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Access mac computer from windows

Move your data from a Windows PC to your Mac

Use Windows Migration Assistant to transfer your pictures, documents, and other data from a Windows PC to your Mac.

Windows Migration Assistant transfers your contacts, calendars, email accounts, and more from a PC. It migrates this data to the appropriate places on your Mac. After migrating data to your Mac, authorize your computer for iTunes Store purchases. It’s important to authorize before you sync or play content that you download from the iTunes Store.

If you’re migrating from one Mac to another Mac, follow the steps to move your content to a new Mac.

Before you begin

To prepare for a smooth migration:

  • Make sure that Windows is up to date. Migration Assistant works with Windows 7 and later.
  • Make sure that you know the name and password of an administrator account on your PC.
  • Connect your Mac and PC to the same network, such as your home Wi-Fi network. Or connect an Ethernet cable between the ports on your Mac and PC to create a direct network connection. Some Mac models require an Ethernet adapter, such as the Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter or Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.
  • If you’re using Microsoft OneDrive on your PC, follow Microsoft’s instructions for uninstalling OneDrive before continuing. You can reinstall OneDrive after migration is complete.

Then use the check disk (chkdsk) utility on your PC to make sure that your Windows hard drive doesn’t have any issues:

  1. Right-click the Start button, then click Run.
  2. Type cmd and press Enter. Command Prompt opens.
  3. At the prompt, type chkdsk and press Enter.
  4. If the utility reports that it found problems, type the following, where drive is the letter that represents your Windows startup disk, such as D:
  5. Press Enter.
  6. At the prompt, type Y , then restart your PC.
  7. Repeat this process until the check disk utility reports no issues. If the utility can’t fix every issue that it finds, you might need to have your PC serviced. Then migrate your data to your Mac.

Move your data

This section guides you through migration, post-migration, and what to do if the steps don’t work for you.

How to move your information from a PC to your Mac

  1. On your PC, download and install the appropriate Windows Migration Assistant, based on the version of macOS on your Mac:
    • Windows Migration Assistant for macOS Big Sur
    • Windows Migration Assistant for macOS Mojave and macOS Catalina
    • Windows Migration Assistant for macOS Sierra and High Sierra
    • Windows Migration Assistant for OS X El Capitan or earlier
  2. Quit any open Windows apps.
  3. Open Windows Migration Assistant, then click Continue.
  4. Start up your Mac. Setup Assistant automatically opens the first time you turn on your Mac. If you’ve already set up your Mac, open Migration Assistant, which is in the Utilities folder of your Applications folder.
  5. On your Mac, follow the onscreen prompts until you get to the migration pane of the assistant. Select the option to transfer your information “From a Windows PC,” then click Continue.
  6. When prompted, enter an administrator name and password.
  7. Click Continue to close any other open apps.
  8. In the migration window on your Mac, select your PC from the list of available computers. Then wait for the PC to show the same passcode that your Mac shows.
  9. When both computers display the same passcode, click Continue on your PC and Mac.
  10. Your Mac scans the drives on your PC to build a list of information to migrate. When the scan completes, select the information that you want to migrate to your Mac and click Continue. Learn about some of the data that you can transfer.

You can watch the progress and estimated time remaining on both the PC and your Mac. They tell you when migration is complete.

After you move your data

When migration completes, close Windows Migration Assistant on your PC. Then log in to the new user account on your Mac. The first time you log in to a user account migrated from your PC, you’re asked to set a password. You can use the same password that you used on your PC, or create a new password.

After logging in to the user account that you migrated, authorize your computer for iTunes Store purchases. It’s important to authorize before you sync or play content downloaded from the iTunes Store.

If you have issues moving your data

  • Quit all open apps on your PC, then try migrating your content again. For example, you can press Alt-Tab to choose an open application, then press Alt-F4 to quit it.
  • If your PC doesn’t appear in the Setup Assistant or Migration Assistant window on your Mac, make sure the computers are connected to the same network. You can create a network by connecting a single Ethernet cable between your Mac and PC. If that doesn’t help, check for firewall software on your PC and turn it off. After migration completes, you can turn firewall software on again.
  • If Migration Assistant doesn’t open on your PC, turn off any antivirus software on your PC. Then try to open Migration Assistant again. After migration completes. You can turn that software on again.
  • If you still can’t migrate your information successfully, you can use an external drive or file sharing to manually copy important data to your Mac.
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What data can I transfer?

Migration Assistant lets you choose the data to move to your Mac. Here’s what moves over for specific apps and data types:

Email, contacts, and calendar information
Email messages, email-account settings, contacts, and appointments move based on which version of Windows you’re using and which accounts you have.

Outlook 1
Data from 32-bit versions of Outlook in Windows 7 and later move as follows:

  • People move to Contacts 2
  • Appointments move to the Calendar app
  • IMAP and Exchange settings and messages move to the Mail app
  • POP settings and messages move to Mail 2

Windows Live Mail
Data from Windows Live Mail in Windows 7 and later moves as follows:

  • IMAP settings and messages move to Mail
  • POP settings and messages move to Mail 2

Windows Mail
Data from Windows Mail in Windows 7 and later (excluding Windows 8) move as follows:

  • IMAP settings and messages move to Mail
  • POP settings and messages move to Mail 2
  • People move to Contacts

Bookmarks
Bookmarks from Internet Explorer, Safari for Windows, and Firefox move to Safari.

