Trying to connect a late 2014 iMac (Big Sur) to 2020 iMac (Monterey) with Finder's "Network" feature. The official instructions from Apple are pretty spare so I figured it was probably a snap. Nope.

My 2020 iMac is connected to the outside world via the "Display Ethernet" connection supplied from the an old Thunderbolt display with an ethernet port via thunderbolt cable. Not sure if this complicates things.

Anyhow, I have the two computers connected directly to each other with an ethernet cable. I have both ports manually configured:

  • 2020 iMac:, mask:
  • 2014 iMac:, mask:

The wireless network is on a totally different network because I want to isolate the local network so transfer speeds between the computers can be fast.

Green lights are on for the ethernet settings for both computers in System Preferences -> Network. I can ping one computer from another. And that works both ways. I can also ssh from one computer to the other. So the connection is definitely working.

But when I go to finder and click on "Browse" on the 2020, I don't see the 2014 iMac at all.

One more thing I forgot to mention that I also tried to connect using the "Connect" button per Apple's instructions. I tried afp:// and smb:// Neither worked. Not sure if there is another protocol I should try or what.

How can I troubleshoot file sharing between these two Macs?

1 Answer 1


Ok, had to enable "File Sharing" in System Preferences -> Sharing. Duh. In my defense, Apple's instructions didn't mention this nor did another tutorial I looked at.

OK, but how do I know if these files are getting shared over the ethernet but not over wifi? Guess that's another question.

  • They're not being shared over a specific connection, but to specific account holders - defined in the Sharing panel. Lock it down to just yourself if you don't want anyone else taking a peek.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 9, 2022 at 11:11
  • No I’m talking about how the files are physically transferred. I want fast transfer speeds.
    – StevieD
    Mar 9, 2022 at 13:50
  • If you're connecting to a specific IP Address, that's what tells you. The Ethernet & WiFi will have separate addresses.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 9, 2022 at 14:01

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