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Use Apple ID to Share Files on Mac OS Without Creating New User Accounts for Networking

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With modern versions of OS X, you can securely share files with another person without creating a new user account for them. Instead, authentication is handled by individuals with an Apple ID, and a separate password is set so that the Apple ID can share files and folders on the Mac.

This can be better than creating a new user account if you only want to share some files and don’t want to give the user full access to the Mac. In addition, it can be an easy way to let a user with an existing Apple ID and iCloud login get a high-speed network connection to a Mac.

Sharing files on Mac OS X without creating a new user account using Apple IDs as domains

Using Apple ID as a network share is a two-step process in OS X, you must first enable it and then use Apple ID during the network sign-in process. We’ll show you how to do both.

How to set an Apple ID as a valid network share

This utilizes the systems address book to accept file sharing access:

  1. Open System Preferences  from the Apple menu
  2. Click “Sharing” and make sure “File Sharing” is turned on, as the checkbox next to it shows
  3. Under Shared Folders, select an existing folder or add a new folder that you want to share
  4. Under Users, click the plus button
  5. Select “Address Book” to find the person whose Apple ID you want to use as a valid login, then click “Select”
  6. Set a password and close sharing

Share files on a Mac without creating a new username with an Apple ID

After this configuration, the user can now connect to the specified shared directory only with an Apple ID, they do not have an actual user account on a Mac, and they could not log in to it for any purpose other than sharing files.

The sign-in procedure that uses an approved address book entry is the same as connecting to any other shared Mac.

Connect to a shared network Mac with an Apple ID as your login

Now that your Mac is ready to accept a valid Apple ID as a domain from an authorized user, it’s as easy as connecting to a network share as if it were a standard server connection event in Mac OS X:

  1. From the OS X Finder, drag down the Go menu and select Connect to Server
  2. Select “Registered Guest” and type in the Apple ID – or check for newer versions of OS X Use the Apple ID option and enter the accepted Apple ID from the list to log in to the Mac network
  3. Use the password that the user set for sharing instead of the Apple ID password, and then connect as usual

Connect to a Mac server with an approved Apple ID

You can assign as many Apple IDs as needed to a shared directory, and you can also assign different Apple IDs to different folders.

This even works for someone connecting to a shared Mac from a computer, the only requirement being a valid Apple ID, either from iTunes, the App Store, or elsewhere in the Apple ecosystem. However, it does not work with remote ID and SSH.

This requires OS X Yosemite, Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, or any modern version of OS X on a Mac, and apparently the Mac must have iCloud, and the user signing in must also have a valid Apple ID / iCloud login.

Use Apple ID to create network shares and connections in Mac OS X.

Keep in mind that an Apple ID is the same login that has access to the App Store, iTunes Store, iCloud, and more, which serves as a common gateway login for your Apple experience. If you forget that Apple ID, you’ll need to return it.

Benefits: Use Apple ID to Share Files in Mac OS X Without Creating New User Accounts for Networking

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FAQ: Use Apple ID to Share Files in Mac OS X Without Creating New User Accounts for Networking

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Apple Devices only.
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mac OS or iOS
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Final note: Use Apple ID to Share Files in Mac OS X Without Creating New User Accounts for Networking

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James Hogan
James Hogan is a senior staff writer at Bollyinside, where he has been covering various topics, including laptops, gaming gear, keyboards, storage, and more. During that period, they evaluated hundreds of laptops and thousands of accessories and built a collection of entirely too many mechanical keyboards for their own use.

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