I am trying to access the folders that I have shared on my Windows machine. These folders are shared without the need for a password or account. I can access them from another Windows computer or Android phone without entering a password. However my Mac always asks me for a username and password to access these folders trough Finder. If I choose guest it doesn't work. If I enter an account from the windows computer I can access the files. But entering a password is annoying if there is no need for it. Can I fix this?

More info: I am now on Catalina, but I had the problem on earlier versions too. e.g. 10.12. Windows is Win Server 2016 Datacenter The url is smb://Serva, which is the name of the computer, nothing changes if I put the IP

  • NFS is better for shares with no username and/or password. How are you forming the URL to connect? What does it look like?
    – Allan
    Jun 4, 2020 at 1:31
  • Welcome to Ask Different. If no one has an answer in a day or two, consider listing your windows version - add a screen shot of your windows permissions on the shared folder and the macOS version. That reduces our guesswork if you’re on OS X 10.2 or macOS Catalina for starters...
    – bmike
    Jun 4, 2020 at 2:22
  • 1
    I've done this for years and the short answer is that you really need to set up a user with a password on the PC with permissions for the share and then use that user/pass combo on the Mac. I've never found a reliable workaround. For some reason macOS wants to use a password on a PC share even if the owner group is "EVERYONE" "CHANGE" Jun 5, 2020 at 0:01

2 Answers 2


If you feel your home network is super secure, you can always turn off password protected sharing, which means anyone can connect to the shared folder without having to type in a username or password.

You can do that by going to Control Panel, Network and Sharing Center, Advanced sharing settings and then expanding All Networks. Here you will see an option called Password protected sharing, which you can turn off. I personally keep it turned on, but if you really hate having to type in a username and password to connect, this is an option.

Also, if you use Windows 10 without a password, this would save you from having to setup a password on your account. Note that even if you have a Windows account with a password, if you turn off password protected sharing, then people can still connect without typing any credentials.



I store a user and password in my keychain since I’m not savvy enough on Windows to know how to accomplish this or comfortable enough to allow an open share.

It clearly is more setup than you prefer, but I’ve not seen a better sequence of steps to automate mounting a guest share.

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