Sometimes I leave work open on my iMac and need to use Screen Sharing from my Macbook to make a few changes. This works great except when my wife and baby are sleeping in that bedroom.

I understand that using Apple Remote Desktop it's possible to open a session as a different user with a 'virtual display', showing nothing on the hardware display and (I assume) not waking it if asleep.

That's almost what I want, except that I want to control the existing logged-in session. If it weren't an iMac I could just physically turn the monitor off when I leave.

Can Apple Remote Desktop control the existing session without turning the screen on? If not, is there another tool that can?


It does in fact wake the screen, even in Curtain [privacy] mode.

It initially shows the regular login screen, then hides that & leaves it mainly black but with a large lock symbol & a tag as to who locked it.
After you log off it briefly shows the login screen again then switches off.

  • Bummer. Just to clarify, this doesn't happen when you login to a second user account, right? – Robert Oct 29 '19 at 8:56
  • Even if I try to log to a virtual display using another user account, the screen still springs to life as I do it. – Tetsujin Oct 29 '19 at 9:08
  • OK so it wouldn't work for my use case at all. Thank you for checking that out. – Robert Oct 29 '19 at 17:45

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