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Mac Screen sharing is not just for Macs

Mac's new Leopard OS X has added a "Screen Sharing" capability. For Mac A to control Mac B's screen, Mac B simply has to turn on Screen Sharing in System Preferences->Sharing. Mac B will show up in Mac A's sidebar in Finder Windows, and clicking on that will offer a "Share Screen" button that let's you connect.

But what about connecting to a Windows box? Well, how about this:

showing vnc sharing mac to windows

That's Mac Screen Sharing connecting to a TightVNC server on my wife's Windows XP machine (click it for a larger image). I'm looking at QuickBooks and wondering why I haven't made any money so far this month.. oh, yeah, I've been goofing off this week - that'll do it!

To make that connection from Finder, I just clicked "Go->Connect to Server" and typed in "vnc://" (that machine's IP address). That's it, and of course if ports were open, I could have just as easily done that across the Internet.

That last part is very important to me for supporting customers who haven't made other arrangements for remote access: I send them to the TightVNC site, help them adjust their router to forward 5900 inward to that machine, and that's all I need.

By the way, TightVNC gives a link to this Port Forwarding site. I haven't tried that out with a live customer yet, but if their router is on the list there, it looks like I could just have the customer reconfigure their router semi-automatically.. gosh, that could save a lot of confusion.


Thu Mar 18 19:18:52 2010   anonymous

OSX screen sharing does everything vnc does, including controlling the host computer....installing software, etc.....

Thu Mar 18 19:21:46 2010   TonyLawrence

Yes - because it IS VNC.

Tue Dec 7 05:12:04 2010 VNC Screen Sharing with Snow Leopard  VanJenerette


I hope you're well. I'm having difficulty getting Screen Sharing on my Mac to connect to my PC which is running UltraVNC Server.

I have port forwarded 5500, 5800, 5900 to the PC's static IP address of

Any thoughts? I'm trying to connect using my home network's internal IP addresses before I go and try from the internet.

I appreciate your help and thoughts.


Tue Dec 7 12:55:02 2010   TonyLawrence

The port forwarding doesn't matter until you are trying from outside.

I don't know anything abou UltraVNC on Windows, sorry. Start by seeing if it is even listening by "telnet 5900"

You could be blocking it with a Windows firewall.

Thu Mar 22 12:08:55 2012   TonyLawrence

I had an interesting application of this yesterday.

A court sketch artist (Jane Collins,the woman who is doing the Whitey Bulger Trial) gave a lecture at our community center. She had slides in Keynote on her Mac, but did not have an iMac VGA adaptor to hook up to the large projector screen our clubhouse has.

I ran down with my MacBook, hooked up that to the projector (different adaptor), enabled screen sharing on her computer and initiated a connection, putting her screen on the big screen by way of my computer.

A nice side effect: you can zoom up the view on the MacBook side (control key with the mouse) to magnify things without affecting the iMac. Interesting how using two computers actually makes some things better.