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Net­work­ing not work­ing? Fix it with our tips

QAlthough both my iMac and Mac­Book Air run El Cap­i­tan and share via Wi-Fi, my wife’s Mac mini is still on OS X 10.6.8. We can’t es­tab­lish a net­work con­nec­tion be­tween her mini and ei­ther of my Macs. Is that pos­si­ble? by Alan Derkacs

AIt’s of­ten tricky to share ac­cess across such a range of ver­sions of OS X. It may be eas­ier to con­nect the more re­cent ver­sion to the older one, rather than the other way around. If you can up­grade the mini to run El Cap­i­tan too, you should be able to con­nect ei­ther way.

De­bug­ging net­works starts by set­ting all your de­vices to use fixed IP ad­dresses (such as,, and so on) on the same sub­net. Open Net­work Util­ity on each – en­ter its name in Spot­light to find it – and se­lect its Ping tab. Prove con­nec­tions be­tween the var­i­ous Macs are pos­si­ble by ping­ing each Mac’s IP ad­dress from all your other Macs.

Next, turn on file shar­ing, en­sur­ing that a use­ful folder, such as Doc­u­ments, is be­ing shared. In Fin­der, choose Go > Con­nect to Server, and in the di­a­log that opens en­ter the IP ad­dress of the other Mac. En­ter the ad­min user name and pass­word for the other Mac that you’re try­ing to con­nect to, not the one you’re con­nect­ing from.

With net­work con­nec­tion is­sues, first prove each de­vice can see all the oth­ers by ping­ing them in Net­work Util­ity.

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