I have a 2012 Macbook Pro and a 2013 Mac Mini, both running El Capitan with all latest updates. The Mac Mini is "headless" as I use it as a media server. I connect to the Mini from the MBP using the screen share facility from within Finder in Mac OSX.

However I find the screen sharing option to be very unreliable. I would say there is a 50/50 chance that the "Screen Share" button will be missing in Finder when I go to use it. Sometimes it reappears after a minute or two. Sometimes not at all - in these cases I have to plug in a monitor, mouse and keyboard to reboot the Mini.

Does anyone know how to make it work reliably or can suggest a better and more stable alternative.

3 Answers 3


I use a standard VNC client. Once you have Screen Sharing enabled on the System Preferences you can access your remote Mac with any VNC viewer/client application.

More precisely, on my Mac I use the outdated Chicken (still working fine on El Capitan, though) and for the iPhone/iPad there are also plenty of choices on the App Store.

NOTE: Make sure that you set a password on the Screen Sharing preferences.


You can use TeamViewer. It is a computer software package for remote control, desktop sharing, online meetings, web conferencing and file transfer between computers.

You are just required to insert ID and password (that are automatically generated) in order to connect and share the PC.


Use the Screen Sharing utility, which is located in /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications/. I suggest you put the Screen Sharing utility in your dock.

Open the Screen Sharing utility and then enter the IP address of the machine whose screen you want to see.

  • The original issue said that I tried to use Screen Share but the option only appears 50% of the time.
    – rf_wilson
    Oct 15, 2016 at 15:41
  • This answer is not suggesting to use the Finder option, but to add /System/Library/CoreServices/Applications/Screen Sharing.app to your dock. I've edited the answer to clarify this.
    – calum_b
    Nov 29, 2016 at 17:37

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