Since you need to transfer large amounts of files from one computer to another, look for a reliable solution to do it quickly. In this new guide today, we will explain specifically how to exchange/share files between two PCs via LAN.


The main advantage of using an Ethernet cable to transfer files from one computer to another is the very high transfer speedwhich is certainly faster than that offered by normal USB sticks, hard disks and Wi-Fi connections. So, if your intent is to pass a lot of data, then using a LAN cable is definitely the right choice.

How to exchange/share files between two Windows PCs via LAN

After the important premise, we are now ready to discover all the steps to make to start transferring files from one computer to another equipped by Windows.

Here are the steps to be followed specifically:

  • First, connect both computers using an Ethernet cable.
  • Now, you need to enable network sharing on both PCs. To do this, type the term control panel in the Start search field and click on the first displayed result.
  • After that, press on Network and Internet and then choose sharing options on the next screen.
  • At this point, press the option Advanced sharing settings this in the left sidebar and pressed on the arrow pointing down present at All networks to expand the menu.
  • In the next step, it is necessary to enable public sharing so as to allow the two PCs to access the files via LAN cable. To do this, activate the Activate sharing option Turn on sharing so anyone with network access can read and write files in Public Folder (found in the section Public folder sharing ). To avoid further configuration, we also suggest that you disable password protected sharing. In this way, you will enable the other computer to access the shared data without entering any access credentials.
  • Once these changes have been made, remember to press the Save changes button to save the changes. Repeat the same operations on the other computer as well.
  • Now, it is necessary to bring both machines on the same network by setting a static IP address of the same class. To do this, first open the Control Panel as indicated earlier, choose Network and Internet and click on Network and Sharing Center from the menu that appears.
  • Now, in correspondence with the connection item, Ethernet should have been written because both computers are connected via a physical LAN cable. Press on Ethernet to open a dialog box where you can click on the Properties button (in the Activity section).
  • After that, locate the Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP/IPv4), select it with the left mouse button and then press Properties.
  • Now, on computer 1, use the following IP address in the IP address field, in Subnet mask and in Default gateway
  • On computer 2, instead, follow the steps listed a little while ago but set in the IP address field, in Subnet mask and in Default gateway.
  • Now you need to open File Explorer in Windows by pressing on ‘yellow folder icon present at the bottom left and click on the item Net present in the left sidebar. If you have set everything up correctly, both PCs should appear in the Network window on both computers.
  • The time has come to send files from one PC to another! To do this, you need to share the destination folder on the LAN. In this case, create a new folder on the desktop and copy all the files you want to move to your PC in this folder.
  • After that, click with the right mouse button on the folder containing the files to be transferred, choose Access to and click on Specific users … through the menu shown.
  • Through the window that appears, press the downward pointing arrow in the drop-down menu and select Everyone.
  • Continue by pressing the Add button and then click on Share at the bottom. On the next screen, you will find the network path of the folder.
  • Now, position yourself on the other computer from which you want to access the files, open the Networks folder in File Explorer and click on the name of the PC on which the files are present. The previously shared folder should appear.

How to exchange/share files between two Macs via LAN

If you want to do the same procedure with two Macs, then the operation will be much simpler than what was seen on Windows. All you have to do is open the System Preferences by pressing on the gear icon in the Dock (or from the menu that appears after pressing the Apple logo on the top left), pressing on Sharing, taking note of the name of your computer in the field Computer name and then activate the File Sharing option by checking the box.

After that, switch to the other Mac, open the Finder via the Dock, press the Go menu at the top and choose Connect to Server. Then, press the Browse button, locate the other computer in the displayed window and double-click on its icon. If requested, enter the username and password of your MacOS account to access the files. Now, you just need to make a simple copy-paste or cut-paste of the desired contents.

How to exchange/share files between a Windows PC and a Mac via LAN

In case you want to transfer files between a Windows computer and a Mac, you will have to follow a very specific procedure. Connect the two computers via the Ethernet cable (if you have a Mac with only USB Type-C ports, you need to get a USB-C to Ethernet adapter ) and then go to the Apple computer.

Open System Preferences as shown above, choose Networks and then select Ethernet via the left sidebar. In the screen that appears, make note of ‘IP address and subnet mask. At this point, switch to the Windows PC, right-click on the folder containing the files to be transferred, choose Properties and then press the Sharing tab.

After that, click on the Share button, select Everyone from the drop-down menu and press on Add. Complete the operation by clicking on Share. Now, open the Control Panel as indicated above, choose Network and Internet and then press on Network and Sharing Center.

After that, click on Ethernet and then press the Properties button that appears on the next screen. Now, select Internet Protocol version 4 (TCP / IPv4) and press Properties. On the next screen, choose the item Use the following IP address and press OK.

Now go back to the Mac, open the Finder and take as a reference the item Shared in the left sidebar where the folder shared previously on the Windows PC should be.


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