We have a mixed Windows/Mac network, with Windows fileservers, and an Exchange/Outlook mailsystem.

The Windows users send out emails with links to the shared files that look like:


If you right-click on the link in Mac Outlook 2010, it seems to have a pseudo-URL of:


Mac Outlook 2010 makes that link clickable, but fails with an error:

The file ///FileServer01/topfolder/subfolder/shared.doc could not be found.

Given that we're not going to be able to get people to stop copy-pasting in Mac-unfriendly SMB links, is there any way to get the Finder or some handler to rewrite the URL into something the Mac can open?

6 Answers 6


I'm in a similar position at work, with a mixed environment. We use WinShortcutter, which is freeware. The allows you to right-click on a UNC path (such as \\FileServer01\topfolder\subfolder\shared.doc) and Open as Windows Link: WinShortcutter - Open as Windows Link

It's quite configurable as well, and allows drive mappings (so when you are sent a link that starts S:/folder, it will allow you to Open as Windows Link). WinShortcutter - Configuration

This works quite reliably for us.

  • Nice! Seems to work pretty well. One note - the Service wasn't available to add in the Keyboard->Service System Prefs until a reboot. Aug 23, 2011 at 14:54

I came across the similar problem at work and we found a 3rd party app for this:


it works pretty well, especially rightclicking on a file on an UNC Drive the pathname is directly in the clipboard and you get the windows path instantly.

  • 3
    does this also work with file:// style links? Mar 22, 2022 at 8:58
  • 3
    @marvin137 the app supports files and folders links.
    – JulianBPL
    Mar 22, 2022 at 10:11

Short answer: no. Long answer: Maybe, if Outlook support plugins or something. Macs will refer to a Samba server share as smb://Server/Share/Subfolder/File.ext. What you could do - copy the link, minus the junk at the beginning, so that you have something like this in your clipboard - "FileServer01/topfolder/subfolder/shared.doc".

Switch to finder, hit cmd+k, paste, move to the beginning of the line and type smb://, hit enter. It will drop down to the last folder before the "shared.doc".

Not elegant, not pretty, but it works. And for now it may just be your only option, sorry.

  • Mac Outlook doesn't support plugins. I was thinking maybe of registering a new URL handler that took over the "file://" schema, but seems errorprone. Really, I'm trying to solve it with tech for a non-tech audience. Something we can just install and it'll map it right. Aug 22, 2011 at 20:38
  • Did you get this to work? Mapping "file://..." to "smb://..." so we can just click on the network server links and have them open in Finder?
    – Peter Cock
    Feb 24, 2014 at 13:41

In recent (Mojave 10.14 - Catalina 10.15) versions of macOS Finder, you can easily get a copy of the network volume path:

Edit->Copy as Link with control & option ^⌥⌘-C puts a link akin to the following example into the clipboard:


In 10.8 there is functionality to do this built-in... so in a sense your wishes have been granted provided you can migrate to the newer operating systems. I can imaging the support for this will only get better with 10.9.

  • 1
    Could you elaborate? What did OSX 10.8 add with respect to what was asked? Sep 14, 2013 at 18:34

I was using 10.8 and have been sending links from my pc to our mac user as such---


Originally I was sending them

\\video\videoshare\folder\ --- This would still work, they would have to perform a right click then select open url and it would open the location.

Now we are on 10.9.3 and the ablilty to open a samba network link in outlook 2010 seems to have vanished without a trace. I send it the way I have been for mac users and now they can't click on the link to open. They have to do a right click and then open url and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.

  • Hi and welcome to Ask Different. Posting in the answers section is specifically reserved for posting direct answers to the question being asked. The Stack Exchange Q&A format is different from your typical forum, it's not meant for discussion. For more information please see our Help section. Consider deleting this as it will likely continue to attract down votes for not being a direct answer to the question or improving it to be a direct answer.
    – Ian C.
    Jun 9, 2014 at 21:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .