Quickly connect Network shares on a Mac
So there it is … my network application, fully written in Lazarus Pascal. So far I have been very impressed with lazarus Pascal and until now Objective-C and SWIFT have not been able to get close to the conveniences it offers. I have to admit that my experiences with Apple’s prefered languages are somewhat limited, and each attempt I do I just get more and more confused and annoyed … anyone willing to coach me, please contact me …
Anyhow, ConnectMeNow is a small application to quickly connect Network Shares on your Mac.
Again … Yes, your Mac can natively already connect to network shares, but it’s rather cumbersome if you ask me.
ConnectMeNow “lives” in the Mac’s menu bar – you know, the one you always see on the top of your [primary] screen – and shows a little drop down list where you can pick the predefined share you quickly wish to open.
It can start with your Login Items, you can define multiple shares, it can mount selected shares at startup, or on demand, use login credentials if so needed, supports several protocols (SMB, AFP, CIFS, FTP, SSH, WebDAV), and it won’t bother you when you’re not using it.
Without too much fuzz … you can download it here, straight from Tweaking4All, it’s FREE …
If you’d like to support me in these kind of small apps, which is VERY MUCH appreciated, then please feel free to look at the donation options on the top left of this page. The easiest and cheapest way to support me is by shopping at Amazon by using this link – it won’t cost you a cent.
DOWNLOAD - ConnectMeNow
Direct reference link: https://www.tweaking4all.com/downloads/ConnectMeNow.dmg
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BETA for macOS Catalina users
I’m working on a new version, from the ground up.
In the meanwhile, I have made a BETA version available compatible with Catalina (64 bit, signed and notarized).
Please be aware that:
- this version looks different from the 1.x versions,
- this is a TEST version, things may go wrong.
- settings from v1.x will not be migrated
DOWNLOAD - ConnectMeNow beta 2.1.4 (64 bit)
Direct reference link: https://www.tweaking4all.com/downloads/ConnectMeNow-beta-2.1.4.dmg
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Upgrading from a version prior to version 1.5 …
Version 1.5 introduces a new format to store username and password in an encrypted way. The old way occasionally would cause errors.
As of version 1.5, ConnectMeNow will try to automatically update your config to the new format, which in 99% of the cases will work very well.
However … if you run into an error message, close ConnectMeNow, delete the config file (~/.config/ConnectMeNow.cfg), and restart ConnectMeNow.
Unfortunately, in this case, you will have to re-enter your servers. Our apologies for the inconvenience.
For users with Retina a monitor or display, you can execute the following in Terminal to make ConnectMeNow look better. You’ll have to close ConnectMeNow, execute the following line, and start ConnectMeNow again:
defaults write com.tweaking4all.ConnectMeNow AppleMagnifiedMode -bool no
The Manual of ConnectMeNow
(included with the application, click “Help and About…” to read it)
The new ConnectMeNow Icon
ConnectMeNow offers a menu bar item, supporting the regular Mac OS X theme and the so called “Dark Theme”, to quickly open your favorite servers or server shares and supports SMB, AFP, FTP, SSH and CIFS. Note that CIFS is outdated and obsolete, and it’s better to use SMB instead, but some users still insist on using it and your Mac supports it (although I have noticed that CIFS mounts automatically revert to SMB).
ConnectMeNow in your MenuBar
Simply open the DMG file and drag the application to your “Applications” folder and double click it from the “Applications” folder to get started.
Starting ConnectMeNow for the First Time
Starting ConnectMeNow for the first time is easy; simply double click the ConnectMeNow icon in your “Applications” folder. Select the “Preferences” option from the drop down menu to get the following screen (I have already added some shares):
ConnectMeNow – Preferences Window
There are a few basic functions you’ll find here, the following 2 options I’d recommend to have them checked, but it’s completely up to your preferences:
• “Start ConnectMeNow at computer startup“, will add ConnectMeNow to your Login Items (if checked), or remove it from your Login Items (when unchecked), so it can start when you turn your computer on or when you log in.
• “Mount volume(s) quietly“, makes it that ConnectMeNow, if checked, will not show any messages when mounting a share (volume), unless an error occurs.
• “Force un-mount on Quit or Shutdown“, if checked, will unmount all volumes on your Mac (except your root/harddisk of course) when you close ConnectMeNow (or shutdown your computer).
• “Detect network presence before mounting“, is useful for laptop users that are on the road often. This will detect the existence of a Network Connection before anything gets mounted or connected to.
