How to Use Remote Desktop on an iMac

Have you ever wanted to access something on your iMac without going back to your desk? Wouldn’t it be cool to remotely access you iMac and check on your email without even being there? Did you know that Mac OS X comes with Remote Desktop software included, which allows you to connect to your iMac from another machine?

To set this up and try it out for yourself, follow the following sequence on the target Mac:

  • Go into System Preferences
  • Select Sharing
  • Check Remote Management
  • Note down the the IP address of the Mac, you will need this later
  • Click on Computer Settings
  • Check VNC viewers may control screen with password,
  • Enter a suitable password and the click OK

Your Mac is is now ready to receive input from another machine on the network. Now go to the machine you want to use to control your Mac and install a VNC client such as Chicken of the VNC, (for a Mac) or TightVNC (for Windows).

Using Chicken of the VNC

  • Open Chicken of the VNC and at the VNC Login screen check if the target Mac is listed. If not, click on New Server, and enter the IP address you noted earlier and the password, and click Connect. If the Mac is listed, select it and enter the password, then click Connect.

Using TightVNC for Windows

  • Open TightVNC Viewer (for a default Windows installation this will be under Start, All Programs, in the TightVNC folder)
  • In the New TightVNC Connection enter the IP address you noted earlier and Click Connect.
  • At the Standard VNC Authentication dialogue enter the password and click OK

Remember if you want to make a remote connection though a firewall, you will need to set up Port Forwarding, and point port 5900 to the IP address of your machine. You can do this by logging into the router with the administrator name and password.

You can now access your Mac OS X machine across the network as if you were sitting at it. Enjoy!

If you are interested in using your desktop Mac remotely, the links below may be usefull: