12 at 2:49
This is a great tutorial:… – Nathan Long Aug 30 '14 at 14:40
up vote 25 down vote accepted


Open Finder on both Macs, on the left you'll see the AirDrop icon with the parachute and box. Click that on both macs and you should see each other. Then just drag files to the other computer's picture.

You don't even have to be on a wifi network at all, you just have to have wifi enabled on both Macs.

Edit: As mentioned below, not all Macs have AirDrop. The next best solution is to choose "Create Network" under the wifi menu on the Menu Bar (or join the same wifi network on both machines).

Then enable file sharing.

Now open finder and choose "network" on the left of a finder window, or in the top most folder (ctrl-click on the title at the top of the finder window, mine's called "Lance's MacbookPro") you should see "network" there.

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Tried it several times, never worked for me (crashed, or stopped responding). Nice idea, not quite ready for prime time. – Konrad Rudolph Feb 29 '12 at 10:34
Additionally, not all macs that can run Lion are Airdrop compatible. See – MrDaniel Feb 29 '12 at 14:41
@MrDaniel How can I enable AirDrop on unsupported Macs? – gentmatt Feb 29 '12 at 17:28

If your Macs are on the same network and the one you want to connect to has File Sharing enabled you should just be able to connect to one from the other in the sidebar under the shared menu. After you connected and select which volumn to mount it will mount it as a volume on the Mac you are using and then you can drag and drop to or from that volume.

Airdrop is not available on all Lion installs, it depends on the age of the Mac, see OS X Lion: Can I use AirDrop with my computer?

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Try Dropbox. It has LAN support (which Airdrop operates on) and a filesystem, so if you register an account, download the client for Mac onto both machines, setup the Dropbox folder to be somewhere handy (e.g. Desktop, where you can just drag-drop) it would be at least as speedy as Airdrop, and far more versatile, as it supports online uploading and more operating systems. Only limit is the 2GB of free folder space, which you can either expand via referrals (to 8GB) or by buying more space.

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Have you tried AirPort? Assuming they are on the same network. It works fairly well, and should be located in the upper left of any finder window you use. Click it on both computers, and drag and drop.

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If they aren't on the same network you can always select 'Create Network' from the Wi-Fi menu. Then the other computer can connect and they can exchange files over apple file sharing (Sharing pane in system preferences) – MikelR Feb 29 '12 at 1:18

My wife and I use DropCopy, which you can download from the app store. The link is to the free version, which is for less than three computers. It's a nice and easy way to share. If you want to send link, it pops up on their computer - they click the window and it opens in a browser. Files are equally as easy.

I love Dropbox, but I don't think it's ideal for link sharing, etc. For large files, it's probably better. Airdrop only works on newer macs too, which might be a problem if you're working on older hardware.

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Connect to the same WIFI network

(Create one if needed)

Enable guest login or add a user

 -> System Preferences -> User & Groups

(Guest login may be enabled only if you solely control your network)

Sharing files

 -> System Preferences -> Sharing -> File Sharing

(enable File sharing, add folders to share and write rights if needed)

Now, you should be able to see a shared mac in Sidebar of a Finder window from another computer.


try to reconfigure TCP/IP Settings to use DHCP with manual address(es).

WIFI logo -> Open Network Preferences -> Advanced -> TCP/IP

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Fair solutions, but the simplicity of Airdrop is awfully attractive and I think solves the problem more elegantly here. – JMY1000 May 14 at 4:30

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