Remotely connecting to macOS computers via PC desktops, laptops, iOS devices (like a MacBook, iPhone, or iPad), and more allows users to access and control their Mac workstation from anywhere. In this article, we’re going to teach you how to access a Mac remotely from a variety of devices in the best way.
Solution 1: Screen Sharing
Firstly we’ll discuss how to control another Mac remotely with screen sharing. For users with Macs running OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and up, their machines will include the Screen Sharing feature by default.
This built-in free option is exactly how IT professionals, Administrators, and personal users can access a Mac from another Mac on the same network. It also gives users access to files, apps and folders on another macOS device.
Step 1: While operating your Mac, navigate as follows: Preferences > Sharing;
Step 2: Click the appropriate checkbox (shown below) to enable “Screen sharing”;
Step 3: As shown below, you can specify who can and cannot access your Mac under the “Allow access for” section;
Step 4: Memorize or write down your Mac’s IP address;
Step 5: While operating the other Mac, navigate as follows: Finder > Go > Connect to Server;
Step 6: Type the IP address into the respective text box;
Step 7: Click the “Connect” button;
Step 8: Request the connection to initiate via the Permissions.
Now you should be able to remotely login to Mac computers using the Screen Sharing app on the secondary computer.
How to remote connect to a Mac from a non-Mac device over your local network
In the following section, we’ll teach you how to remotely connect to another Mac with a non-Mac device. While the process is still very simple, there are some steps users will need to handle differently.
On your macOS device:
Step 1: Navigate as follows: System Preferences > Sharing > Computer Settings;
Step 2: To allow VNC Viewer to control the screen, enter a password (as shown below);
Step 3: Once the password is entered, hit “OK”;
Step 4: Specify user access privileged from the “Allow access for” section;
Step 5: Memorize or write down the IP address of your Mac;
On the other device:
Step 1: Type the IP address of your Mac into the VNC app on the remote device;
Please note: The screenshot shown above is from VNC Viewer for iOS. However, VNC apps are available for virtually every operating system. This means users can remotely access their Macs from iPads, iPhones, Windows, or Linux computers as long as the app is installed.
Step 2: Enter the password you created in step 2 to log in;
Step 3: Type in the password you’ve already created;
Step 4: Hit “Connect” (as shown below).
Solution 2: Using 3rd-party applications
In this section, we’ll explain how to connect remotely to a Mac with 3rd-party apps. Using 3rd-party apps is usually the simplest method for how to remote login on Mac devices (regardless of what OS you’re using.)
These tools (like Microsoft Remote Desktop, Splashtop, Zoho Assist, TeamViewer, AnyDesk (to name just a few.) allow users to remotely control Mac devices over internet or network connections. While feature suites can vary, the fundamental remote access procedure is fairly consistent, and breaks down into this basic series of steps:
Step 1: Install the 3rd-party remote access app (like TeamViewer) on the computers participating in the remote connection;
Step 2: Create an account by choosing a username and password;
Step 3: Once the app is installed and running on both computers, login with the details you created in the previous step on your Mac;
Step 4: Connect with the Mac.
HelpWire: Top third-party apps solution
Our favorite pick when it comes to remote access software is HelpWire. This software offers advanced remote support that permits a Mac device to forward macOS across a limitless distance. This convenience allows IT and customer support specialists to troubleshoot and repair a remote device quickly and easily.
- • An ultra-secure connection;
- • Top-notch customer service;
- • Flexible software customization;
- • And more;
Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection for Mac
Microsoft Remote Desktop is a completely free cross-compatible solution, which means it enables remote access software Mac to PC capabilities. We’ll walk you through another easy step-by-step guide on how to configure a Windows computer for remote desktop connection from Mac to PC to help you implement this application. If the error code: 0x204 has appeared while establishing a Remote Desktop Connection with a PC from macOS, you can easily solve it with the help of our guide.
Solution 3: Remote Management
For those needing complete access and control over another remotely located Mac, implementing Remote Management is a great solution. Remote Management is a macOS feature allowing users to grant total remote access to another Mac.
Conveniently, the Remote Management configuration is much like setting up Screen Sharing and Remote Login.
Step 1: Navigate as follows: Apple Menu > System Preferences > Sharing > Remote Management;
Step 2: Specify the level of access allowed in the authorized remote access section;
Step 3: Choose from the following options: “All Users” or “Add a specific User”.
