How To Access A Mac Using Screen Sharing Or VNC

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There may be many instances where you might want to access a Mac from another Computer, iOS device or an Android device within the same network. In this article, we explore how you can do that using the built in Screen Sharing tool or by using a VNC client.

Before you can use Screen Sharing or VNC client to access a Mac, you must allow incoming connections on the targeted Mac. To do so, on the targeted Mac go to “System Preferences > Sharing”, here click the “Screen Sharing” check box. You can also choose to give access to all users on this Mac by selecting the “All users” radio button or allow selective access by selecting the “Only these users:” radio button and adding specific users or groups by clicking the “+” button.

sharing

Note, make sure Screen Sharing is allowed by Firewall. To verify, go to “System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall” and click on “Firewall Options” button. Here you should see Screen Sharing allowed as shown below.

firewall

Now, you are ready to access the targeted Mac from any device on the same network. If you are trying this from another Mac, you can access the targeted Mac by going to “Finder > Go > Connect to Server”. Here, in the Connect to Server window, type “vnc://<IP address of target Mac>“. Next, you will be asked for a valid username and password that you allowed earlier on the targeted Mac, type this and you should be able to access the targeted Mac.

connect

If you are using any other iOS or Android device or a non Mac OS based Computer, then  you will need to install some sort of VNC client. Next, launch the VNC client and type the IP address of targeted Mac in the connection box. Again, here you will be asked to authenticate as mention earlier. Once done, you should be able to access the targeted Mac.

Note: You can only access the targeted Mac on the same network. To connect across the internet, the IP address of the targeted Mac needs to be public or you need to use other remote access tools.

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About Vijay

Computer junky for 20 plus years and still obsessed with it. I enjoy exploring and tweaking popular operating systems and tinkering with computer hardware. Professionally, I work as a Storage Systems Administrator. When not on my computer, I love to travel, shop, read and hang out with my family and friends.

Comments

  1. Cem Yazici says:

    Hello Vijay,

    I am trying to connect to a Mac system from a Windows machine.

    But at connection i am getting the login screen of the Mac system (10.8) and need the password of the user. I want to connect without the login screen. I am using VNC Viewer on the Windows system.

    Can you help me please?

    Thank you.

    Greetings,

    Cem Yazici

    • Hi Cem Yazici, You can achieve what you are trying to do by going to “System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Options” and setting “Automatic Login:” to “On”. Note, if “FileVault” (“System Preferences > Security & Privacy”) is enabled on your system then this feature is disabled.