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Accessing Network Drives Using CIFS for Mac OS-X


Accessing your network drives on a Mac using OS-X can be accomplished using a system named CIFS (Common Internet File System). CIFS is very useful as it does not require any special software applications to use it; it is built in to the operating system of your computer.

CIFS can be used to access your network drives from on- or off-campus, as long as you have an Internet connection. It will allow you to directly edit files on your network drives using Finder on your Mac.

How to Access Your Network Drives Using CIFS

If you are off-campus, you will need to log into the VPN before following the below steps. Instructions can be found here.

  1. Click on FINDER to launch a new Finder window.
  2. Click on the GO menu, which should be along the top of the screen.
  3. Select CONNECT TO SERVER from the GO menu.
  4. Enter the following in the SERVER ADDRESS field:
    cifs:// where "servername" is the name of the server you wish to access (FS1, FS2, FS3, FS6 etc) and "volume" is the server volume for your Department or School (OIT, DATA, SIS, SOC, SPA etc).
  5. Click CONNECT.
  6. You should now be prompted for a user name and password. Enter your AU network credentials and click CONNECT.
  7. Go back to the Finder window you opened previously. You should now see your network drive connected, under the heading SHARED.
  8. Click on the drive, and browse to your personal or shared drive(s) to access all of your files and folders.
  9. To access any of your network drives the next time you restart your computer and wish to connect:
    • Open a FINDER window.
    • Select the GO menu along the top of your screen.
    • Choose the RECENT FOLDERS option, then select your Department or School from the list.
    • Enter your AU network credentials and your network drive will appear in your Finder window again.

Repeat the above steps for any other network drives you need to connect to.

Please contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550,, or AskAmericanUHelp anytime to reach one of our professional staff who can answer your questions and provide general troubleshooting assistance.