Run out of Mac storage? Why not consider using a network drive to store important files? This guide will show you how to connect to one on a Mac.
Are you running out of storage on your Mac? It may be easier for you to switch to using a network attached storage unit (NAS) for your important files.
A network drive allows you to store large or important files on your Mac’s hard drive. This frees up space for other things, but you’ll need to know how to connect to it over the network.
Mac supports the usual network protocols used for NAS drives, making it easy to connect to them. If you’re not sure how to map a network drive to a Mac, follow our steps below.
How to map a network drive to a Mac using Finder
The fastest way to map a network drive is to use it Finder the application. This method will create a temporary connection to the network drive. However, it will not stay in place after you restart your Mac.
macOS supports Samba network sharing (SMB).. This is a common file sharing protocol used on Windows, Mac, and (to a lesser extent) Linux. Thanks to cross-platform support, it is very likely that your network drive will use Samba to share files on the network, and this guide will assume that as such.
To map a network drive to a Mac using Finder:
- Open Finder the application in the Dock or Launchpad.
- In the Finder, tap Go > Connect to the server from the menu bar.
- Type smb: // followed by the IP address / hostname and folder of the NAS drive (e.g. smb: //192.168.0.2/ or smb: //192.168.0.2/files or smb: //nas-drive.local/files)
- the press online.
- If prompted, enter the correct username and password to connect to the network drive and press K.
If you sign in correctly, you should be able to view the network drive in the left menu of the Finder.
How to automatically connect to a network drive on a Mac
The above steps allow you to connect to a network share, but the sharing is only temporary. Your Mac won’t automatically reconnect to network sharing when you restart, for example.
You’ll need to set up your Mac to automatically connect to the network drive when you connect. This will ensure that you always have access to the network files in the Finder (as long as you are connected to the same network).
Before you go through these steps, follow the steps above to map the network drive and connect to it through the Finder.
To automatically connect to a network drive on a Mac:
- press Alogo pple > System preferences from the menu bar.
- In the System preferencesSelect Users and groups.
- press lock icon bottom left and log in if needed.
- Select the username on the right, then press Connecting items.
- press add (+) pictogram.
- Select the network drive (or a folder in it) and press Add.
- Follow any additional instructions on the screen to complete the process.
Better storage solutions on a Mac
By following the steps above, you can quickly map a network drive to a Mac. This will free up disk space for other things.
If you’re always running out of space, you might want to consider setting up your Mac to automatically free up storage space. You can also securely delete free space on your Mac if you are concerned about your privacy.
You can also securely delete important Mac files to keep your data confidential.