I administer the computers in our office which run a mix of 10.10.5 and 10.11.5.

To assist with problems I use Apple Remote Desktop allot to view and control users' computers. What I tend to do is control their computer whilst on the phone to them and talk them through why it happened etc.

What i think would be really useful is if I could give users limited access to Apple Remote Desktop to say have "view only" access which was only allowed if the user's computer they want to access accepts and external connection something like "xxx wants to share your screen, click Ok to continue". This way members of staff could have impromptu mini meetings screen to screen which would be very useful. Is that possible ?

I know I can do it via Teamviewer or join.me but would prefer it to run on the local network via Apple Remote Desktop.

2 Answers 2


Can you do it?

Yes. It's a bit sketchy to do this using ARD, but you can. There is one massive caveat, however. You will need a license for every client you wish to install ARD on.

From the ARD License Agreement

(i) to download, install, use and run for personal, non-commercial use, one (1) copy of the Apple Software directly on each Apple-branded computer running OS X (“Mac Computer”) that you own or control; and

(ii) if you are a commercial enterprise or educational institution, to download, install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software for use either: (a) by a single individual on each of the Mac Computer(s) that you own or control, or (b) by multiple individuals on a single shared Mac Computer that you own or control. For example, a single employee may use the Apple Software on both the employee’s desktop Mac Computer and laptop Mac Computer, or multiple students may serially use the Apple Software on a single Mac Computer located at a resource center or library.

This can get quite expensive especially when the ARD software is $79 per install.
That, and it's overkill. You really don't want to give users admin level tools to just share a screen with a group for a meeting.

When I worked in the edu space, one of the products we used was Splashtop. It allowed folks to share their screens from either Mac or Windows machines. It was designed to do specifically what you are requesting - allow users to share their screens. We had an enterprise license but I believe the license for each user is under $20

  • Thanks Allan, If i did use ARD how would i enable the confirmation / permission from the computer being viewed and how would i be able to limit the users to view only (not control). In the meantime ill check out Splashtop.
    – sam
    Mar 1, 2017 at 21:00
  • 1
    You should be able to just take over a session with ARD without the user being notified - I don't have a copy at present so I can't test it out. If splashtop doesn't work, just google "screen sharing classroom" because some of the best stuff like this was made specifically for the classroom environment.
    – Allan
    Mar 1, 2017 at 21:19
  • Thanks Allan, Ive had a look through splashtop and think we already run something similar called reflector which basically allows you to airpay mirror your screen to any device running the reflector app. After doing some googling just now i also came across using OSX's inbuilt VCN client, seems pretty good, out of interest have you had any experience of it ?
    – sam
    Mar 1, 2017 at 21:27
  • VNC? It's ok.... It's free which is a plus...that's about it. It's bandwidth heavy meaning if you aren't wired....look for choppiness. The other one that I now remembered was LanSchool They've since been bought out by Lenovo, but their product was pretty solid. I could give teachers and (School Admins) the ability to monitor students without giving them (network) admin rights.
    – Allan
    Mar 1, 2017 at 21:31

What about using Mac OS Messages app with Bonjour active to discover the local users?

  • Can the Messages app screenshare ?
    – sam
    Mar 6, 2017 at 14:38
  • Yes, it can, but I'm not sure with which accounts (Gmail, Yahoo, Jabber, Messages/iCloud, etc.) Certainly with @me.com accounts. Check it out. Mar 7, 2017 at 16:11
  • Thanks, just tried it now, works great ! Nether thought messages would having something like that inbuilt. Do you know if it works over LAN if both machines are on the same network ? Might be worth updating your answer to include a link to this guide for future people reading this thread : support.apple.com/kb/PH22367?locale=en_US
    – sam
    Mar 7, 2017 at 18:36

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