Connecting your Mac to a local or remote server allows you to access all the files available on that particular server. macOS by default has a server connection feature that lets you connect your Mac to any server without any restrictions. It then appears as a normal disk drive in the Finder for you to access, work with, and even delete files from it.

There are multiple ways to mount a server as storage on your machine. You can do it using the native feature built into the macOS and you can even use a third-party app to access your servers on your Mac. 

Table of Contents
    Connect to Server window

    How to Connect to a Server on a Mac Using The Finder

    Using the Finder to establish a connection to a server is the easiest and quickest way to do the task. All you need to do is launch an option on your Mac, enter your server details, and you’re good to go.

    Keep your server login details handy as you’re going to need them in the following steps.

    • Open a Finder window on your Mac. The easiest way to do it is to head to your Desktop and you’ll be inside a Finder window.
    • Click on the Go menu at the top of your window and select the option that says Connect to Server. Alternatively, press the Command + K keyboard shortcut.
    Go -> Connect to Server menu
    • You’ll see a dialog box that lets you enter your server details to then connect to it. Put your cursor in the field that says Server Address and type in the address of your server. This could be a URL or an IP address. Then click on the Connect button to connect to the specified server.
    Connect to Server window with Server Address typed in
    • A prompt will appear asking you to enter your login details. Enter the details and it’ll connect you to the server.

    Once you’re connected, your server will appear as a normal disk drive on your Mac. You can double-click on this driver to access its contents and even add new files from your Mac.

    When you’ve finished playing around with the server, you might want to disconnect from it. You can do it by right-clicking on the server and selecting the Eject option.

    Eject in right-click menu

    It’ll be removed from the Finder on your Mac.

    How to Connect To Recent Servers On a Mac

    When you connect to a server on a Mac using the Finder, your Mac saves the server name on your system. It is to help you connect to it at a later time without having you re-enter the server details.

    Finding and connecting to recent servers on a Mac can be done using two ways.

    Use The Apple Menu To Connect To a Server On a Mac

    The Apple menu on your Mac lets you open the recently accessed items and this includes your servers as well.

    • Click on the Apple logo at the top-left corner of your screen, select the Recent Items option, and you’ll find all your recently connected servers in the list.
    Server in Recent Items
    • Click on any of the servers and you’ll be connected to them.

    Use The Connect to Server Menu To Connect To a Recent Server

    Another way to find and connect to a recent server is to use the same menu that you used in the first place to make the connection.

    • Get inside a Finder window, click on the Go menu at the top, and select the Connect to Server option.
    • There’ll be an icon that looks like a time machine. Click on it and you’ll see your recent servers list. Select the server you want to connect and your Mac will connect to it.
    Recent Servers in right-click menu

    Use AppleScript To Connect a Mac to a Server

    AppleScript also has a feature that lets you connect your Mac to a server from your code. It’s a single-line code that instructs the Finder to open your specified server on your machine.

    • Click on Launchpad in the Dock, search for Script Editor, and click on it when it appears on your screen.
    Script Editor in Search Bar
    • Click on the File menu at the top and select New to create a new script in the app.
    File -> New in Script Editor
    • When the new script editor opens, type the following command into it. Make sure to replace SERVER with the actual address of your server.

      tell app “Finder” to open location SERVER
    Script editor window
    • Click on the Script menu at the top and select Run to test your script and to see if it connects to your chosen server.
    Script -> Run command

    You can save the script to use at a later time on your Mac. Then all you’ll have to do is double-click on the file and it’ll establish the connection.

    How To Connect To a Server On a Mac Using Cyberduck

    If you don’t like the default option to connect to a server for some reason, you aren’t tied to it and you can use any of the third-party apps available in the market for your task.

    Cyberduck is one of the free apps that helps you connect to various kinds of servers. You can use it to connect to FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, and various other servers from your Mac.

    • Download and install the Cyberduck app on your Mac.
    • Launch the app and click on the option that says Open Connection. It’ll let you connect to a server.
    Open Connection button in Cyberduck window
    • On the following screen, select your server type, enter your server address, type in the login details, and click on Connect.
    FTP window in Cyberduck

    If you’ll be connecting to this server in the future as well, make sure to checkmark Add to Keychain so your login details are automatically filled in the next time you connect to it.