How To Use a Mac To Connect To Another Mac Remotely.
If you need access to a Mac but cannot access it personally, you should consider using macOS’s built-in remote access tools. You can connect to another Mac remotely from a terminal using a Secure Shell (SSH) connection using Mac Screen Sharing, or through Apple’s Remote Desktop Service for System Administrators.
There are also third-party options you can consider, like Teamviewer, but the built-in options that macOS provides should be all you need to connect to other Macs. If you want to connect to another Mac remotely, here’s how to do it.
Set up macOS remote access tools
Before you can remotely connect to another Mac using the built-in screen sharing tool, you need to enable remote access in your Mac’s system preferences. You also need to follow these steps if you want to remotely access your Mac using SSH or use the Apple Remote Desktop tool.
Most users will want to use the macOS screen sharing option, which uses the open source virtual network computing (VNC) protocol to create a remote desktop connection. For no screen access, enabling SSH access will only allow you to access your Mac from the terminal.
If you want to manage multiple Macs in a business environment, you probably want to enable remote control instead of screen sharing to give you more control over your Mac, including the ability to change system preferences.
- To get started, click the Apple icon in the top menu bar, then select the System Preferences option.
- In System Preferences, select the Share option.
- The Sharing Options menu provides you with a list of sharing options for your Mac, including sharing your Internet connection and connected devices with others. To enable screen sharing on macOS, select the On checkbox. Next to Screen Sharing.
- By default, the Administrators user group for your Mac will be authorized to remotely share the Mac screen, which means all users with administrator privileges can connect.
To add or remove other users from this list, click the + (plus) or – (minus) buttons in the Allow Access options on the Screen Sharing tab. Or click the All Users radio button to enable remote access for all user accounts on your Mac.
- To give you more control over your Mac over the network using the Apple Remote Desktop tool, select the On box next to the “Remote Control” option. Click the + (plus) or – (minus) buttons in the Allow Access options to allow access to specific users, or click the All Users button to allow access to all users.
- When enabling remote control, you will need to confirm how much access you want to allow. Check the box next to each option to allow remote access to these features, then click OK to save.
- If you want to connect to a Mac using a Secure Shell (SSH) client, you will need to check the On box. next to the remote login setting. As before, click the + (plus) or – (minus) buttons in the Allow access options to authorize the users you want to allow to connect, or click the All Users button to allow all user accounts.
After enabling these settings on your Mac, you can connect to it from another Mac using the built-in Mac Screen Sharing app, or the paid Apple Remote Desktop tool, using a third-party VNC viewer, or using the ssh command to the terminal.
How to connect to another Mac computer remotely using Screen Sharing
How you connect to a remote Mac will depend on the option you turned on from the Sharing menu in the System Preferences app. To connect to another Mac that has screen sharing turned on, you need to launch the Screen Sharing app.
- The Screen Sharing app is somewhat hidden, so you need to click the Spotlight Search icon in the upper right corner of the menu bar and then search (and launch) Screen Sharing attachment.
- The screen sharing app is very easy to use. To connect, enter the IP address of your remote Mac or Apple ID that you used to sign in, then click Connect to start connecting.
- Depending on your access settings, you will be prompted for a username and password to connect. Provide them, then click Connect to continue connecting.
If the connection is successful, your Mac Remote Desktop will appear in a new window that you can access and manage.
If you’ve turned on the remote control option and want to use it to remotely connect to another Mac, you’ll need to purchase the Apple Remote Desktop tool from the App Store to establish a connection instead.
Connect to a remote Mac using SSH
The Secure Shell (SSH) protocol enables remote terminal connections. If you have enabled Remote Login, you can SSH to the remote Mac using the built-in SSH client on the second Mac or other device with the SSH client installed.
- To do this, launch a terminal and type ssh email@example.com, replacing the username with the Mac username and ip.address with the IP address of your Mac. For example ssh firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If this is your first connection, you will need to accept the authentication warning – type yes and press Enter to continue. The SSH client will also ask for your account password to connect. Enter this and press Enter on your keyboard to establish a connection.
If the connection is successful, you can start controlling your remote Mac using Mac terminal commands. When done, enter “exit” to disconnect.
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With these options, you can remotely connect to another Mac using another Mac or any other device with a VNC or SSH client installed. You can also use your Mac to control other devices, as Windows PCs can be controlled using the Windows Remote Desktop for Mac software.
Besides these built-in tools, there are many third-party remote desktop apps you can use to control your devices remotely, such as Teamviewer or Chrome Remote Desktop. Let us know your favorite method of connecting to Mac Remote Desktop in the comments below.