I want to create a virtual desktop on a MacBook Pro and access it from a windows machine. The windows machine has three displays and I want see the virtual desktop on all three displays.

For reference, what I'm looking for is something like the vncserver package for linux, or windows RDP with the options "use all my monitors for the remote session".

Currently I'm using Remote Management to access my mac desktop. I followed these instructions and now I can access the MacBook without others seeing what I am doing. Progress!

But the System Preferences > Displays panel only has a single choice in the list for Resolution: Scaled, which is 1496 x 967. That is lower-res than my windows displays.

Is it possible to create and access an arbitrary-sized virtual desktop on the MacBook?

  • What kind of 'virtual desktop'? [this isn't a term used on Mac & I'm struggling to translate to one that is]. Are you trying to remote mount three displays from a Mac that only has one physical display? This is not possible. You'd need dummy HDMI plugs to fake two additional displays. You can create arbitrarily-sized remote display by simply dragging the corner of the window to a different size [when remoting Mac to Mac, never tried it from Windows]
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 6, 2022 at 8:25
  • That's the idea of "virtual", and the original idea of the V in a VNC service. There is no need for physical hardware. For example, the vncserver package for linux (linked in the question) allows for creating a virtual display of arbitrary size, for example, 3200 x 900. In the case of windows RDP, the virtual desktop can be made to fit the displays on the local client. The only instructions I found to connect a windows client to mac host uses a VNC client. But it looks like maybe mac only supports physical displays? Aug 6, 2022 at 20:26
  • You seem to be conflating two pieces of information - being able to make the single remote screen area any size you like is not the same as asking it for displays it does not possess.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 7, 2022 at 9:12
  • The software feature I'm asking for is available on linux and windows, by different names on each platform. I have described the feature using the names used by those platforms. Perhaps it simply is not available on macos. Or maybe it goes by a different name that I do not yet know. Aug 7, 2022 at 15:52


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .