Screen Sharing for Mac OS X

The following directions are for enabling and using Mac OS X Screen Sharing for on-campus and off-campus remote access.  Mac OS X's Screen Sharing uses the VNC protocol.  

  • If you are a Windows user, please click here to learn how to use the VNC program on that platform as well.
  • Before you start screensharing, if this is for a college-owned computer that is on-campus, please contact the helpdesk (x3333, or and request a static IP Address for the computer whose screen you want to share.
  • To use Screen Sharing from off-campus to connect to an on-campus computer, you must first login to the SSL VPN.
  • To use Screen Sharing to connect to your office computer, your office computer must stay powered on, and not go into sleep or hibernation modes. You may put the display to sleep.


If you are going to be away from campus and need to use Screen Sharing, consider how you will handle a power outage (is there someone on or near campus with access to be able to power on the computer you want to remote into).

Enabling Screen Sharing on your office Mac OS X computer.

You must first configure your on-campus Mac OS X computer to accept remote desktop connections. Click on Apple > System Preferences , From there go to the Sharing preference.

  • Turn on Screen Sharing by checking the checkbox next to Screen Sharing .
  • In the Allow access for: section, click Only these users , and then press the + sign.
  • In the following window, choose only your user name and press Select . You will be asked to enter your OS X login name and password to continue.
  • Click on the Computer Settings... button, and check off VNC viewers may control screen with password, and enter a password you want to use to be able to connect to this computer, press OK . You will be asked to enter your OS X login name and password to continue.
  • Back in the System Preferences window, click on Network preferences.
  • In Network preferences, click on any network connection in the left pane that has a green circle next to it (WiFi, Ethernet or Airport).
  • In the right pane, you should see an IP address that starts with 149.130. Write this address down. You will need this address to connect to the campus computer when you are at home. Assuming that a static IP address was provided by LTS, this number shouldn't change.
  • You may now go to the System Preferences menubar and select Quit . Your computer is now ready to accept remote desktop request

Connecting to your campus Mac OS X computer using Screen Sharing from a Mac OS X computer.

If off campus, use the VPN

  • In Finder, Go > Connect to Server....
  • In the window that appears, type in vnc:// and the IP address of your computer. Press Connect
  • Enter your username and password to log into your office computer and press Connect
  • You should at this point be connected to your Mac in your office.
  • When you are finished, on the computer in front of you, go to Screen Sharing > Quit Screen Sharing.

Connecting to your office Mac OS X computer from a Windows computer.

Screen Sharing on Mac OS X is done using a system called VNC. Mac OS X comes with VNC built in, but to use this on a Windows computer you need to install a VNC program. The directions below will show you how to install and use a freeware program on your Windows computer and then use it to connect to your Mac OS X office computer.

  • To install a Screen Sharing VNC client on your home Windows computer, please visit and download their free Windows installer.
  • After it downloads, launch the installer
  • Follow the instructions on screen to click through the installation windows:
    • Language selection: select English and click Next
    • Setup: click Next
    • User agreement: check the "I Agree" box and click Next
    • Custom setup: click Next
    • Click Install
    • If prompted about allowing the install, click Yes
    • When it completes, click Finish

Now that the Screen Sharing VNC client has been installed, follow these directions to login to your office Mac from this Windows PC:

  1. Launch the new VNC Viewer.
  2. If prompted, read the screen and click Got it.
  3. In the VNC Viewer window, in the VNC Server field, type in your computer's IP address, and press return or click Connect .
  4. If you receive a Windows Firewall popup, click Unblock .
  5. After you complete your Mac session, close the Screen Sharing connection: click the red X in the VNC Viewer menu bar.