Best Free Solutions to Transfer Large Files between Windows and MAC over WiFi

Last Updated: September 14, 2017
mac windows file transfer

Once you switch from a PC to a MAC, you will likely want to transfer the files from one to the other. The easiest method to transfer these files is over WiFi. There is no need for additional cables or hardware as long as both computers are on the same network or have access to the internet. This article describes the methods to transfer large files between Mac and Windows over WiFi using free Cloud Services, using a WiFi network and using a Flash drive or Hard Disk.

Transfer Files between PC and MAC over WiFi

You can use a Cloud service as these are available for both the MAC and PC; or utilize your WiFi network for the transfers. This Cloud network transfer is the most reliable method and does not require additional hardware.

Related: 6 Easy Methods to transfer files between Android and Windows

Transfer Files between PC& MAC with Cloud Drives

If you are not tech savvy, rather than going through the network setup, these cloud apps are easy to use. When using the cloud services to transfer files, you can install the Windows and MAC applications in your system and copy files from your hard disk (Windows System hard disk) to the cloud drive. Once you drag or copy and paste the files onto the cloud drive, these files will then sync with your second system. In the second system (MAC), you can copy synced files from cloud drive to your system hard disk to make sure a local copy on your system hard disk.

Dropbox

Free Space: 2GB | Link to Dropbox

Even though the Dropbox offering 2GB free space, this is an excellent application without any crash and most reliable one. You can earn up to 18GB by referral and available in almost all platforms like MAC, Windows, Android, iOS.

Box.net

Free Space: 10GB | Link to Box.net

Box lets you store all of your content online so that you can access, manage and share it from anywhere. Boxnet limiting the maximum size of the file that you can upload is 250MB and not good if you are planning to transfer movie files.

Google Drive

Free Space: 15GB | Link to Google Drive

Google Drive can use to sync files from PC to MAC. Google Drive store files up to 10GB each. You need only a valid Gmail account, and you can install the applications on your PC and MAC system to share files.

Microsoft SkyDrive

Free Space: 7GB | Link to SkyDrive

SkyDrive is a cloud service from Microsoft that offer the software for MAC and Windows to install and share files. You can share photos, documents, and other important files between MAC and PC using SkyDrive.

Transfer Files between PC and MAC through Network:

Before you start, make sure both systems are on the same network. You can’t transfer files remotely from one machine to another one. Both machines should be on the same network to transfer files each other. The example below demonstrates Windows PC as the host.

Step 1: Enable File Sharing on Windows.

This process is different depending on the different version of Windows.

  1. Windows XP: Control Panel > double click Network Setup Wizard and run it.
  2. Windows Vista: Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Expand the File Sharing drop down > click on “Turn on File and Printer Sharing.”
  3. Windows 7: Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Choose Homegroup and Sharing options > Change Advanced Sharing Settings > click “Turn on File and Printer Sharing.”

Step 2: Connect MAC to Windows.

If you follow all the setting on Windows machine properly and both machines are on the same network, then when you open the Finder window on MAC, on the left pane under the “Shared” you can see shared machines. Select the name of the windows machine and click to open up the folder. You can drag and drop files into this folder to share between MAC and Windows.

smb connect

If you are unable to see the Windows machine on MAC finder, then Click on Finder > Go > Connect to Server (Command+K). Type in the prefix smb:// followed by the IP address or hostname of the windows machine. (like smb://192.168.1.101 or smb://windowspc )

Transfer Files between PC and MAC by Email

Email file transfer doesn’t need any additional setup or knowledge. Send the email attachment from one machine and open the email the in the second machine and download the attached file. Emails are capable of attaching the files in GBs. Please see How to email LARGE file attachment? for more details.

Transfer Files between PC and MAC using Disks:

There are flash drives, NAS Enabled Hard drives or even you can use your smart phone as temporary hard drives to transfer files between PC and Mac.

NAS Enabled Hard Drives to Transfer Files

Now you can connect your external Hard Disk as a part of your Home Network. The Hard Disk price is coming down, and the storage capacity is growing in terabytes in the market. There are two smart solutions to use the hard disk to transfer filer. The first one is to depend on NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices that are a little bit expensive, but very reliable solution. The second low-cost solution is to buy a WiFi router with USB port and can use that USB port to connect your external hard disk into the home network. You can use this guide to Connect External Hard Disk to Home Network over WiFi.

Use USB Flash Drives to Transfer Files

Flash drives are available in the range of 16GB to 256GB for a very low price. Please see a list of flash drives from Amazon. Even if you are using USB Flash Drive or Hard Drive, please make sure your Hard disk or Flash drive formatted to FAT32 to get access for both MAC and Windows OS system. Two drawbacks on this format are that FAT32 supports maximum file size into 4GB and FAT 32 format is more susceptible to disk errors and offers no security. We strongly recommend this method only for a temporary purpose. The hard drives are available in the market that offers compatibility with both OS with some additional software.

Use Smartphones as Flash Drives to Transfer Files

Even you can use your iPhone as a portable drive to transfer the files in between MAC and PC. Please see the post here iPhone as a portable hard disk for your Mac and for the PC please see iPhone as a portable hard disk for your Windows.

The Best Method Fit for you to Transfer Files between PC and MAC

If you are not tech savvy and don’t have large files, then the best choice is Email and Cloud Services. If you are ready to spend money on external discs, then use a Hard Drive or USB drive to transfer your files. If you have large size files to transfer and are technically capable then transfer your files via your network.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I am using MyAirBridge. With this online service, I can send up to 20 GB totally for free and even without any registration.

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