Remote Management for Apple Devices
Apple Remote Management can come in handy for accessing your office MacBook while on a business trip or getting urgent technical assistance from a trusted expert all the way across the country.
From this article, you will learn all the different ways to enable, disable, and completely remove remote management from your MacBook, check if your iPad is really protected from someone accessing it remotely, why everyone is switching to Screen Share and more.
Remote Management Mac: Proceed With Caution
In a nutshell, Mac remote management is one of your system’s built-in settings you enable or disable to allow or deny access to your device via Microsoft Remote Desktop client for Mac or other similar-purpose software tools. And before you scour Google for how to remove remote management from a MacBook provided by your company, please note that it has more value to it than stopping you from hooking up your new Bluetooth headphones.
Many companies rely on a Mac remote administration tool to keep your software and driver versions up-to-date, monitor your system’s health, and fix minor tech issues long before they grow into big work-stopping problems. Also, if your device gets lost or stolen, remote management can help to minimize the damage by remotely erasing all the sensitive corporate data.
Enable remote management for Remote Desktop
On most devices, remote control management is enabled by default. If that’s not your case, or you’ve previously disabled this feature, here are two different ways to turn it back on so you can choose one to your liking.
Enabling Remote Management on the system settings:
- Go to System Preferences > Sharing on the Apple Menu.
- Tick the Remote Management box to invoke a pop-up window where you can choose what you allow remote users to do on your device:
- Make a list of users you want to allow access to your device. By default, it is set to All users, which means that anyone in your Wi-Fi network is allowed can request a remote connection.
There is an alternative way to enable remote management. Mac terminal has a specific-purpose command line utility kickstart activated with this command:
sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -configure -allowAccessFor -allUsers -privs -all
Disable remote management using the command line
- Press Command + Space Bar (or F4) and type in “Terminal” to start the Terminal app.
- Run this command:
sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -deactivate -stop
- Enter the password to your device’s admin account.
Or you can go back to System Preferences > Sharing and untick the Remote Management box. But in this case, remote management may automatically turn back on once you restart your device.
MDM Remote Management
As things stand, every iOS, macOS, iPadOS, and tvOS device has a built-in mobile device management (MDM) service. But there is no need to get alarmed and rush into searching how to remove remote management from iPad or another Mac device. For any of this to work, you need to have an active MDM profile.
To check if your device was enrolled in any MDM profiles, Run Activity Monitor (Finder > Applications > Utilities > Activity Monitor) and search it for any MDM client process running.
What is MDM remote management, and how to enroll
MDM (Mobile Device Management) is an app or service that basically gives full control over the end user’s device over a distance, including activity and location tracking, restricting Internet access and app usage, etc. Remote Management Apple is a default system service where the control is executed both by changing MDM profile settings and sending commands directly to the device.
Most organizations use Automated Device Enrollment to issue macOS Remote Management profiles, but if you have to enroll your device manually, please only use the instructions from Apple’s official webpage: Apple Configurator for Mac or Apple Configurator for iPhone.
How to remove MDM remote management
If your real question is how to stop someone from accessing my computer remotely by Mac MDM remote management, then the answer is: by deleting the MDM profile. Here is what you need to do:
- Go to Settings > General > VPN and Device Management.
- Tap on the MDM profile you want to remove and enter your passcode.
- Tap Remove Management to delete the profile.
But if your question is how to remove remote management from Mac without a password, the answer is: you can’t do that. Any apps claiming to provide this type of service are also illegal and, in the best case, will just wipe all the information from your device. In the worst case, all your sensitive info, i.a., banking details, social media credentials, and e-mail acc passwords, will be stolen and passed to potentially ill-intended people.
Apple Remote Desktop vs. Screen Sharing: Which is Better?
Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) is a more professional-oriented tool rich in advanced features, e.g., terminal sessions, mass app installation, remote script execution, etc., rarely demanded by individual users. For it to work, both SSH and remote management must be activated. Screen Sharing is being controlled by Remote Management and is based on the VNC (Virtual Network Computing) protocol.
You may come across recommendations to urgently switch from remote management to screen sharing, claiming that Screen sharing service is more secure, but we are yet to find any practical evidence to back up that theory. So, in reality, the Mac Screen Sharing vs. Remote Management choice should be based solely on your business needs and/or individual preferences.