How to Share Files Wirelessly

Many households have more than one computer. For instance, professionals who work outside the home may have a laptop computer for work and a desktop computer at home. Being able to share files between computers is a tremendous advantage and time saver. By far, the easiest way to do this is by connecting the computers to a local area network. Here's how to share files wirelessly though a local area network (LAN).


  1. Image titled Share Files Wirelessly Step 1
    Set up your wireless network.
    • Modern Internet Service Providers (ISP) will supply a wireless modem/router combination or gateway when you sign up for their service. If you only have a modem, or if your router is Ethernet only, you will need to purchase a wireless router.
    • Connect the first computer to your wireless router or gateway via Ethernet cable to establish the Internet connection. Once that has been set up, you can connect all of the computers to the router or gateway through a Wi-Fi connection to share files.
  2. Image titled Share Files Wirelessly Step 2
    Connect each computer with files to be shared to the router or gateway via Wi-Fi.
    • On PCs running Windows Vista or Windows 7, use the Network and Sharing Center available in the computer's Control Panel.
    • On a Mac, enable the Airport utility in the System Preferences' Network window to connect to the wireless network.
  3. Image titled Share Files Wirelessly Step 3
    Enable file sharing for your files.
    • On a PC, right-click the folders holding files that you want to share and choose "Share." Add the user IDs created on the computer to the list of those who will have access and click the Share button.
    • On a Mac computer, click the Apple logo, choose the System Preferences options and then choose "Sharing." Add folders by clicking the plus sign in the Shared Folders window. Select other users that will have access to the files you want to share.
  4. Image titled Share Files Wirelessly Step 4
    Connect to the other computers on your LAN.
    • On a PC, use the Network selection on the Start menu. All computers connected to the LAN should appear listed in the window. Double-click the computer name, then enter the login ID and password for that computer.
    • On a Mac, open the Finder. All files that were designated to be shared are listed under the Shared section in the Finder's sidebar.


  • You will need to create a user login ID and password on each computer for each user who will be accessing the files on it. This will allow all users to avoid sharing their login IDs and passwords with other users. ​​
  • If you are having problems getting a computer to show up in the PC Network window, make sure that each computer has enabled Network Discovery and File Sharing in the Network and Sharing Center options. To reach these options, log into the computer that is missing from the list in the Network. Open the Network window, click "Network and Sharing Center," then look under the Sharing and Discovery submenu.
  • If the files are small enough, you can just email them to yourself, and download them on the other computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Wireless router or gateway
  • Computers
  • Ethernet cable
  • Wireless network cards for all computers involved
  • Broadband Internet access

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