I have a user account that I created on our network at work via Network Accounts. There are some files I want to retrieve from one of the users desktop. The user was created on the "Server" which is a Mac Mini.

The files are on this machine which is an iMac. I took this iMac home and it is no longer on the network. Is it possible for me to access the files on the desktop of this user?

I guess I could take this iMac back to work and hook back up to the network. I would like to avoid that if possible. I am running OSX 10.8.5.

1 Answer 1


You can use Back to My Mac and access it there. There is a support question on Apple's website that explains how to set it up on both Macs. I should tell you that the requirements are as follows:

  • Your Macs need to be running at least 10.7 or higher (you said your iMac is running 10.8.5, so your iMac should be good; don't know about your other computer though),
  • an iCloud account,
  • and both Macs need to be connected to a router that supports router that supports either Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) or NAT Port Mapping Protocol (NAT-PMP) with either of those features enabled (you can check your manual of the routers to know how, but most modern routers should have either one or both turned on).

I forgot to mention that you should also check off the "Screen Sharing" and "File Sharing" boxes from System Preferences > Sharing.

Be sure that when you have enabled Back to My Mac in the iCloud settings in System Preferences, it should not have a yellow warning sign. If it does, click on it and follow the instructions there.

When both Macs have been set up, go to the Mac that you want to use to access the other and go to Finder. You should see the name of the computer there. Click on it.

You should see a bar with two icons: "Share Screen…" and "Connect As…". Click on "Connect As…". You should now see a box with a username field and password field. Type in the account that you wish to access and click "Connect." You should be able to access the files from there.

  • Thanks Junior117, I use the AirPort Extreme at work and at home. I am not certain that it implements the UPnP or NAT-PMP. I suspect it does. I activated the back to my mac feature following the instructions at the support website. Now I am not entirely sure how to access the other user files. I am able to screen share. So when you say I can use Back to My Mac to access files, are you referring to logging into another one of our Macs?
    – medokr
    Commented Dec 7, 2013 at 19:52
  • Exactly. I've updated the answers with better instructions.
    – chrisjr
    Commented Dec 7, 2013 at 21:29

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