– “Wait for X seconds after 1st fail“, will wait for X (default: 3) seconds to try to detect a network again, for networks that not up and running right away.
– “No error message when detecton fails“, will not show an error message when a Network Connection cannot be found.
The button “Quit” will terminate ConnectMeNow,
and “Close Window” will hide the preferences window but ConnectMeNow remains available in the menubar.
Clicking the “Tweaking4All” logo will open our web page …
When you click the ConnectMeNow icon in the menu bar of your Mac, two possible menu’s might appear:
ConnectMeNow – Regular
In this menu example, the first 6 items are defined shares or volumes. Here you can also access “Preferences“, “Help and About…” (you’re reading it) and “Quit ConnectMeNow“.
ConnectMeNow – Preferences is Open
When the Preferences window is opened, you will see a menu like displayed below.
The reason for this is that the menu has to (potentially) be rebuild when you make changes to your list of defined shares.
Click “Close Preferences” to close the Preferences window (changes are saved automatically). Click the menubar icon again and the regular menu will appear.
Defining Servers or Shares
To define a “server” or “share” for ConnectMeNow, simply press the “Add” button.
The details for the selected item in the “Defined Shares” list will appear on the right, where you can review or edit your item.
Note that you can test a share right away by clicking “Open“, note that the lack of a “Apply” or “Save” button is because ConnectMeNow will save your changes instantly.
The button “Remove” removes the selected item, and the button “Clear” will remove all items in the list.
The “Sort” button will try to alphabetically sort your shares, based on menu name.
Here we optionally can define an alternative name as it will be shown in the menu.
When “Automatic Naming” is enabled, ConnectMeNow will try to use the Server Address and last directory of the Server Path.
Uncheck this option if you want to type something else.
Next to that you will see the “Add Server Type” option – which adds the protocol abbreviation before the menu name. You might find that practical to identify which connection type you’re looking at. The icons in the menu indicate this as well, but maybe you prefer to see this as text.
• Server Type (required)
ConnectMeNow supports the these basic server types:
SMB, also known as “Samba” or “Windows share”, is the most commonly used type. Most NAS and Server models utilize this protocol. This is also the protocol when you share a directory on your Windows PC.
Also known as the Apple File Protocol, is a typical Apple protocol – which even Apple seems to be abandoning – and is not used very often on servers unless you have a share made on your Mac or MacOS X Server.
This is the outdated and obsolete “Windows Share” variant, replaced by the newer SMB protocol.
Only use this if you think you have a need for it. Typically SMB sill perform better and be more compatible.
This is used for FTP connections, for example to your webserver. If you don’t know what FTP is, then you probably won’t need it.
NFS, or Network File System, is commonly used with Unix/Lunix like systems, which can include your NAS.
If you don’t know what NFS is then this is probably not for you. Keep in mind that pretty much any NAS defaults to SMB, so the use of NFS is only needed if you specifically set your NAS to use this protocol.
WebDAV, or Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning, allows you to access shares over http or https (both are supported). WebDAV, provides a framework for users to create, change and move documents on a server, typically a web server or web share. When accessing a WebDAV share the first time, especially when using HTTPS, you might get a certificate warning. This is common when selfsigned or outdated SSL certificates are being used. If you trust the source, then just click “Continue” and this question will not be asked again.
Although technically not a “share” or “volume”, I’ve added SSH anyway. I use this quite often myself to access my webserver or NAS through the Terminal. With this one too: if you don’t know what SSH is, you will not need this option.
Please keep in mind that we use a script to automatically login, which might reveal your password even though the script only exists for a fraction of a second. So please only use in an environment that you trust.
• Server Name or IP (required)
With Server Name or IP we mean just the server network name or IP address of the server, without the share path.
• Shared Path (optional – only for SMB, CIFS, FTP, WebDAV and AFP)
With a Shared Path we mean the path of a share defined on a given server.
With most servers you define a shared directory which is accessed, versus just the server. For this to work you will need to enter the path of your shared directory.
If no Server Path has been defined, it will trigger a dialog, asking you what share to open on the server instead of directly opening a given share. This can be convenient if you have a server with multiple shares that you only occasionally open.
The path for “
//192.168.1.100/myshare” is “
/myshare” and “
/myshare/” work as well), and the Server Name (IP in this case) is “
The path for “
//myserver/path/to/my/share” is “
/path/to/my/share” works as well), and the Server Name would be “
When the selected protocol is SSH, then the Shared Path will be replaced with SSH Port, the IP Port number used for your SSH connection. Default this is port 22.
