VNC Help for OS X

There are two methods to open the preferences to enable Apple Remote Desktop (VNC) on OS X.

Method 1: From the menubar icon (if enabled)

  • Look for the binoculars in the menubar as shown below and choose Open Remote Desktop Preferences. (If you do not see them proceed to Method 2).  


  • The Sharing Preferences Window will open. Proceed further down in these directions to Enabling/Disabling Service.  

Method 2: From the Apple Menu

  • Open System Preferences from the Apple Menu.  

   OS X System Preferences

  • Click the Sharing icon in the System Preference Window.  

Enabling/Disabling the service

  • Click the Services tab in the Sharing Preferences and the following will appear.  

   OS X Sharing

  • Click the checkbox next to Apple Remote Desktop.  
  • Note the address in the bottom of the above screenshot (Others can manage your computer using the address This will be unique to your computer and the CTS staff member may ask for this address to connect to your computer.  
  • Once the CTS staff member is finished helping with your issue, you can uncheck that box to disallow further connections to your computer.

Menubar service active or inactive notice

If the user has not disabled the ARD Menubar icon, you can tell at a glance by the icon if the service is active or inactive:

   ARD-inactiveA light grey icon means the service is inactive.

   ARD-activeA black icon means the service is active.

   ARD-observeAn image of a monitor with binoculars in it means someone is connected to your computer.