Solution 4: Remote Login
To many Mac-users’ dismay, Apple removed the feature “Back to My Mac” from macOS versions Mojave and newer. Back to My Mac used to make connecting two Mac devices remotely very easy and fast, so this discontinuation was quite frustrating initially.
Thankfully, Back to My Mac was replaced with Remote Login—a feature that allows a Mac to initiate and receive remote connections from different Mac devices.
Step 1: Navigate as follows: Apple Menu > System Preferences > Sharing > Remote Login;
A message will appear reading: “To log into this computer remotely type: “ssh yourusername@youripaddress”
Step 2: Save the IP address and username because it will allow other users to access the Mac via Terminal;
Note: Users can also manage access volume by selecting the “All Users” option (allowing anyone sharing the network to connect to your Mac), or the “+” (which allows you to add one user at a time.)
Step 3: Once you are done with these settings on your Mac, you can use the built-in Mac Screen Sharing app or the Terminal command tool to access the Mac remotely from the secondary computer;
Solution 5: Chrome Remote Desktop
The Chrome Remote Desktop app is a simple and fast method to access a desktop computer for on-the-go PC, smartphone, and tablet users. CRD can even be used for no other reason than displaying a desktop’s screen on a smartphone or tablet.
Chrome Remote Desktop is totally free, but users must have a Google account and Chrome browser to use it.
From the user’s side:
Step 1: Enter
into the address bar in Google Chrome;
Step 2: Hit “Download” (which is located under the Remote Support section) and install Chrome Remote Desktop by following the onscreen directions;
Step 3: Choose “Generate Code” from the “Share this screen” section;
Step 4: Copy the code and send it to the support team (via support ticket, email, or phone) — this gives the support team access to the computer;
Step 5: Allow the support rep to gain total access to the computer by choosing “Share”;
Step 6: Click “Stop Sharing” to end the sharing session.
On the support team’s side:
Step 1: Enter
into the address bar in Chrome and download the app;
Step 2: Enter the code provided by the end-user;
What is Mac remote access?
“Remote access” is a term that has more than one meaning—quite a few, in fact. Before we move on to how to enable remote access on Mac, we’ve outlined a few of the most common meanings when people say “remote access:”
- • Browsing and accessing folders and files using a shared folder — or FTP (File Transfer Protocol);
- • Utilizing mobile devices (like iOS or Android smartphones and tablets) to remotely control a Mac;
- • Using screen sharing capabilities to view Mac screens (but the remote viewer can’t actually control the Mac);
- • Complete access and control over a remote Mac desktop, allowing users to see and manage whatever is displayed on the remote Mac.
When Do You Need Mac Remote Access Software
There are a plethora of scenarios where deployment of remote access software for Mac computers comes in handy. Implementing remote access software for Windows and Mac, Linux (and even platforms like iOS) improves a remote team’s ability to function efficiently, and communicate.
The best remote access software for Mac (as well as for Windows, Linux, and iOS), can support a surprising variety of industries, and offers innovative solutions for the post-COVID work evolution. Below, we’ll cover three common use cases for RDP Mac software, and why it’s important.
Remote access software for Mac (free or otherwise) provides many opportunities for interactive classroom management. For example, allowing instructors to oversee their students’ project work with screen sharing, helping educators ensure their students utilize the proper tools. Additionally, presenters can also lock all screens simultaneously, allowing them to regain the attention of their class.
Administrators have the ability to perform maintenance on multiple computers at once, as well as configure scheduled network shutdowns during the holidays. Additionally, Mac client startup disks can be configured for diagnostic or troubleshooting situations while the deployment of software throughout the entire network is conducted.
Support departments have the ability to answer colleague or customer inquiries simply by using remote access software for Mac to log into computers on their network. They can see exactly what they’re dealing with, resolve the problem, or provide advice on how to move forward. Host computers can even share their screens, send messages- or communicate via chat tools.
What’s the difference between Screen Sharing, Remote Management and Remote Login?
Remote Management gives other users full access to the computer using Apple Remote Desktop.
Remote Login lets users of other computers access this computer using SSH and SFTP.
Can you use VNC over the internet?
Is it possible to make VNC work with a dynamic IP address? Yes, but it isn’t really worth it when so many free remote desktop apps for Mac exist.
How can I remote control my Mac if it’s not turned on?
For those without a WOL set up, they can’t remotely access a Mac unless it’s already on/awake.