How to control a Mac remotely over a local network

Apple started including screen sharing nearly 20 years ago in its macOS operating system. This means that if you have multiple Macs at home or in the office that are also on the same local area network (wired, wireless, or both), you can watch or control what’s happening on that Mac on that network. Some regular users don’t know it exists because they’ve never needed to use it.

On the other hand, if your Mac works very slowly, you may want to improve its performance thanks to the tips that we propose here.

It’s not entirely obvious how to set or access this option, as it requires changes to both the Mac being shared and looking at the correct spot on the Mac that’s viewing the other’s screen.

This can be useful if you have multiple Macs in different locations or a Mac without a keyboard and mouse used as part of a home A/V system, or one without a head (display) and inputs deployed as a server.

To set this up on the Mac that can be seen or controlled

  1. Go to ‘System Preferences > Sharing’.
  2. Check the box next to ‘Share screen’.

With the ‘All Users’ option selected, anyone with an account on the computer can access it remotely on 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.)

  1. In the upper right corner of the window, click ‘Share Screen’.
  2. macOS launches the ‘Share Screen’ app. Sign in to your Mac with your credentials on the screen that appears.
  3. The other Mac will get a message that says, “Your screen is being watched” or two overlapping rectangles in the system bar to indicate remote sharing.

If you don’t see the Mac you want to see in the sidebar, in that computer’s Finder choose ‘Finder > Preferences’ and make sure you have ‘Bonjour Computers’ checked under ‘Show these items in the sidebar’.

The original article has been published in English on our sister website Macworld.com.