I am admin for department and I want to batch change the "show remote management status in menu bar" so that I don't have to log in to each machine and set it.

I have ARD so I can run a terminal command across all machines I just can't seem to find out how to set that option through the terminal

Could anyone tell me how to do that ? or if it's even possible ?

  • This will certainly be possible. I'll bookmark it to come back, but you'll either need to find the defaults write com.apple.whatever preference that needs to be written to enable or suppress the menu bar or just have your script install a profile to control the preference systematically rather than graphically.
    – bmike
    Apr 1, 2013 at 16:19
  • Have you tried defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteManagement LoadRemoteManagementMenuExtra -bool true?
    – jaume
    Apr 1, 2013 at 19:27
  • i have not but i could try that
    – mcgrailm
    Apr 1, 2013 at 19:43

1 Answer 1


The easiest tool to set these settings programatically is the kickstart script that Apple ships:

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -help

Do read the help since, it warns This script can be used to grant very permissive incoming access permissions. Do not use the -activate and -configure features unless you know exactly what you're doing.

That being said, you will want to set a variable $ObserveUser for each user that should be shown a menu indication that screen observation is in progress:

sudo kickstart -configure -access -on -privs -ShowObserve -users $ObserveUser

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