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How to restart the Samba (SMB) file sharing service on macOS

Has Samba (SMB) file sharing suddenly stopped working on your Mac? Read this before restarting your computer.


The Samba launch daemon

The smbd launch daemon is the most commonly used service that enables your Mac to share files with other computers on your network. If this service goes down the most obvious solution is to restart your computer. However, there is a workaround which we will present here.

Open a new Terminal and type the following command. Enter your password when prompted.

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.smbd.plist

This will (temporarily) remove smbd from the system services.

macOS Restart SMB - Image 1

Next, re-enable smbd with the following command:

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.smbd.plist

macOS Restart SMB - Image 2

Finally, update the smb server system configuration list with the following command:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.smb.server.plist EnabledServices -array disk

If there is no confirmation or warning message then the changes will have taken effect.

macOS Restart SMB - Image 3

If you now try to browse through the network you should again see your network shares.


Summary

We have presented a solution to how the Samba (SMB) file sharing service can be restarted on macOS, when the service goes down, without having to reboot the computer.


Further information

For more information about file sharing on macOS Big Sur (and earlier), visit Apple’s support pages at:

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