How can I help my parents or brothers or children with their Macs when they’re not sitting next to me? Apple’s screen sharing to the rescue. Sharing is built in to every Mac these days and it works with a click. Here’s how to make it better.
One Click, Share Screen
To be honest, there are many ways to share a Mac’s screen, ranging from Apple’s own Remote Desktop app, to various and sundry utilities which work also work on iPhone and iPad.
My preference is to use Apple’s built-in screen sharing because it’s simple and straightforward.
For Macs on the same local network, it’s nothing more than finding the Mac in the Finder’s sidebar, clicking on the Share Screen button, and adding login and password.
Voila! A window opens up on your Mac’s screen that’s merely a reflection of the connected Mac’s screen.
That’s screen sharing. When you click, the click is transferred to the remote Mac. Other than being a little slow, it all works as if you were sitting in front of the remote Mac.
There’s an easier way to setup Screen Sharing and save bookmarks. ScreenSharingMenulet.
Instead of rummaging around the Finder trying to enable screen sharing, ScreenSharingMenulet (yes, that’s one word) makes it easier to manage with a click to the Menubar.
Local network Macs are found automatically using Bonjour, and ScreenSharingMenulet will also display Back To My Mac hosts (make sure you have the right kind of router on both networks).
Custom hosts on remote networks across the internet can be added with an IP address. The remote URL is automatically passed to Apple’s Screen Share app.
ScreenSharingMenulet doesn’t do the screen sharing. It’s more of a Menubar bookmark app, which auto launches Screen Sharing with a click.
All you gain from the app is easier connectivity, less fumbling around for logins and passwords, and a neat bookmark-like list of Macs you can connect to.