If you own a Mac, you know that local networking usually works without any problems. However, if you have Mac OS Yosemite installed then you may experience some network connection issues. This can happen on recent software updates as well, but it’s rare. Some of the problems you may experience can be related to broader connection and Wi-Fi functionality problems. This can affect general LAN networking functions and the ability to connect to other local Macs. It will be difficult to transfer files on the local network of other AFP Macs or even broader SMB machines. Luckily, there’s a way to get around the local network connectivity failures.

This problem usually occurs on Macs running Mac OS Yosemite that are trying to connect to other Macs running older versions of Mac OS X. This is why it’s essential to keep the software on your Mac up to date. Many users get lazy and refuse to update the software on their Mac, and this is a mistake. If you’ve experienced this network connectivity failure then it’s likely you’ve seen the message “There was a problem connecting to the server ‘Computer Name’”. Other variations of this message include “The server may not exist or is unavailable at this time” or “Check your network connection and try again.” This can be quite a troublesome issue to deal with, especially if you know your network connection is running just fine.

Luckily there’s a routine you can carry out in order to get local networked Mac’s discovered and connected to you, as intended. In order to get started, you’ll need the target Mac’s IP address. If you have the IP address available, follow the instructions below to fix the “There was a problem connecting to the server” error on your Mac.

Fix “There was a Problem Connecting to the Server” Error Using Target IP Address

Before you carry out this troubleshooting method, please ensure that your network connection is indeed working. Sometimes the error messages that you see can actually be true. Once you’ve confirmed that the error message is appearing by mistake, then you can continue to use the method below. This process is not that complicated and will only take a few moments of your time. In order to get started, follow the instructions below.

There was a Problem Connecting to the Server

1. First things first, close all the open failed networking attempt windows in the Mac OS X Finder. This means you should also close the Network folder or network browser in Finder.

2. Once the “There was a problem connection to the server ‘Computer Name’” error message appears, use the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar towards the top right of your screen, in order to disconnect from Wi-Fi.

3. After a few moments, use the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, to once again turn the Wi-Fi back on.

4. Launch Finder.

Go to Server

5. Press the command + shift + K keys at once, in order to open the “Go to Server” menu.

6. In the Server Address text field, enter the target LAN Macs IP address you would like to connect to. Note: For Macs, be sure to use afp://(target ip) and for SMB/Windows use smb://(target ip).

7. Click on Connect.

The target Mac should now be discovered. You should be able to log in as usual, and the LAN connection should establish, as you wished. After you’re connected, you’ll see the familiar Finder based navigation for your target Mac.

However, you may note that once the connection times out, you’ll have to start all over again and toggle the Mac’s network connection off and then back on. Then you also have to target the IP address to connect again. Nonetheless, while the connection remains successful all networked Mac’s will appear, as they normally would, in the Network browser of the Mac Finder.

Since networking usually works, without any sort of problem on Mac’s, this situation is quite rare. You should also be aware that there are various different ways you can share files between Macs. You can use the AFP approach, SSH, AirDrop and many other methods. Feel free to choose the method that is most suitable and convenient for you. If you just would like to transfer a file or two and don’t need general file system access, then it may be best to use AirDrop in order to transfer your files. This will allow you to easily send files, without worrying about the problem above.

As stated before, this particular problem usually occurs on Mac OS X Yosemite. Whenever a Mac with the Mac OS X Yosemite tries connecting to any other local Mac through AFP, there is a risk of discovery failure occurring. This means that this problem likely occurs due to a software bug. Software isn’t perfect, and it’s common for software to contain errors and bugs. This is why it’s essential that you keep the software on your Mac up to date. Software update provide not only new and innovative features, but also Band-Aids to previous problems.

Apple is constantly releasing software updates in order to correct the mistakes that occurred on prior updates. Many people see updating the software on their Mac as a chore, but this is a grave mistake. Updating the software on your Mac will only take a few moments of your time. By updating the software on your Mac, you may be solving problems that you didn’t even know you had.

In order to see if there’s an update available for your Mac, all you need to do is navigate to the App Store. Afterwards, click on the Updates tab in order to see if there is an update available. If there is an update available, click on Install. Although the software update may take a fair amount of time, it will be more than worth it in the end. There will be no need to worry about connection problems, such as the one seen above.