Macs are amazing devices, that is why users tend to rely on them for the most part of their lives. From livelihood to important memories, as well as keeping in touch with people we love, the ever trusted Mac is an integral part of it. But what happens if your Mac isn’t physically around to help you? Fortunately, you can remotely access your Mac and gain of it using another Mac with internet access or even from a Windows PC. So, if you ever find yourself in a situation wherein you need data from your Mac sitting across the city or even halfway around the world, here’s how to access your Mac remotely:
Important: Make Sure Your Mac is Plugged In and Has Access to the Internet
The minimum requirements to access your Mac remotely are:
- The computer needs to have access to power, either through the main power outlet or its battery.
- The computer needs to have access to the internet through a Local Area Network (LAN), for Macs running in old OS.
- Wake on Demand needs to be enabled on the device. Wake on Demand is required, should the device be in sleep mode. To enable Wake on Demand on your Mac, simply open System Preferences, click on Energy Saver on the View Menu. If your Mac is in sleep mode it would be difficult to create a remote Mac connection without setting up Wake on Demand first.
Access Your Mac Remotely Through Apple’s Remote Desktop Software
The easiest way to ensure that you’ll be able to access your Mac from any location is to purchase Apple’s Remote Desktop software. However, before you can access your Mac remotely, you’ll need to configure your device for remote access using these simple steps:
- Open System Preferences.
- Click on Sharing.
- Click on Remote Management.
- Select which users are allowed to access the Mac remotely. You can also set what actions the remote users can perform on your Mac, such as control or observe only.
It’s important to note that Remote Desktop works best between two Macs on the same LAN. If you want to control your Mac through another computer connected to a different network using Remote Desktop, though it is certainly possible, the process is quite complicated. However, a more simple way to do this is to use Apple’s Back to My Mac service on iCloud.
Remotely Access Your Mac Online Using Back to My Mac
To use Apple’s Back to My Mac, follow these steps:
- Create an Apple ID, if you don’t already have one.
- Sign in to iCloud.
- Place a check on Back to My Mac.
Once you’ve set up Back to My Mac on your Mac, you’ll be able to remotely access that device through any other Mac using Screen Sharing, File Sharing, or a third-party app called Screens Connect.
How to Remotely Access Your Mac Using Screen Sharing
With Screen Sharing, the screen on your Mac will be transmitted via the internet to the device you’re using. As such, it would be as if you’re sitting in front of your own Mac.
- Enable screen sharing by opening System Preferences, then Sharing.
- Make sure that your user account is added to the list of users allowed access.
- To access your Mac remotely, you’ll need another Mac configured for the same iCloud account.
Screen sharing is a great option for when you want to access your Mac remotely. However, it can also come in handy when you want to help a friend out in another location who is also using a Mac. By setting up the Mac with an iCloud account, you can remotely access your friend’s Mac and perform any actions or troubleshooting steps required.
How to Remotely Access Your Mac Using File Sharing
Screen sharing may be a great way to remotely access your Mac from another location, but since sharing the screen does require a large bandwidth, it can be a cumbersome process especially in areas with a slow internet connection. If all you need are certain files on your Mac, using File Sharing would be a faster alternative.
However, you first need to ensure that File Sharing is enabled on your Mac by opening System Preferences and navigating to Sharing. You’ll then need to select the folders that you would likely need to access remotely.
How to Remotely Access Your Mac Using Screens Connect
If you’re a tech guru or at least have advanced knowledge in computer networking, then a trick you can try to remotely access your Mac is to use Remote Login. However, this procedure requires a static IP address, knowledge about your router, and knowledge in port forwarding.
If you don’t want to be bothered with all the technicalities of a Remote Login, a much simpler option would be to use a third-party application called Screens Connect. With this app, you won’t need to worry about all the technical mumbo-jumbo. All you need is an account and internet access.
It’s important to note that Screens is a Virtual Networking Computing (VNC) client. VNC works by setting up a VNC server, which would be the Mac you’ll need to control remotely, and then using another computer or mobile device to control it through Screens Connect. To get started, follow these simple steps:
- On your Mac, navigate to the Screens Connect site on your browser and download the Screens Connect app. You’ll first need to create an account, which should be simple enough.
- Once you’ve downloaded the app, just make sure that it is running in the background. You can do this by signing in to the app and checking the service status.
- When you need to connect to your Mac remotely, simply log in to the Screens Connect site using another computer with an internet connection. From there, you’ll be able to see the computers you can remotely log in to.
Screens Connect is a great program to log in easily to your Mac remotely, but you will not be able to use it if your Mac is behind a corporate firewall. So, if your Mac is in the office and your company has deployed a firewall, then this will block any remote login attempts from the Screens app.
How to Make Sure That You Can Access Your Mac Remotely All the Time
Whether you’re a frequent traveler or just want to ensure that you have access to the files on your Mac if you’re in another location, it’s imperative that you learn how to access your Mac remotely using different options. However, it’s also important that your Mac is in perfect condition at all times, so if the time comes to access it remotely, you’ll be able to do it without any technical glitches.
One way to ensure that your Mac is in perfect working order is to run 3rd party cleaning tools like Outbyte MacRepair from time to time. Outbyte MacRepair not only cleans your Mac of any unwanted or useless files but also optimizes it so it will be at its best performance at all times, especially when you need to access it remotely.