System settings
Language and location settings, and custom desktop pictures move to System Preferences. Your web browser homepage moves to Safari preferences.

Pictures
Photos and other images move to your home folder. You can then add them to Photos, or open Photos and let it search your Mac for photos to import.

iTunes content
Migration Assistant transfers your iTunes media as follows: music to the Apple Music app, videos to the Apple TV app, podcasts to the Apple Podcasts app, and audiobooks to the Apple Books app.

Other files
Migration Assistant also moves these files:

  • Files from the top-level folder of the currently logged-in user’s home directory
  • Non-system files located in the Windows or Program Files folders
  • Top-level folders located on the Windows system disk and other attached disks

1. Migration Assistant doesn’t support 64-bit versions of Outlook. You can manually migrate Mail, Contacts, or Calendars from Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2016 by signing in and entering the content on your Mac manually.

2. Migration Assistant transfers only the Mail or Contacts data that belongs to the logged-in Windows user. To transfer data from another user account, use Migration Assistant again while you’re logged in to another Windows account. Each time you migrate, your Mac creates a new user account.

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

Share Mac files with Windows users

To let users connect to your Mac from a Windows computer, turn on file sharing and enable SMB sharing.

Set up file sharing on the Mac

On your Mac, choose Apple menu

> System Preferences, then click Sharing.

Select the File Sharing tickbox, then click Options.

Select “Share files and folders using SMB”.

In the Windows File Sharing list, select the tickbox next to the user account that will be used to share files with Windows users, enter the password for that user, then click OK.

Choose View > Network, select your active connection, then click Advanced.

Click the WINS tab, then enter the workgroup name used by the Windows computer.

If you don’t know the workgroup name, on the Windows computer open Control Panel > System and Security > System. (Windows computers normally use either WORKGROUP or MSHOME.)

Click OK, then click Apply.

Provide the information Windows users need

To connect to your Mac, Windows users need the network address for your Mac, and a username and password to use to log in to your Mac.

To find your Mac computer’s network address, choose Apple menu

> System Preferences, click Sharing, then select File Sharing. The address appears below the “File Sharing: On” indicator, and looks similar to this example: smb://17.212.167.33/.

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Create an account on your Mac for each Windows user. To create accounts, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Users & Groups.

If you want to use an account that existed before you installed the latest version of macOS, you may need to reset the password for the account in Users & Groups preferences.

Because the passwords of user accounts used for Windows sharing may be stored in a less secure manner, turn off the account when it’s not being used. Before you turn off Windows sharing, turn off all the accounts you enabled. Otherwise, the passwords are still stored less securely.

Get started with the macOS client

Applies To: Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016

You can use the Remote Desktop client for Mac to work with Windows apps, resources, and desktops from your Mac computer. Use the following information to get started — and check out the FAQ if you have questions.

  • Curious about the new releases for the macOS client? Check out What’s new for Remote Desktop on Mac?
  • The Mac client runs on computers running macOS 10.10 and newer.
  • The information in this article applies primarily to the full version of the Mac client — the version available in the Mac AppStore. Test-drive new features by downloading our preview app here: beta client release notes.

Get the Remote Desktop client

Follow these steps to get started with Remote Desktop on your Mac:

  1. Download the Microsoft Remote Desktop client from the Mac App Store.
  2. Set up your PC to accept remote connections. (If you skip this step, you can’t connect to your PC.)
  3. Add a Remote Desktop connection or a remote resource. You use a connection to connect directly to a Windows PC and a remote resource to use a RemoteApp program, session-based desktop, or a virtual desktop published on-premises using RemoteApp and Desktop Connections. This feature is typically available in corporate environments.

What about the Mac beta client?

We’re testing new features on our preview channel on AppCenter. Want to check it out? Go to Microsoft Remote Desktop for Mac and select Download. You don’t need to create an account or sign into AppCenter to download the beta client.

If you already have the client, you can check for updates to ensure you have the latest version. In the beta client, select Microsoft Remote Desktop Beta at the top, and then select Check for updates.

Add a workspace

Subscribe to the feed your admin gave you to get the list of managed resources available to you on your macOS device.

To subscribe to a feed:

  1. Select Add feed on the main page to connect to the service and retrieve your resources.
  2. Enter the feed URL. This can be a URL or email address:
    • This URL is usually a Windows Virtual Desktop URL. Which one you use depends on which version of Windows Virtual Desktop you’re using.
      • For Windows Virtual Desktop (classic), use https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/api/feeddiscovery/webfeeddiscovery.aspx .
      • For Windows Virtual Desktop, use https://rdweb.wvd.microsoft.com/api/arm/feeddiscovery .
    • To use email, enter your email address. This tells the client to search for a URL associated with your email address if your admin configured the server that way.
  3. Select Subscribe.
  4. Sign in with your user account when prompted.

