Windows - Remote Access to macOS

How to use VNC Viewer in Windows to connect to a remote Mac computer.
Please review the Prerequisites section of this article. If you do not meet one of these prerequisites, or you have trouble following any steps, please contact the TechZone.


  • Remote access must be enabled on the remote computer. This has already been done for most computers.
  • You must know the IP address of the remote computer.
  • You must know your username and password on the remote computer. In most cases, your username is your NetID.
  • The remote computer must be powered on. Please consider leaving your computer on at all times to ensure you can connect remotely.
  • GlobalProtect VPN must be installed on the local computer. See WiscVPN - Overview for steps to install and connect.
  • VNC Viewer must be installed on the local computer. You can download this application from To install it on your work computer, you may need to use Make Me Admin - see Make Me Admin (Windows).


  1. Connect to VPN.
  2. Open VNC Viewer.
  3. Enter the IP of the remote computer in the field at the top of the window and press Enter on your keyboard.
  4. If you see a warning about an insecure connection, check Don't warn me about this again and click Continue.
  5. Enter the username and password of your account on the remote computer and click OK.
  6. If you see your login screen, enter your password again and log in as usual.

For subsequent connections, you can select the remote computer based on its IP from the main VNC Viewer window.


After connecting to your remote computer, you should see your normal desktop or any programs you had open when you last used the computer. You can interact with the remote computer the same way you normally would. If you touch the top of the window with your mouse, you will reveal the control bar:


Some buttons are disabled for this type of connection and appear gray in the image above. The enabled buttons, from left to right:

  • The fullscreen button expands the window to full screen. To leave full screen, touch the top of the screen with your mouse and click the button again.
  • The scale button changes how scaling works for the remote view. By default ("scale automatically"), it is set to scale the remote view based on the size of the VNC Viewer window, so you can resize the window and still see the full remote screen. Changing to "scale to 100%" keeps the remote view the same size no matter how big the window is, resulting in scroll bars along the side bottom of the window if the window is too small.
  • The CTRL+ALT+DEL button sends the those key presses to the remote computer. This is only useful if the remote computer is running Windows.
  • The information button shows information about your connection.
  • The settings button allows you to change settings related to the connection. The default settings are usually adequate.
  • The disconnect button will end the session. This has the same effect as closing the VNC Viewer window.


  1. From the Apple menu in the top-left of the remote screen, select Lock Screen.
  2. Click the disconnect button in the control bar or close the VNC Viewer window as you would normally close a window.

Keywordsmac win connect login logon sign in vpn realvnc desktop laptop   Doc ID99007
OwnerDavid H.GroupL&S Learning Support Services
Created2020-03-17 13:52:03Updated2020-08-26 14:50:35
SitesL&S Learning Support Services
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