• Connect when ConnectMeNow starts (optional)
If checked for this particular share, ConnectMeNow will automatically and quietly try to mount this share as soon as ConnectMeNow starts.
• Connect with Credentials (optional)
Some shares are available to all, some just to particular users. If your share is protected with a username and password, then this option is needed.
Enter username and password so ConnectMeNow can connect with your login credentials.
Note : ConnectMeNow will store your password encrypted, you can verify this by opening “~/.config/ConnectMeNow.cfg” with a Text editor.
• Wake On Lan (optional)
WOL, or Wake On LAN, is used to “wake up” a NAS or server by sending a so called “magic packet”. Your server or NAS must have Wake On LAN enabled for this to work!
In this case, a Wake On LAN signal can be send before ConnectMeNow tries to mount a share.
Unfortunately, Wake On LAN needs the MAC Address of the network connection of your server or NAS.
With a little trickery, the MAC address can be retrieved based on the IP address or network name of your server, but this works only if the server is in your own (home or business) network, connected and running. Click “Find MAC address” to see if ConnectMeNow can find the proper MAC address. If this fails, you could try again, or manually enter the MAC address.
Additionally you can enter the UDP port that should be used for sending the WOL signal – default this is port 9.
You can click “Test Wake On Lan” to see if it works.
After sending a Wake On LAN signal, ConnectMeNow will wait 0 or more seconds for the server to actually wake up, before it tries to connect to the server.
It will use a PING to see if the server is awake. The wait time is a “time out”, so it will wait a maximum of X seconds.
If the server can be connected to earlier, then ConnectMeNow might mount earlier than the set wait time.
Opening a Share or Volume
Now that we know how to start ConnectMeNow and how to define our share(s) or volume(s), opening a share is easy. Simply click the ConnectMeNow icon in the menu bar of your Mac and select the volume or share you wish to mount.
If the chosen share was already mounted: no worries – nothing will happen.
If there is a problem with the share you wish to access, an error message will appear. Typically this is related to being unable to connect to the server or a typo in the Server Path. When defining a share, use the “Open” button to test your share.
Every program has it’s weaknesses and/or flaws.
- Preferences Window with multiple desktops (Spaces)
Right now, it’s a known issue that when you uses “Spaces” on your Mac and you have multiple desktops (Spaces) defined, that ConnectMeNow will keep opening it’s preferences window on the screen where you opened the preferences for the first time in this session. So at times, when using multiple desktops, you might have to go find that preferences window.
Another issue might be the icon update for those who switch theme (regular theme, versus “Dark” theme) while ConnectMeNow is running. The icon will not update until you either open “Preferences” or restart ConnectMeNow.
Uninstalling ConnectMeNow is easy as well. Simply drag the ConnectMeNow application into the trashcan.
If you’d like to remove the preferences as well, then locate the file “
/Users/<username>/.config/ConnectMeNow.cfg” and move it to the trash as well.
Note that the “.config” directory is by default hidden.
A quick trick in Terminal will remove the preferences as well:
v1.0 – Initial release
v1.1 – Bug Fixes
- Fixed bug when passwords had special characters.
v1.2 – Added Features
- Added support for FTP
- Added support for SSH (only use on computers you trust, temporary script might reveal your password)
- Added menu icons to identify server type (protocol)
- Added force unmount on closing ConnectMeNow
- Added option to add server protocol in Auto Naming
- Added option to sort list of shares
v1.3 – Minor cosmetic changes
v1.4 – Added Feature
- Detect network and optional delay added (thanks Wolfgang for testing!)
v1.5 – New Config File Format, Optimized binary size
- New INI format that properly stores encrypted data
- Binary has been reduced by about 40%
v1.51 – Refined the Detect Network feature
- Network Detection will optionally not show an error message when a network cannot be found.
v1.6 – Added WebDAV support, improved protection when revealing passwords, and a new app icon
- By request (and support of) of Whistle Master, I added support for WebDAV (HTTP and HTTPS).
- When trying to reveal a password of a connection, a admin confirmation based on an admin account of your Mac (sudo etc) will be requested.
- New ConnectMeNow icon
- Server alias name entry bug fixed
v1.7 – Added Wake On LAN and NFS support
- Added support for NFS.
- Added support for Wake ON LAN.
- Added function to retrieve MAC Address (might not always work) for Wake On LAN.
- Minor cosmetic changes.
- Minor code changes, making it easier to add support for other protocols in the future.
- New icon for SSH (better visual)
- Added ConnectMeNow version number in the menu