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After upgrading to OS X Lion 10.7 on both my iMac and Mac Book Pro, I’m interrupted by an ambiguous ‘Connection Failed‘ error every time I attempt to list AFP shares on one system from the other in Finder. There are various hints around the web suggesting that this is a bug and that it can be solved by creating another user account, repairing disk permissions or even just switching from AFP to SMB (Windows sharing). Good news is, if your issue is identical to mine, the solution is much simpler and less obtrusive.

In my case, I had the home folder for my user accounts shared on both Macs. Simply remove the home folder file share and all is well. To do this, open the Apple menu, open System Preferences -> Sharing -> File Sharing and then select your home folder (named after your user account) and click the ‘-‘.

To gain access to the home folder from each Mac, simply click ‘Connect As‘ in Finder and enter the appropriate credentials for the user who owns the home folder on the Mac you are connecting to. The home folder (and hard disk root) is automatically available!

Although it is frustrating that this is not either reported to the end user as an issue or automatically resolved, I’d suggest that the concept is more in line with security best practice for network file sharing. Any files to be shared really should be in a public folder, not your personal home folder (says me who had my home folder shared).

For what it’s worth, I’m enjoying the $30 upgrade. Full screen apps are nice (NI Traktor finally works full screen when switching desktops), Airdrop is fool proof and the reverse scrolling is actually oddly natural.

  • sk00bz

    Worked for me. thanks!

  • Leandro

    This thing was driving my crazy. I spent the whole day trying to figure out what was wrong. THANKS!!!

  • Cath UK

    Thank you VERY much! I was going nuts on this one. As always, it happens when I’m in a rush to do things and really needed to be able to connect to my other Mac. I agree with all you said about Lion too apart from the reverse scrolling. I’m giving it my best go but I’m not having that moment when it suddenly starts to feel natural like other people are saying. Maybe I’m an old dog and this is a new trick :-)

  • Oleg

    Thanx man, like the rest, this was driving me crazy!!

  • The Drew

    This was killing me. Thanks for the suggestion, worked straight away!

  • Jerrylui

    This did not help me. I used to be able to scan files directly to my MacBook Pro from my network printer prior to updating to 10.7 Lion. Now my network printer can’t even find the path to my computer, hence, cannot send the scanned file to my computer. I have tried the above but it doesn’t work for me, what’s your suggestion?

    • Ryan Armstrong

      Hi Jerry, I’d suggest that your problem is not related to this article as ‘Scan to Computer’ does not typically use AFP. Most scanners would use SMB, CIFS, FTP or even just plain email. I’m sorry this article couldn’t help you. Happy Googling!

  • Beebe

    Thanks for the information…!

  • Ronald Lamars

    And then again, “it just works”…
    Thanks Ryan,

  • Dave

    Thanks, had been scratching my head with this one.

  • bootleg

    Wow, wish I’d found this tip a couple of weeks ago. Thanks a lot!

  • Lynndunnwppc

    It worked! Now, what about that printer sharing problem? That did not resolve once I did this. Any suggestions?

    • Lynndunnwppc

      Ah, this inspired me and I solved my printer sharing problem: System preferences-> Print and Scan->Ctrl click on list of printers (white space), and “reset printing system.” Then reinstall printer(s) and scanner(s).

      • Ryan Armstrong

        Thanks for the post Lynn. I’m glad you were able to resolve the print issue. I hope others will find you answer too.

  • Col_bol

    This sorted my connection issues thanks. I still have a problem in that the external hard drive connected to one mac is still not visible on the others even though it is listed on the sharing list on the mac that the hard drive is physically connected to. This used to be ok before lion . . . Aaaghhh.

    Any ideas that may help this one Mr A?

    Cheers, Colin

  • Michael Cook

    Continual messages ..
    Feb 27 09:08:33 echo AppleFileServer[26081]: _Assert: /SourceCache/afpserver/afpserver-585.2/afpserver/FPCarbonVol.cpp, 70 (-35)
    Feb 27 09:08:59: — last message repeated 2 times —
    Resolved on OSX 10.7.3 by removing Home folder from share list as suggested at

  • Jason Breitkopf

    Great post.  I am able to screen share over the internet from an off-site location between a MBP and  Mini, however, I can’t figure out how to get files from the Mini onto the MBP.  Copy & Paste doesn’t work.  Is there some sort of Files exchange mechanism I can use?

    • Ryan Armstrong

      Thanks Jason! Screen sharing uses a completely different protocol set to connect (VNC). OS X doesn’t really have a Copy/Paste function like windows and instead has a more drag/drop driven interface. I’d suggest opening the source folder from the Mini in one Finder window, press Cmd+N to open a new window and navigate to the destination folder on the MBP. Then simply drag and drop! Hold Cmd when you drop to move instead of copying.

      If you are running Lion on both and connecting wirelessly, you could also use AirDrop.

      • Jason Breitkopf

        Thank you so much.  Airdrop worked like a dream.  One was on the local wifi and the other was on a mifi connected to Verizon.  Can I assume this will still work if the MBP is several miles away?

  • Dave

    Haha, been looking around for weeks for a fix for this annoying tidbit. This did the trick! Thanks!

  • Gabi Mocca

    Hey! Great post! I have another problem though. I’ve got a network set up at work, with around 4 macs, and most of them can share files. However, there’s one from which I can’t access to the rest of them (even though I can access to it’s files from other macs). I press on the “connect as” button and nothing happens… Any ideas? greetings from argentina…

    • Ryan Armstrong

      Sorry Gabi, I’m not familiar with this problem :(
      I’d suggest maybe a corruption in your Keychain or Finder preferences. Have a look into resetting your key chain or deleting all Finder PList files.

  • Rhys_evans123

    it wont let me click the ‘-’ button

  • Łukasz Józwiak

    But i try use SMBUp, but ones works, ones not. :(

  • Łukasz Józwiak

    Look in too AppStore is there Apple add new product OS X Server, heh next standard system function go to another comercial OS extention.
    Buy it and have a fix , or use Linux, i use both :)

  • Steve Burdick

    Regarding the “Mac OSX Lion File Sharing Connection Failed,” issue, it’s been driving me nuts for weeks, but I think I solved it by making sure that ‘System Administrator’ — ‘Administrator’ was listed with Read-Write permissions in the Users column in File Sharing for all the disks I want to mount, and that I am logged into the local machine with an account that has Administrator privileges.  For the most part, I removed from the File Sharing > Users column all the accounts that I could.  I implemented this only a few hours ago, so I certainly can’t say it’s proven, but it has eliminated about ten occurances of the problem that I would have expected to have otherwise.

    I apologise if this solution was already posted — I should have, but didn’t read all the responses.Ryan’s post gave me the clue to try this.


  • Karl

    solved my problem.  Still funny problem was only in one direction on one computer the newest when acting as a server.  The other older models would allow sharing as servers without the workaround. 

  • Chris

    I too cannot click ‘-’

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