How To

Remote Desktop on macOS Sierra 10.12 with Screen Sharing

Written by John

While on the move, you can be able to control a remote desktop Mac’s display. This has been made possible by the Screen Sharing feature included in macOS 10.12 Sierra. So how can you enable screen sharing? Here is a step by step guide but before then you need to understand the meaning of the terms “server” and “client’ as will be used in this excerpt.

A server refers to the Mac Screen that is being shared or viewed from a remote location. This can be a home or work desktop. On the other hand, the client is the device that will be used to access the remote desktop on macOS Sierra. Both devices need to be set up to enable Screen sharing. Here is a look at how to set up each.

Step 1: On the server

Go to the Apple menu then select System Preferences and click on “Sharing.” Options will appear. Check the box next to “Screen Sharing”

Screen Sharing

Screen Sharing

To determine who can access the screen remotely, specify the user to give the control to. Note down the IP address of the Mac as you will need this when setting up the client.

Step 2: On the client

Go to the Finder and pull the “Go” menu down to get to the “Connect to Server” option. Alternatively, hit the Command and K buttons on the keyboard simultaneously.

Client Connect

Client Connect

A dialog box appears with a field where you can enter the server IP address. Start with vnc:// then IP address. For example if the server’s IP address was 123.456.78.9 enter “vnc://123.456.78.9”

Connect to Server

Connect to Server

Click on the connect button and authenticate your access. You will then be able to view the server’s screen from the client. This will be opened in a window.

Authenticate your access

Authenticate your access

What can you do on a shared screen on macOS Sierra?

Remote Desktop on macOS Sierra with Screen Sharing

Remote Desktop on macOS Sierra with Screen Sharing

You will be able to see everything that was left open in the server. You will then be able to control the Mac within the restrictions of the user you logged in as. You will not only be able to view what there is in the server but also make changes.

You can be able to troubleshoot and diagnose any problems affecting the server. You will also be able to activate sleep mode and reboot the server. You may even be able to use the client’s keyboard and mouse to control the server.

In newer OS X releases, one can be able to transfer files while in screen sharing mode. All one has to do is access the file using the server’s window on the client then drag it to the place where you would like it stored. Several users may also be able to connect to the same server from different clients.

About VNC protocol

Screen sharing in Mac is enabled by VNC protocol. This is one of the commonest protocols out there that is available in most platforms. This allows remote access to Mac desktop from several devices including iPhone, iPad, Linux, Android and Windows devices. All that is required is for the device to have a VNC client software. These can be obtained free of charge.

An important thing to note is that the VNC connection can be affected by router connections and firewall. When connecting to a remote Mac that is connected to a router or is located behind a firewall, you will need to free up the VNC port before you can be able to connect remotely. The configurations of firewalls and routers differ from one to the other and changing the VNC settings will not follow the same steps. Check the manual on how to go about it. In most cases the procedure will involve looking under Preferences and locating “Port forwarding”, “open ports” or “ports”. From here, you can free this port and only then will you be able to connect.

To sum it all up, Mac’s Screen Sharing allows you to access a desktop Mac from other devices. No matter where it is you are at, you will be able to control your work or home computer. This can particularly help you finish your work assignments by picking off from where you left in case you left the office in a hurry.

About the author


Hi. I am very happy to welcome you my friends. Myself John, and I am a founder & admin of I love to spend time to writing useful tech posts for people and that is the main reason behind the development of the blog. Blogging is my hobby and I am doing it for part time. I am full time worker who is working as an administrator in system & network.


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