macOS - Remote Access to macOS

How to use Screen Sharing in macOS 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 - How to Install, Connect, Uninstall, and Disconnect WiscVPN Palo Alto GlobalProtect for steps to install and connect.


  1. Connect to VPN.
  2. Open Finder.
  3. From the menu at the top of the screen, select Go > Connect to Server...
  4. Enter vnc:// followed by the IP address of the remote computer. For example, if your IP address is, you would enter vnc://
  5. Click Connect.
  6. If prompted to share the display or login as yourself, select Log in as yourself and click Connect.
  7. Enter the username and password of your account on the remote computer and click Sign In.
  8. If you see your login screen, enter your password again and log in as usual.


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. Along the top of the window, you'll see the controls for Screen Sharing:

Controls in the VNC window in macOS

  • The red close, yellow minimize, and green full screen window buttons act the same way they would in for any other window. You may wish to use the green full screen button to make the remote window larger. If you do so, these controls will be hidden until you touch the top of the screen with your mouse.
  • The Control buttons toggle between controlling and observing. This is not generally something you need to change.
  • The Scaling buttons toggle how the remote computer displays in your window. The left button expands to the full resolution of the remote computer, while the right button scales the display to fit in your window. The right button is generally recommended, especially when you are connecting to a desktop from a laptop.
  • The Clipboard button allows you to share your clipboard (used when copying and pasting) between your local and remote computers.
  • The Display button only appears if you have multiple monitors attached to the remote computer. It allows you to select which monitor is shown, or to show all monitors at the same time.


  1. From the Apple menu in the top-left of the remote screen, select Lock Screen.
  2. Click the red close button to close the window.

Keywordsmac remote management vnc screen sharing connect login logon sign in vpn   Doc ID98964
OwnerDavid H.GroupL&S Learning Support Services
Created2020-03-17 11:01:47Updated2023-02-27 16:56:50
SitesL&S Learning Support Services
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