If you work with a MacBook Pro or other macOS device on a network with non-mac machines, chances are you need to connect to folders that have been shared out via the SMB protocol. Fortunately, macOS makes this connection quite simple without having to install a single, third-party piece of software.

Let me show you how this is done. As always, there are assumptions: This time, in the form of you already having an SMB share available on your network along with the login credentials to said share. With that out of the way, let’s connect.

Open up the Finder and click Go | Connect to Server. In the resulting window type smb:// followed by the IP address of the server containing the share. Click Connect, and then when prompted enter the credentials for the share. Click Connect, and then when prompted select the share you want to use. Click OK and the share will appear in Finder, ready to use.

During the connection to the share, you can opt to retain the credentials, by clicking Remember this password in my keychain. Some might consider that to be a security risk. Unless you have a need to save the credentials, I would recommend against it. Yes, that means you’ll have to type the password every time you connect. That inconvenience is worth the added security benefit.

That’s all there is to connecting to an SMB share, from macOS, on your network. Until you unmount the share, reboot your macOS device, or leave the network, the share will remain available.