Virtual network computing access and control

You can use Remote Desktop to access a computer running Virtual Network Computing (VNC) software on OS X, Linux, or Windows, and view and interact with the computer’s screen. VNC access is similar to the Control command in Remote Desktop. It lets you use your keyboard, trackpad, or mouse to control a computer running VNC across a network. It doesn’t give any other Remote Desktop administrator privileges, except those of the currently logged-in user. Conversely, non-Apple VNC viewers can control Remote Desktop clients if the clients allow it.

VNC access is determined by the VNC software. To access a computer running VNC, you only need to know the IP address or fully qualified domain name and the password designated in the VNC software. The VNC password doesn’t necessarily correspond to any other password on the system, and is determined by the VNC configuration.

WARNING: Allowing a non-Apple VNC viewer access to a Remote Desktop client is less secure than using Remote Desktop to control the client. Third-party VNC viewers might not encrypt keystrokes sent over the network, so sensitive information may be intercepted. Granting VNC access to control a screen provides nearly unrestricted access.

Don’t use the password of any local user on the client computer, or of any Remote Desktop administrator.

  1. On the client computer, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Sharing.

    If prompted, enter the user name and password.

  2. Select Remote Management in the list at the left.

  3. Click Computer Settings.

  4. Select “VNC viewers may control screen with password.”

  5. Enter a VNC password, then click OK.