How to Easily Share Your Screen with Messages App on OS X

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 6.54.04 PM

You don’t need to hunt around for apps in order to help people fix their Macs any more, thanks to Screen Sharing in OS X. This gives you the power to share items on the screen or take control of a remote Mac.

To share the screen both participants must have an Apple ID. Check that you are logged into yours inside System Preferences > iCloud and sign in with your Apple ID. The person you wish to screen share with must also log in. You also need to use the email associated with the Apple ID of the person you wish to see.

In order to use the screen sharing feature you must be running OS X Yosemite or later. In order to use screen sharing, follow these steps:

  1. Both parties must launch Messages.
  2. To access the other person’s screen, send a new message to their Apple ID.
  3. Click ‘Details’ in the top right-hand corner.
  4. Click on the screen share icon – you’ll find it beside the telephone and video icon at the top right of the details screen. The icon you need is in the form of two small rectangles.
  5. If the person you wish to share screen with is logged in you will be able to tap the icon, then choose Ask to Share Screen from the drop down menu that appears.
  6. The other person will receive a notification asking if they wish to share their screen. They should Accept this.
  7. Once they permit it a window will appear on your desktop displaying their screen.
  8. They will see a message in their Menu bar telling them you are viewing their screen.
  9. Click on the window and you can use your mouse to highlight points of interest that are visible on their display. The area of interest will be inside a white circle while the rest of the screen will be grey.

You can also use Screen Sharing to control a remote Mac. When a sharing session has been initiated the person whose Mac you want to control must select the Screen Sharing icon that appears at top right of the display. They must then choose “Allow [your name] to control my screen”.

You select View > Show Toolbar and click the Control Mode icon, which appears just to the left of the binoculars icon. After doing this, you will now have control of the remote Mac.

[via iDownloadBlog]

A computer scientist with a passion for technology. Check out some of my work, including various iOS apps, from my personal website. Follow me on GitHub and on Google+

  • KS

    Good tip, thanks Nick! I wish it was available for OS X to iOS as well

  • jmcd102

    Yes, this is useful. Thanks Nick.

  • BigCat

    Nick, thanks from me to! This is a good one!