How to… Remotely Access Mac Devices

There are so many amazing benefits to remote access for both Mac and Windows devices. You can support colleagues or IT clients when working from home, enable easier file transfers and IT troubleshooting, and much more. In our remote working world, it’s become more important than ever to ensure that you can access devices from anywhere in the world, log in and find the root cause of an issue, and keep devices patched and secure from the office, on vacation, when working from out of the office, or even on a business trip.

 

Ever wondered how to access your Mac devices remotely? You’re in the right place! Let’s dive into a full guide on how to access Mac devices from a remote computer, including information on using Atera to make things really simple.

 

Apple’s Advice on Remote Access for Macs

 

First, let’s look at the advice that comes straight from Apple itself. The standard procedure for setting up remote login on your mac is a straightforward, three stage process. First, you go to the Apple menu, and click System Preferences, followed by Sharing, and then you’ll see an option for Remote Login. Then you click on the Remote Login checkbox, which will enable the secure FTP service, too. You can then choose which users will be able to log in, either by choosing “all users” so that anyone on the network, plus anyone using that endpoint can log in to this device, or “only these users” and adding them manually one by one. You can use users and groups to make this easier. Remember that Network Users and Network Groups will include the people on your network.

 

Now you need to learn how to log in to the Mac device from the other computer. On a Mac device, you can do this using the Terminal application. You can also do this using an SSH client. First you will need to type the SSH command. The format will be ssh followed by the username@IPAddress. You will be prompted to enter your password. You may want to make sure that you’re using a VPN for all remote access activity, which can add an extra layer of security to your browsing activity.

 

Note: If you aren’t sure what the username and IP address are for the Mac device in question, go to your sharing preferences, and click on the Remote Login bar. You will be able to see your username and your IP address listed directly below the indicator which alerts you to Remote Login being on.

 

Remotely Accessing Mac Devices from Windows 10 Machines

 

If you’re working from Windows 10 devices, the process is slightly different. On the Mac side of things, you’ll still need to head into the system preferences on your Mac device, and click on the Screen Sharing option. Take note of the IP address and username here, too. Click on computer settings and make sure that VNC viewers can only control the screen with the help of a password. You can manage who has access the same way as we explained above.

 

Head to the Windows 10 machine that you want to establish remote access from, and pick the VNC application you want to use. You’ll be prompted for the IP address that you took down earlier, and then you can just hit connect. You’ll usually then be prompted for your password, and in just a few seconds you’ll be able to log in to the remote Mac device to perform the tasks that you need to do.

 

File Sharing on Mac Devices

 

File sharing is also an important element of remote access, as email has heavy limitations and file sharing systems can be slow or cumbersome to deploy. Here are some of the top ways to share files using a Mac.

 

MacOS File Sharing: Head back to System Preferences and Sharing, and you’ll see that Mac actually has its own native file sharing functionality. You can choose exactly which folders you want to be able to share by creating a shared folders list, and also pick the users that you want to be able to access these folders and files.

 

AirDrop: If you just need to quickly share a file between two Mac devices, AirDrop might be a simple way to make it happen. Go to the Finder and choose Go and AirDrop for the Mac devices that are sending and receiving the file. The receiver’s icon will pop up, and you can drag and drop the file into their device.

 

Cloud Storage: Dropshare is a great choice for cloud storage transfer using Dropbox, Google Drive or more. For large files, this can be a good option, where you can simply share the file by dragging it into the menu bar.

 

FTP (File Transfer Protocol): Terminal can be used to share files from your Mac, and you can also use a dedicated FTP client. Select the files that need to be transferred, even up to thousands of files, and schedule backups and automations that work for file transfers according to your business needs. There are many different options for FTP applications that you can use.

 

Remote Access Using Atera

 

If you’re using Atera, remotely accessing your Mac devices really couldn’t be simpler, with our robust Splashtop integration that allows for file transfer, chat, remote access, screen sharing and recording, and more.

 

First, head to the agent console and click ‘Connect’. You’ll also be able to find the connect button using the device view. If you haven’t downloaded and installed the Splashtop RMM client, you’ll be prompted to do that now. Once that’s done, you may be asked to click connect again. Once the client is installed, it will take a few seconds for the remote connection to be established, and you’re ready to go! The remote mac will now be ready for connection. It really is as simple as that. Check out our Knowledge Base article for a pictorial view of getting set up, plus a video tutorial.
Want more information on remote access using Mac, or anything else about utilizing our remote access integrations? Set up a call with one of our experts, anytime.