I started using a Mac recently in a workplace where most people use Windows. We share with each other links to work files that exist on some server here. So I may get a URL via email that looks like that \\servername\folder\stuff.doc or even just a link to a folder like \\servername\folder - clicking it results in an error on the Mac (Lion). Is there anything I can do so that clicking such network addresses will launch the document or folder?

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    The windows server has to be configured to allow sharing with the Mac. I suggest doing a google search on how to do this. – Slick Jan 12 '12 at 9:06

Under the finder menu, choose 'Go' -> 'Connect to Server'.

In the box that appears you need to type the path to the SMB server share.

SMB stands for Server Message Block, which windows understands.

The path would look like this...


I have done this on OSX Tiger and Lion.

There are many tutorials available, such as this one on lifehacker

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    I know how I can manually get to these addresses, but my question was about just launching links in the Windows format on Mac. – Roee Adler Jan 12 '12 at 11:15

I've used WinShortcutter in the past - seems to work OK. This will allow you to open Windows style UNC paths (\\servername\path\to\directory) when they appear in emails, etc.

  • Works great! The instructions to setup the auto-shortcut-translate feature are not well written. Basically, after installing WinShortcutter, 1) open the "Keyboard" preferences in your "System Preferences" panel, then 2) select "Shortcuts" tab, 3) select "Services" from left-side list and 4) check the "Open as Windows Link" option in right-side list. When you find a Windows style share link, right-click (Control-click) it and choose "Open as Windows Link" from the resulting context menu. – xmnboy Feb 28 '18 at 18:29

Also, if you connect to the local domain, you can configure UNC paths to work in Mac OS X.

You can connect to the domain by going to System Preferences>Users & Groups>Login Options and click the Join button next to Network Account Server. Type in the name of the domain and press enter.

You can then click the Open Directory Utility button and select the Active Directory option and click the pencil button to edit. Verify that you are bound to the domain and click the Show Advanced Options button. Make sure that the Use UNC path from Active Directory to derive network home location is checked and select SMB as the network protocol to be used.

Hope this helps.

  • This looks like a very useful solution, but when I try to use it I'm asked for an admin user and password name for the Active Directory Server -- how do I specify the "address of an Active Directory Domain" in the server field? If I can make that work I'm expecting my AD user and password is all that would be needed, no admin required. Is that true? – xmnboy Feb 28 '18 at 17:42

Run vim, paste your Windows link, then run the following commands

:%s/ /%20/g

The first command will turn all \ (backslashes) into / (forward slashes) into.

The second will turn all spaces into the "%20" string needed for a Mac command.

Paste this jumble into Apple + K (Connect to Server) using the SMB feature.


As far as I can tell from reading the documentation this setting for UNC paths in Directory Utility only works for using a UNC path from Active Directory to mount your network home directory. It doesn't provide general UNC support. :-(


Try putting "file:" before the address. It helped me with hyperlinks while working in side applications. They featured hyperlinks, but when I was giving them local computer address to a file on Mac it automatically would launch web browser showing the page cannot be viewed. With "file:" in the beginning of the address link it opens the file with the designated software, not even showing it in Finder.


You can get access only with IP like . you need to check IP of window and run that ip on your browser you will get that system from mac..

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