Controlling and viewing the screen of a Mac within the same network is very simple and no additional software is needed. We explain how to proceed and remotely control the Mac from a different Mac but also from PC, iPad and iPhone.
How To Share a Mac Screen on PC and iPad
macOS integrates various advanced features, interesting and useful even for less experienced users. One of these, for example, is Screen Sharing, a feature that allows users of other computers (Mac and PC) and devices within the same network to view and control the computer remotely. This possibility is convenient for accessing a Mac when we are away from the computer, solving a problem on another person’s Mac, or collaborating with others on a project, such as a website or a presentation.
If the screen sharing option is enabled on the Mac, this desktop can be viewed by another Mac within the network. While the screen is shared, the other Mac user sees the contents of the screen and can open, move and close the files and windows, open apps and even restart Mac.
How to enable Screen Sharing
To activate screen sharing on the Mac, open System Preferences and click on “Sharing”. At this point you need to tick the “Screen Sharing” box. In the section to the right of the screen a green dot appears to indicate that the sharing is active and the indication of the address to be supplied to the user who wishes to connect remotely (an address of the type: “vnc: //192.168.1.7 “).
How to connect to the remote Mac
From a different Mac, it’s easy to connect to the Mac on which screen sharing is active. No program is needed and you can simply do it from the Finder by going to the “Go” menu, selecting “Connect to the server” and indicating the IP address of the Mac on which screen sharing is active, for example: “vnc: //192.168 .1.23 ”(without quotes), followed by the name and password of the remote computer account.
An alternative to the method seen above to connect to the remote computer, is to select the remote computer from those shown in the sidebar of the Finder windows and click on the “Share screen” button.
There are also software that offer advanced control functions thanks to Virtual Network Computing (or VNC) but the integrated standard system offers all the features that can be desired.
Everything can be done with remote control
The remote control window that appears on the Mac allows you to do everything that is normally possible in front of the screen. If the screen of the target computer has a resolution too high we can adjust the size and quality of the shared screen. From the Screen Sharing application shown on the screen select the “Screen Sharing” menu and from there “Preferences …”.
You can select the options “Scale to available space” or “Show original dimensions”, depending on how big your screen is and how much we want to use for the shared screen. This option changes the default behavior when we share computer screens we’ve never connected before.
From the “View” menu of the Sharing application you can activate full screen mode and in the Preferences of the app, block certain users.
When we share the screen of another Mac, the display options depend on the connection to the network and the size of the screen to be shared. From the “View” menu of the “Screen Sharing” application (those that open automatically when you type the address “VNC: // xxx …”), you can display / hide the panel bar and switch to Observe / Control mode .
In “Watch” mode you can see what happens on the shared screen, but you cannot control the pointer, move windows, open and close documents or perform other operations. Looking from Mac with OS X 10.9 or later, you can hold down the mouse button to highlight the screen at the pointer. In the Check mode, you can control the shared screen.
If our computers are not connected to fast networks, it is possible to activate the “Adaptive quality” option: with this option the quality is adjusted based on the speed of the network. The “Maximum quality” option is the one to use if the Mac is connected to a fast network and we want the maximum resolution.
Convenient option is also “Monitor”:: if the Mac of which we are sharing the screen has more screens, we can choose which one to display.
Is it possible to restrict access to only some users?
You can restrict access by opening the “Sharing” section in the System Preferences and indicating in the “Screen Sharing” section the users who are allowed access. The “All Users” option allows any computer user to share the screen, except for sharing users only and guest users.
If our Mac is networked with other computers, anyone can share our screen using the username and password of the network. See Connect your Mac to an account network server.
With the “Only these users” option, screen sharing is limited to specific users. By clicking on “+” you can add users from a list, selecting the user from “Network Users” or “Network Groups” which includes users and groups with network server accounts.
Network users and network group members can use their network names and passwords to connect to our Mac for screen sharing.
Share the clipboard and send files remotely
When we share a computer screen with another computer, we can transfer information between the clipboards of the two computers (texts, photos, links, etc.). If the clipboard does not work, select from the “Edit” menu of the screen sharing application the option “Use shared notes”.
You can also transfer files between the two computers. Just start a screen sharing session with a Mac on the network, select a file or folder and drag and drop the files onto the screen sharing window.
Turn off screen sharing on your Mac
To disable screen sharing, of course, just open System Preferences, click on “Sharing” and deselect the “Screen Sharing” option.
How to remotely connect to a Mac from a PC or iPad
After activating the screen sharing function on your Mac, you can control the latter from a different Mac but also from a PC with Windows or iPad / iPhone. Just take advantage of one of the many remote control applications. For PC with Windows we report RealVNC ; among the many, for iOS (iPad and iPhone) we report VNC Viewer Remote (free) and iTeleport (27.99 euros).
How can I access the Mac remotely when I’m not on the same network?
In this case it is necessary to take advantage of alternative solutions like Teamviewer (we talked about it in detail here ), Chrome Remote Desktop (we talked about it here) or Parallels Access (we talked about it here ).
In some cases it is possible to do it in a simple way without exploiting ad hoc applications: just configure the router to route the ports dedicated to the VNC service to the IP address of the computer on which the service is active.
The ports to be mapped both in TCP and UDP are: 5500; 5800; 5900. Once port mapping is activated, you connect with any VLC client (for example the aforementioned Real VNC free and available for all the most popular OS, even for Raspberry Pi to say). As address you enter the public one of your router and the game done.