Apple started including screen sharing almost 20 years ago in its Mac operating system. If you have multiple Macs at home or in the office on the same local network (wired, wireless, or both), you can observe or control another Mac on that network. Some regular users don’t know it exists because they’ve never needed to use it.
It’s not entirely straightforward to set it up or access it because it requires the changes on the Mac to be shared and one looking in the right place on the Mac while looking at the other’s screen. It can be handy to use if you have multiple Macs in different locations or a Mac without a keyboard and mouse being used as part of a home A/V system, or one lacking a head (display) and inputs deployed as a server.
To configure this on the Mac that can be viewed or controlled:
- Go to System Preferences > Share.
- Check the box next to Screen Sharing.
- With “All Users” selected, anyone with an account on the machine can access it remotely over the local network. You can limit it, as with most other sharing services, by selecting users and groups.
On any other Mac:
- Go to the Finder and select the Mac’s name in the sidebar of any Finder window. (Choose View > Show Sidebar if you don’t see the sidebar.)
- In the upper right corner of the window, click Share screen.
- macOS launches the Screen Sharing app. Log into the Mac using your credentials on the screen that appears.
The other Mac will have “Your screen is being watched” or two overlapping rectangles in the system tray to indicate remote sharing.
If you don’t see the Mac you want to show in the sidebar, in the Finder for this computer, choose Finder > Preferences and make sure “Hello Computers” is checked under “Show these items in the sidebar”.
This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by a Macworld reader.
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