Mac OSX 101: Creating short-cuts for network shares and folders

This is a quick overview of how to add shortcuts for your network shares and folders to the toolbar in Finder. Remember in the traditional file server model, that there are three types of items:

  1. File Servers: a file server is a computer that is configured to share files. The computer is a file server. It holds “shares” and “folders'”. In the Mac world, these traditional file servers are accessed by typing “smb://” and the server name. For example, “smb://” is the correct way to access the shares and folders on this file server.
  2. Shares: a “share” is a location on the file server that is set aside for a particular group of users. A “share” is “shared” with users. “lawfacstaff” is one such share. “lawhome” is another. You will see different folders in the shares, depending on your group memberships. “lawfacstaff” is designed to hold departmental shared data, while lawhome is the share that has home folders in it.
  3. Folders: a “folder” or “directory” is just that. It’s a location to hold files and other folders on the server. It’s used just the same way as a folder or directory is used on your PC. One difference is that permissions on the server folder are set by an administrator so that only appropriate users and groups can see the content of the folders.

Open Finder and click on “Go > Connect to Server”


In Finder, you can either click on Go and then click on “Connect to Server…” or you can use the shortcut Cmd-K.

Select or enter the information for the share


For example, smb:// is the faculty-staff share.
You can also use smb:// to get to your personal “home” directory.
Don’t forget to click the “+” key to add this server/share to the list of Favorite Servers so that you don’t have to retype this in the future.
Click “Connect” and enter your username and password if prompted.
Verify that you are connected to the share that you want to use.

Add a short-cut to the Finder toolbar so that you can get to the share even more quickly


You should see the server under Shared in the left-hand column.
1. Click on the server.
2. You should see the shares or folders that you have mounted in the right-had column.
3. You should now be able to drag this folder to the toolbar to create a shortcut.

This is the result of dragging the icon up to the toolbar


After you drag the icon of the folder or share up to the toolbar, it should look like this.
Now, whenever you open the Finder, you will see this shortcut in the toolbar. You can double-click to go to that location.
If you haven’t already logged into the share before, it make take a minute before it is ready for use.
Note that you don’t have to drag the whole “share” up to the toolbar. You can also drag individual folders from within the share.

Example of dragging a folder


Here’s an example of a folder that was dragged up to the toolbar.
Double-click on Lawfacstaff to show a list of the folders to which you have access.
Drag the folder up to the toolbar.

Removing the icon from the toolbar in the Finder (step 1)


If you no longer need the icon in toolbar, you can remove it.
Mouse over the toolbar and right-click or ctrl-click.
In the menu that appears, choose “Customize Toolbar”.
Note that you can also choose how icons are displayed in the toolbar.

Removing the icon from the toolbar in the Finder (step 2)


After clicking on “Customize Toolbar…”, you should see a screen like the above.
To delete a share or folder icon drag it off the toolbar and onto the customization palette.
The icons should disappear.
Click “Done” to close the toolbar palette.


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