How to Screen Share on a Mac

Share your work with others or get help troubleshooting

What to Know

  • Go to System Preferences > Sharing > Screen Sharing to enable screen sharing.
  • To view a session, click Finder > Go > Connect to Server and enter the Mac's address.
  • AirPlay is the simplest way to share a screen with a TV.

This article teaches you how to share your Mac's screen with other users and how to mirror your Mac to your TV.

How Do I Enable Screen Sharing?

If you want to share your Mac screen so you can access it while you're away or so others can see what you're doing, you'll need first to enable the feature. Here's how to turn Mac screen sharing on.

  1. Click the Apple logo on the top left of the screen.

    MacOS desktop with Apple logo highlighted
  2. Click System Preferences.

    MacOS with System Preferences highlighted
  3. Click Sharing.

    MacOS System Preferences with Sharing highlighted
  4. Tick the Screen Sharing box.

    MacOS Sharing options with Screen Sharing highlighted
  5. Click either All Users or Only these Users to limit which Mac users can share their screen. For many systems, you'll only need to activate the administrator account. 

    You may also wish to click Computer Settings to change whether permission is required to do so.

How to Start a Screen Sharing Session 

If you want to start viewing the screen of another Mac on the same network, the process is pretty straightforward. Here's what to do.

  1. On the Mac you want to share, look up the address of the Mac. It's typically something like vnc://[IPAddress] or vnc://[Name.Domain]

  2. On the Mac you wish to use to view, click Finder

  3. Click Go > Connect to Server and enter the address of the Mac you wish to view.

    MacOS with Connect to Server highlighted on Finder
  4. Click Connect

    MacOS with Connect to Server open and Connect highlighted

    You may need to enter a username and password to sign in.

Does Mac Screen Sharing Work Over the Internet?

You don't need to be on the same local network to share your screen. You can also do so remotely via the internet. Here's how to do it.

  1. Open Spotlight by tapping Command + Space on your keyboard.

  2. Type Screen Sharing.

  3. Type the Apple ID of the user's computer you wish to access.

    MacOS with Screen Sharing app open
  4. Click Connect.

  5. Click Connect again.

  6. Once the other user allows you access, you can view or control what happens on their screen.

How to Change View Options While Sharing a Screen

Once you've set up Mac screen sharing, you can change quite a lot of the options associated with it. To do so, click the View menu. Here's a breakdown of what the options change.

  • Show Tab Bar. This option either hides or displays the tab bar.
  • Turn Scaling On/Off. With scaling switched on, the entire screen of the shared Mac displays on your screen. Switch it off, and the shared screen is shown full size, so you may need to scroll to see everything.
  • Switch to Observe Mode/Switch to Control Mode. This alternates between solely watching what unfolds or controlling the action.
  • Adaptive Quality. If your Mac runs on a slow network, this can adapt the quality to match the network speed.
  • Full Quality. On a fast network, this ensures you see everything at full resolution.
  • Show/Hide Toolbar. This option shows or hides the toolbar used to adjust the scale and shares the clipboard.
  • Enter Full Screen. This option makes the screen sharing window switch to Full-Screen view.
  • Displays. If the Mac you're viewing has multiple displays, you can switch between them this way.

How Do I Mirror My Mac to My TV?

The best way to mirror your Mac to your TV is by using AirPlay to do so. It only takes a few steps to mirror a laptop to a TV, providing you know where to look.

FAQ
  • How do I remotely access another Mac computer?

    To remotely access another Mac, you (if it's your Mac) or the device's owner first have to set up Remote Login and then specify you as an approved user. On the device you want to access remotely, go to System Preferences > Sharing and place a checkmark in the Remote Login box. Then, specify who is allowed to log in to the Mac remotely. You can specify All Users, which means any of the computer's users and anyone on your network. Or, choose Only These Users, and then select remote users. After you've set up Remote Login, open Terminal (Mac) or an SSH client and type the SSH command (the general format is ssh username@IPAddress) and press Enter or Return, then type your password and press Enter or Return. You'll be able to access the Mac remotely.

  • Can I screen share with audio on a Mac?

    Yes. When you successfully share your screen with someone, by default, the connection provides full audio. However, you may already be on the phone with the other person and not want that audio connection. To mute the microphone on the shared screen, select the active connection box on the shared screen and then click Mute Microphone from the available options.

  • How do you stop screen sharing on a Mac?

    When you've finished your screen-sharing session, select End Screen Sharing from the menu in the active connection box. You can also close the window. To disable screen sharing, go to System Preferences > Sharing and uncheck Screen Sharing.

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