Configuring Your Mac for Remote Access

macOS uses two similar services to provide remote access: Screen Sharing and Remote Management. Both will work with Screens, but only one can be enabled at a time. We recommend using Screen Sharing.

If you wish to use a secure network connection with Screens, in addition to Screen Sharing or Remote Management, enable Remote Login.

Option 1: Enable Screen Sharing

  • Open your Mac’s System Preferences.
  • Click Sharing.
  • Enable Screen Sharing.

  • Allow access for all users, or add each individual user you’d like to use Screens.

Allow Guest Access

To allow incoming Screen Sharing requests from guest users:

  • Click Computer Settings.
  • Enable Anyone may request permission to control screen.

Option 2: Remote Management

If you select Remote Management instead of Screen Sharing:

  • Click Options.
  • Enable Observe and Control.

User Access

Allow access for all users, or add each individual user you’d like to use Screens.

Allow Guest Access

To allow incoming Screen Sharing requests from guest users:

  • Click Computer Settings.
  • Enable Anyone may request permission to control screen.

Guest Access Without User Confirmation

If you need access to a computer while being logged in as the current user — without requiring acceptance of a Screen Sharing request — Remote Management is required instead of Screen Sharing. To use this feature, the remote user account will also need administrative privileges.

Firewall

If the macOS Firewall -- or any other software firewall -- is in use, make sure Screen Sharing (or Remote Management, if selected) is allowed to receive incoming connections.

Optional: For Secure Connections, Enable Remote Login

If you’d like to use a secure connection while using Screens, you must enable Remote Login.

  • Open the remote Mac’s System Preferences.
  • Click Sharing.

  • Enable Remote Login.

  • Allow access for all users or add each individual user you’d like to use Screens.

  • If the OS X Firewall is running, make sure that Remote Login is allowed to receive incoming connections.

Screens Connect

Connecting to a remote computer requires some configuration. Luckily, if your Mac is running OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.8 or later, Screens Connect makes it a breeze for anyone to set this up. It takes care of the often confusing router configuration required to make your Mac accessible from the Internet.

While Screens Connect isn’t required to use Screens, it offers some advanced features that make Screens even better.

Improved Keyboard Support

Screens Connect provides information about the keyboard currently connected to your Mac so that Screens knows which keyboard mapping to use, even if the mapping on the device you’re connecting from is different.

Improved Shortcut Gestures

Screens uses the default shortcuts for Mission Control, Show All Application Windows, Move Left/Right a Space, and Spotlight. It provides the current hot keys used on your Mac so that Screens knows which shortcuts to use.

Installing and Configuring

For more information about Screens Connect, download links, and installation instructions, please refer to:

Screens Connect for macOS 10.11 or later

Screens Connect for macOS 10.6 - 10.10

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