How to transfer files between Macs

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How to transfer files between Macs

When two or more Macs are gathered in the name of Steve Jobs, there's a good chance that someone is going to want to transfer files between those computers.

Macworld's Kirk McElhearn, who also hangs out at and is a fellow Take Control Ebooks author, has written an excellent tutorial on nine ways to transfer files from one Mac to another. Whether you're a Mac newbie or a longtime Mac-head, it's a good read.

McElhearn's nine methods include:

  • Email (although there are size limitations)
  • File sharing, found in System Preferences > Sharing
  • Using a shared disk such as a Time Capsule
  • Using iChat file transfer, which is great if you use iChat a lot since you just drag and drop files
  • Sync with Dropbox
  • Send files via Dropbox
  • Use MobileMe sharing (or use YouSendIt if the files exceed MobileMe's size limits)
  • Burn CDs or DVDs
  • Use a sneakernet with a USB thumb drive, SD card or external hard disk drive

McElhearn left FTP and several other transfer protocols off of his list, since they require a server. One of my favorite file transfer tools for Macs before Dropbox appeared on the scene was DropCopy (free for personal use on up to three Macs), a fast way to do drag-and-drop file transfers between Macs.

What other methods of file transfer between Macs can you think of? We'd love to hear some of your experiences in the comments.

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