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Nov 08, 2019 Consider deselecting this option if you have an internal or external non-SSD drive and you use apps—for example, pro audio or video editing software—that work better with continued read and write access to the hard disk. When you use a desktop Mac, you can control when your computer, display, and hard disks are put to sleep to save. Mac hard drives are available in three primary forms: solid-state drives (SSDs), flash memory and traditional hard disks. SSDs are high-speed, and that makes them the go-to memory option for ardent gamers, graphic designers, and other professionals who value speed over all else.
Remote access to Mac, anywhere
While many countries are on a lockdown due to COVID-19, remote work is becoming a lifestyle. Remotely accessing a Mac is designed to be easy. Apple has spent a lot of time ensuring anyone can log in to their Macs — both desktop and laptop — from any other Mac device, anywhere. And, besides, there are a variety of third-party apps ready to help with that too.
Still, remotely managing their Mac sounds overly complicated to a lot of people. From how you connect to sharing files or screens to using your Apple device as a remote mouse, we want to demystify the process in the easy-to-follow guide below.
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There are times when you want to access your Mac remotely, and there are many different solutions to remote access your Mac. Best utilities in one pack, give it a go!
How to access your Mac from another location
There're two ways: you can allow remote login to your Mac from another computer, or allow others to access your computer using Remote Desktop (it's available from the App Store).
Allow remote login to your Mac from another computer
For devices using the same macOS, you can allow remote Mac login using a Secure Shell (SSH). This enables Mac remote desktop access using a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP).
To set up Remote Login:
- Go to System Preferences > Sharing
- Select Remote Login.
- Choose which users you want to have remote access or the ability to control your Mac.
You can either select All Users, which means any other device on your network, or any Mac you own, can access and connect, or click the plus sign to pick the exact users.
When you want to remotely log in to your Mac from another device, you need to know your username (the name that appears when you login) and your computer's IP address. Write them down and keep them safe, as allowing access to your Mac does make it potentially less secure, especially over cellular or public Wi-Fi networks.
Accessing, controlling, or viewing information on your Mac can be done with a built-in Terminal or any other SSH app using your username and IP address.
Allow others to access your computer using Apple Remote Desktop
With macOS Sierra remote Mac access and control is even easier. To set up it:
- Go to Menu > System Preferences > Sharing
- Select Remote Management - it should appear as a checkbox.
- Now you can select who has remote desktop access. Either select, All Users, which means any other device on your network, or Mac you own, can access and connect, or click the Add button(+), which gives you the ability to select who can have remote access and/or control.
If you are using a VPN or VNC viewer and want to access your Mac remotely, you will need to setup a password first. It is also possible to use iOS devices, such as an iPhone and iPad, through Apple Remote Desktop, available from the App Store.
How to stay on the same page with Screens
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Collaboration has become of utmost importance to today's workplaces. And with more and more people working remotely, being on the same screen (ahem, page) is a must.
Screens allows you to work remotely with any computer regardless of your location. Whether you are on a business trip or traveling, stay confident knowing you can access any file on your home computer at any time.
This robust screen sharing tool for Mac supports:
- Multiple displays
- Drag-and-drop file sharing
- Hiding your remote screen while accessing it
- Accessing other computers (e.g. colleague's) as a guest
- Alternative shortcuts (useful when connecting Mac to PC)
- Custom actions in case of disconnection
To start using Screens, get the app from Setapp and configure the following:
- Remote login and remote management (as per the guide above)
- Install Screens Connect helper app and create a Screens ID on every machine you'd like to connect to in the future
- Use your Screens ID in the Screens app and it will automatically determine which of your computers are available for connection
Remote desktop client for Mac
Control any computer remotely – a perfect way to access your Mac from anywhere without limitations.
Share files between devices
Today we have plenty of ways to send and share files. But ask someone to send something, and you are likely to get it through email. Due to the ubiquitousness of email, it's still the default method for file sharing, despite its obvious flaws and constraints.
Fortunately, there are much better ways:
Native macOS File Sharing
Few people know that their Mac has native file sharing functionality built in. To use this feature, activate it in the Sharing pane of System Preferences by checking File Sharing. If you only want to share specific folders, add them to the Shared Folders list. If you only want specific users to access the folder, add them to its Users list. Otherwise, everyone will be able to access it.
Although not the most reliable solution, AirDrop works fine for occasional sharing a file between Apple devices. In the Finder, choose Go and then AirDrop on both the sending and receiving Mac. As soon as you see the receiver's user icon, drag the desired file onto it to send.
Read more about how to use AirDrop
If you don't want to send files Mac-to-Mac directly but rather through a cloud storage, there is no easier way than Dropshare. The app works with numerous cloud providers, from Dropbox to Google Drive, and saves your files for sharing by simply dragging them onto its menu bar icon.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
The most technical but also the most robust way to share files from your mac is to use FTP, which you could do either through Terminal or an FTP Client, the latter being much more user friendly.
There are a few popular FTP clients one could choose from. The robust file managing app ForkLift covers most of the FTP functionality but takes it to the next level and could be a viable replacement for the Finder altogether with its quick search, instant previews, and file comparison.
DCommander is another full-featured file transfer app for Mac that combines speed and reliability, able to handle thousands of files, schedule backups, and even automate transfers.
At last, when it comes to sharing the same files on different devices, an app like ChronoSync Express becomes invaluable.
ChronoSync Express is powerful tool for sharing and transferring files from Mac to Mac, or any another Apple device. With a feature called Synchronizer Document, you can select which files need to be automatically synchronized and shared between devices, just like that:
- Create a new synchronizer document for each folder synchronization you'd like to perform
- Name the synchronization
- Change the Operation to Synchronize Bidirectional
- Select folders to sync on the left and right
- Test with a Trial Sync
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Do you need to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)?
