I'm trying to connect remotely to a family member's new MacBook Air from my own iMac. Both machines are running OS X Lion.

I can connect to the files on the remote machine and I can see the screen of the remote machine.

But I cannot interact (mouse or keyboard) with the remote machine.

I can run LogMeIn (free version) with no issues. But I'd like to log in to the machine remotely with no input from the family member - it shaves at least 30 minutes off the support call. ;-)

Any idea what I'm doing wrong?

3 Answers 3


Most likely you have Observe Mode enabled on your end. In Screen Sharing.app, go to the View menu. You should see an entry for "Switch to Control Mode".

  • Thanks for that. Sorry, should've said - Can't switch to control mode either. So I guess the question is: why can't I access control mode?
    – Paul A.
    Commented Jun 8, 2012 at 17:49
  • Can you confirm that the remote machine is set to allow control connections? Alternatively, if you have SSH access into the remote, you can use the "kickstart" command, something like: sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -configure -users adminuser -access -on -privs -all -clientopts -setmenuextra -menuextra yes -restart -agent -menu -console
    – da4
    Commented Jun 9, 2012 at 22:59
  • Yes, I think so: in the Systems Preferences, Sharing panel, "Remote Management" is on, and I allow access for "All Users" Is that enough? I'll try the kickstart command tonite.
    – Paul A.
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 13:32

I had the same issue and carried out the following steps.

  1. On the computer that you are sharing(viewing) access "Sharing Preferences" (System Preferences -> Sharing)Tick the Checkbox titled "Remote Management"
  2. Click on the Text "Remote Management"
  3. I recommend that you Only allow access for specific users. ( I use the same account on both machines). If you do this make sure you add the user to the list
  4. On the right hand side within the "Allow access for" section - Click on the Options button
  5. Grant the user/s access to the functions you wish to carry out.

Lastly, restart the screen star from on the Computer that you are viewing the Shared Screen from.

This should do the trick.

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I have a Mac Pro and a Mac mini both with Lion installed. What I did for screen sharing is that I set up a administer account with a password on both machines. When using screen sharing, I log in using the administrator password instead of using the code in the sharing setting.

Note that in the sharing setting, only the administers are allowed to modify/control the screen without a VNC pass code.

  • My screen sharing works well in my local network. problem is I'm connecting via internet (and two continents ...) to the remote machine
    – Paul A.
    Commented Jun 10, 2012 at 13:33

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