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?

1 Answer 1


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
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 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
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 9:08
  • OK so it wouldn't work for my use case at all. Thank you for checking that out.
    – Robert
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 17:45

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