Whether you are working on your Mac directly, logging into your Mac remotely, or sharing access with someone else, security should be on top of your mind.
As a rule of thumb, you should always use a VPN when connected to a public Wi-Fi network, as someone could log in and see the information you send just as easily as you do.
And with remote access — even in the View Only mode — someone can see every file and document on your Mac, except those that are password protected. Unfortunately, if you leave passwords in a visible document, you expose yourself to immense risks.
A secure VPN client for Mac like Shimo is well worth using to stop unwanted eyes from lurking around, especially if you are sharing sensitive files, financial records or customer data.
However, for extra peace of mind and security, consider firing up your VPN automatically on all networks you are not 100% sure about to keep your emails, bank accounts and personal documents safe.
To share your Mac with someone else, download a remote Virtual Network Computing (VNC) app like Jump Desktop. With full remote access and Mac remote control, the other person — or yourself connecting to another Mac — can have the same level of control as the person using that device. Except for Admin level access, since it's password protected.
Starting with Jump Desktop is easy: either yourself (gaining access) or the person you are giving a remote view or control access to your Mac, needs to add details of the device and the password.
Secure your access with VPN
Get a VPN client for Mac to avoid privacy infringement while connecting remotely. It's secure and free to try.
Once permission is granted at the other end, remote Mac screen sharing or control (whereby you can use the iOS device as a remote mouse) becomes possible.
How to use your iOS device as a remote mouse
If your remote work starts on a patio hammock somewhere in east Asia, you should note that Apple iOS devices, such as an iPhone or iPad, can be used to control a Mac remotely, much like a mouse can control a desktop or laptop. Apps that make this possible work on VNC.
Remote Mouse is the easiest, most effective way to turn your iOS device into a wireless remote control for your Mac.
Although remote access through a local network would be most effective, since the closer you are to the device the quicker the connection, it's also possible from anywhere in the world, providing the network is secure and fast enough.
Setting up and granting access to the iOS device is the same process as when someone wants to access using a Mac. Except you need to give them a password. And make sure it is different from your primary Mac or iOS (App Store) one.
So working together or checking on your devices can be done from anywhere in the world and there are lots of ways to do that, from sharing screens and files to having complete access to a system set up far away. Setapp equips you with all the apps needed to remotely access any device you need and elevate your work to the global level.
These might also interest you:
Sleep or wake your Mac
When your Mac is asleep, it uses much less energy than when it's awake, and waking a Mac from sleep is much faster than turning it on and waiting for it to start up.
Put your Mac to sleep
- Choose Sleep from the Apple menu .
- On a notebook computer, close the lid.
- Use a sleep keyboard shorcut.
Wake your Mac from sleep
- Press a key, or click your mouse or trackpad.
- On a notebook computer, open the lid.
- Briefly press the power button.
Change Energy Saver settings
Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Energy Saver.
Mac notebook computer
Mac desktop computer
Availability of each setting depends on your Mac model and version of macOS.
Allow power button to put computer to sleep
Allow your Mac to sleep when you briefly press the power button.
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Automatic graphics switching
Allow your Mac to automatically use its lower-power graphics chip for low-intensity tasks such as text editing. Learn more about setting graphics performance.
Learn about battery-health management.
Set how long your Mac must be idle before it automatically goes to sleep.
Set how long your Mac must be idle before it automatically stops the video signal to the display and puts the display to sleep, causing it to become dark or turn off. If the display has a power indicator, it might show that the display is in low-power mode.
Enable Power Nap
Allow your Mac to perform certain tasks while sleeping, such checking email, receiving Calendar updates, updating software, or making Time Machine backups. This uses more energy than when your Mac is fully asleep, but less energy than when it's awake. Learn more about Power Nap.
Optimize video streaming while on battery power
When playing high dynamic range (HDR) video while on battery power, play the video in standard dynamic range (SDR), which uses less energy.
Prevent computer from sleeping automatically when the display is off
Prevent your Mac from sleeping when the display is turned off or goes to sleep.
Put hard disks to sleep when possible
Allow the motor of a traditional hard disk to turn off after a period of inactivity. This doesn't affect solid-state drives (SSDs), which have no moving parts. If using a traditional disk with certain pro media apps or other apps that prefer uninterrupted access to the disk, you might want to deselect this setting.
Set a daily schedule for putting your Mac to sleep or turning it off or on.
Set your Mac to shut down based on conditions that apply when your Mac is drawing power from an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
Slightly dim the display while on battery power
Allow your Mac to save energy by slightly reducing the brightness of the display while on battery power.
Start up automatically after a power failure
Allow your Mac to automatically start up when AC power is restored after a power interruption.
Turn display off after
Similar to ”Display sleep,” above.
Wake for network access
Allow your Mac to automatically wake when another device accesses its shared resources, such as shared printers or Music playlists. Some of these tasks might prevent the computer from sleeping when idle.
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You can also save energy by adjusting your display’s brightness and the brightness of your backlit keyboard.
After several hours of sleep, your Mac can save more energy by saving its state to the startup disk, then turning off power to some components, such as RAM. This extends the length of time that Mac notebook computers can stay asleep while on battery power.
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It also helps prevent you from losing work if your Mac loses power while asleep, such as after the battery runs low. In that case, plug your Mac into AC power, then press the power button. You might see a progress bar onscreen as the previously stored contents of memory are copied from the startup disk:
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Learn what to do if your Mac doesn't sleep or wake when expected.