Mac file/screen-sharing: Apple sw bug(s), or operator error? (part 1)

Hello everyone,

I have been experiencing some serious problems with respect to Mac sharing, for screen-sharing and file-sharing. Most frustrating is, this stuff used to work for me. I do not know what happened for this stuff to degrade to the degree it has.

I am asking for ideas/advice/suggestions/comments from others on this TidBits thread.

I will explain my general set up, and then will address these issues incrementally, and separately, in 3 parts:

MBP attempting to access Mac-Mini files (part 1) (see below for detail)

MBP attempting to access Mac-Mini screen (part 2)

Mac-Mini attempting to access MBP files (part 3)

Mac-Mini attempting to access MBP screen (part 4, however this part actually works at this time)

Basic set up:

MBP (2019), Intel chip(s), macOS 11.6 (Big Sur)

Mac-Mini (2020), Apple M1, macOS 11.6 (Big Sur)

System Preferences set identically for both Macs, with respect to file and screen sharing:

Screen Sharing ON,

Allow access for: Only these users: Administrators

Computer Settings: both options deselected

File Sharing ON,

Shared: (self) Public Folder

Users: Self (RW), Staff (RO), Everyone (RO)

Firewall ON,

Allow Incoming Connections (with Green “lights”), for both file sharing (SMB), and screen sharing. (Also, allowing Printer Sharing.)

Local Networking is via Airport-Extreme (2013), generally seems to be working.

Part 1: MBP attempting to access Mac-Mini files:

When I try to access the Mac-Mini files, things at first glance look ok. However, the Mac-Mini folders for “desktop”, “downloads”, and “documents” all register as empty, as if there were no files/data in them, however, this is (of course) not the case.

For some reason, what is being accessed (from the MBP) for these Mac-Mini folders (“desktop”, “downloads”, “documents”), do not reflect the corresponding folders I actually use on the Mac-Mini.

If I recall correctly, I believe I have encountered this problem in the past, when I had different HW and SW. I don’t remember at this time, how I corrected the problem in the past.

Stay tuned: Parts 2 and 3 to follow, after I tackle part 1 (I hope).

This sounds a bit like when I try from machine 1 to access my son’s files on machine 2. I can see his Desktop, Documents, Downloads (etc) folders, but they have a red “no entry” icon and I cannot see inside them.

If I actually do want to access his files, I need to connect using his user credentials. I do this in the Finder by selecting the machine, pressing Disconnect, then Connect As, and entering his details.

Do you perhaps have different user names on both machines?

Or perhaps the same user name, but a different UID on each machine? This is more cryptic… you can see this, I hope, in System Preferences > Users & Groups, by unlocking the padlock, then right-clicking the user in the list on the left, and choosing Advanced Options (at least, in 10.13, which is what I have here). That window has a warning - do not change any details there without carefully investigating the implications beforehand… it’s easy to lose access to your files.

Thanks for your note.

I think you may be onto something here. I will look into your suggestions.

Hello everyone,
I have resolved all file-sharing and screen-sharing problems I have recently encountered, via digging a bit on the internet, and by trying some approaches on my particular home-computer (Mac) setup.

If anyone wants details, please let me know via this TidBits thread.