After you’ve signed in, you should see a list of available resources.

Once you’ve subscribed to a feed, the feed’s content will update automatically on a regular basis. Resources may be added, changed, or removed based on changes made by your administrator.

Export and import connections

You can export a remote desktop connection definition and use it on a different device. Remote desktops are saved in separate RDP files.

To export an RDP file:

  1. In the Connection Center, right-click the remote desktop.
  2. Select Export.
  3. Browse to the location where you want to save the remote desktop RDP file.
  4. Select OK.

To import an RDP file:

  1. In the menu bar, select File >Import.
  2. Browse to the RDP file.
  3. Select Open.

Add a remote resource

Remote resources are RemoteApp programs, session-based desktops, and virtual desktops published using RemoteApp and Desktop Connections.

  • The URL displays the link to the RD Web Access server that gives you access to RemoteApp and Desktop Connections.
  • The configured RemoteApp and Desktop Connections are listed.

To add a remote resource:

  1. In the Connection Center select +, and then select Add Remote Resources.
  2. Enter information for the remote resource:
    • Feed URL — The URL of the RD Web Access server. You can also enter your corporate email account in this field – this tells the client to search for the RD Web Access Server associated with your email address.
    • User name — The user name to use for the RD Web Access server you are connecting to.
    • Password — The password to use for the RD Web Access server you are connecting to.
  3. Select Save.
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The remote resources will be displayed in the Connection Center.

Connect to an RD Gateway to access internal assets

A Remote Desktop Gateway (RD Gateway) lets you connect to a remote computer on a corporate network from anywhere on the Internet. You can create and manage your gateways in the preferences of the app or while setting up a new desktop connection.

To set up a new gateway in preferences:

  1. In the Connection Center, select Preferences > Gateways.
  2. Select the + button at the bottom of the table Enter the following information:
    • Server name – The name of the computer you want to use as a gateway. This can be a Windows computer name, an Internet domain name, or an IP address. You can also add port information to the server name (for example: RDGateway:443 or 10.0.0.1:443).
    • User name — The user name and password to be used for the Remote Desktop gateway you are connecting to. You can also select Use connection credentials to use the same user name and password as those used for the remote desktop connection.

Manage your user accounts

When you connect to a desktop or remote resources, you can save the user accounts to select from again. You can manage your user accounts by using the Remote Desktop client.

To create a new user account:

  1. In the Connection Center, select Settings >Accounts.
  2. Select Add User Account.
  3. Enter the following information:
    • User Name — The name of the user to save for use with a remote connection. You can enter the user name in any of the following formats: user_name, domain\user_name, or user_name@domain.com.
    • Password — The password for the user you specified. Every user account that you want to save to use for remote connections needs to have a password associated with it.
    • Friendly Name — If you are using the same user account with different passwords, set a friendly name to distinguish those user accounts.
  4. Select Save, then select Settings.

Customize your display resolution

You can specify the display resolution for the remote desktop session.

  1. In the Connection Center, select Preferences.
  2. Select Resolution.
  3. Select +.
  4. Enter a resolution height and width, and then select OK.

To delete the resolution, select it, and then select .

Displays have separate spaces

If you’re running Mac OS X 10.9 and have disabled Displays have separate spaces in Mavericks (System Preferences > Mission Control), you need to configure this setting in the Remote Desktop client using the same option.

Drive redirection for remote resources

Drive redirection is supported for remote resources, so that you can save files created with a remote application locally to your Mac. The redirected folder is always your home directory displayed as a network drive in the remote session.

In order to use this feature, the administrator needs to set the appropriate settings on the server.

Use a keyboard in a remote session

Mac keyboard layouts differ from the Windows keyboard layouts.

  • The Command key on the Mac keyboard equals the Windows key.
  • To perform actions that use the Command button on the Mac, you will need to use the control button in Windows (for example Copy = Ctrl+C).
  • The function keys can be activated in the session by pressing additionally the FN key (for example, FN+F1).
  • The Alt key to the right of the space bar on the Mac keyboard equals the Alt Gr/right Alt key in Windows.

By default, the remote session will use the same keyboard locale as the OS you’re running the client on. (If your Mac is running an en-us OS, that will be used for the remote sessions as well.) If the OS keyboard locale is not used, check the keyboard setting on the remote PC and change it manually. See the Remote Desktop Client FAQ for more information about keyboards and locales.

Support for Remote Desktop gateway pluggable authentication and authorization

Windows Server 2012 R2 introduced support for a new authentication method, Remote Desktop Gateway pluggable authentication and authorization, which provides more flexibility for custom authentication routines. You can now try this authentication model with the Mac client.

Custom authentication and authorization models before Windows 8.1 aren’t supported, although the article above discusses them.

To learn more about this feature, check out https://aka.ms/paa-sample.

Questions and comments are always welcome. However, please do NOT post a request for troubleshooting help by using the comment feature at the end of this article. Instead, go to the Remote Desktop client forum and start a new thread. Have a feature suggestion? Tell us in the client user voice forum.

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