How can I share folders between two accounts on one Mac?

Doug Pocius June 5, 2011

I have several user accounts on my iMac and I’d like to enable file sharing between them like you can do between two computers on the same network. Is there a way to do this?

  1. Marco
    November 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I had the same problem and Mike's suggestion solved it. I put the files I want to share in the Users/Shared folder and then change their permission through command+i.

    The only problem I see in this is when you have several files you are forced to change their permissions one by one.

    • Marco
      November 10, 2011 at 5:21 pm

      Sorry, actually it's not working. I set the permissions for "everyone" to "Read & Write" to a file in one account, but strangely in another other account I am not even able to read the file.

  2. Tina
    June 13, 2011 at 6:05 pm


    did James' recommendation regarding public folders solve your question? Please let us know!

  3. James Bruce
    June 6, 2011 at 8:03 am

    I think this is what the PUBLIC folders are for. Access them by clicking on your username in the finder window on the left, you should see a bunch of folders, one of which is public. This can be accessed by anyone. 

    • Mike
      June 6, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      The problem with the default Public folders is that the access is restricted to read only for everyone accept the owner (who has read and write).

      The general practice is to copy the files and or folders to this Public folder and then use the "Information" window (cmd + i) to adjust the restrictions.

  4. Anonymous
    June 6, 2011 at 3:55 am

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think all folders in general location are accessible by all users unless you put it under one user account folder and specified it to be accessible only by that user.

    But to be sure, right click a folder and choose "Get Info" or hit "Command + I", and scroll down to the bottom of info window. You'll find Sharing & Permission" and you could set the privillege for each user account. If you give all users the ability to "Read And Write", then all the files that you put in the folder will be accessible by all users.

    Or if you want to use a more cloudy way, you could put the files inside Dropbox folders and share the folders to all users.

    • James Bruce
      June 6, 2011 at 8:05 am

      yep, youre wrong. general user accounts only really have access to their own files under their username - its only admin accounts that can start writing to the underlying filesystem. I wouldnt advise you start changing file and folder permissions, just use the built-in public folder as that's what it's for. 

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