Accessing Office Mac Remotely

how to connect to my office mac from home

With the rise of remote working, it's now more important than ever to know how to connect to your office Mac from home. There are several ways to do this, including using remote desktop software, remote management in macOS, remote login in macOS, and screen sharing in macOS. Each method has its own advantages and requirements, so it's important to choose the one that best suits your needs. For example, remote desktop software offers more options for controlling a Mac remotely, while screen sharing is a simple, free option for connecting to another Mac or Apple device. Additionally, those connecting to a Mac from an off-campus location may first need to connect to a campus VPN.

Characteristics Values
Operating System macOS Catalina 10.15
Connection Type Local Network, Remote
Connection Method Remote Desktop Software, Remote Management, Remote Login, Screen Sharing, Ethernet Cable
Devices Mac, Windows PC, iPad, iPhone
Software GoToMyPC, GoToResolve, Zoho Assist, Royal TSX, Jump Desktop, Apple Remote Desktop, Cisco AnyConnect VPN

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Connect to a Windows computer from a Mac

There are several ways to connect to a Windows computer from a Mac. Here is a step-by-step guide:

Connect to a Windows Computer by Browsing

  • On your Mac, open the Finder.
  • Choose "Go" and then select "Connect to Server" from the menu bar.
  • Click "Browse."
  • Locate the Windows computer or server you want to connect to and double-click on it.
  • Click "Connect As."
  • Enter your username and password, if necessary.
  • Select the volumes or shared folders you want to access.
  • To save your login information for future connections, select "Remember this password in my keychain."

Connect to a Windows Computer by Entering its Address

  • On your Mac, open the Finder.
  • Choose "Go" and then select "Connect to Server" from the menu bar.
  • Type the network address for the Windows computer in the "Server Address" field using one of these formats:
  • Smb://DNSname/sharename
  • Smb://IPaddress/sharename
  • Follow any onscreen instructions and enter the workgroup name, username, and password.
  • Choose the shared folder you want to access.
  • If necessary, enter your username and password, and select volumes or shared folders on the server.
  • To save your login information for future connections, select "Remember this password in my keychain."

Connect Using an Ethernet Cable

  • Use a standard Ethernet cable to connect your Mac to the Windows computer. If your Mac doesn't have an Ethernet port, try using a USB-to-Ethernet adapter.
  • Ensure that file sharing is turned on for the Windows computer.
  • Disable the Internet Connection Firewall on the Windows computer, or ensure that TCP port 445 is open to allow sharing connections if the firewall is enabled.
  • On your Mac, choose "Go" and then select "Connect to Server." Click "Browse" or type in the network address for the computer in the "Server Address" field.

Using Remote Desktop Software

Remote desktop software is another option for connecting to a Windows computer from a Mac. This method allows for file sharing, screen sharing, and remote administration of the Windows computer. There are various remote desktop software options available, such as GoToMyPC, GoToResolve, Zoho Assist, Royal TSX, Jump Desktop, and Apple Remote Desktop. These software solutions are generally user-friendly and do not require extensive technical knowledge.

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Connect to a Mac from a Windows computer

If you want to connect to a Mac from a Windows computer, you'll first need to turn on file sharing on the Mac and set it up to share files with Windows users. Make sure you have the name and password for the user account you'll be using on the Mac for Windows sharing.

On the Windows computer, open File Explorer and click on 'Network'. Locate the Mac you want to connect to and double-click it, then enter the account name and password for the user account. It may take a moment for the Windows computer to show that the Mac is on the network.

If you're unable to connect to the Mac from the Windows computer using the user account, you can reset the password for that account in the Users & Groups settings. Once connected, you'll have access to all the folders in the Home folder of the user account being used for Windows sharing, as well as any other folders or volumes you've been given permission to access.

Alternatively, you can connect the two computers using a standard Ethernet cable. If your Mac doesn't have an Ethernet port, try using a USB-to-Ethernet adapter. Connecting the two computers in this way creates a small local network that consists of just the two computers.

On the Windows computer, make sure to turn on file sharing. You can refer to the instructions that came with the Windows computer if you're unsure how to do this. Ensure that the Internet Connection Firewall is turned off on the Windows computer, or if it's on, make sure TCP port 445 is open to allow sharing connections.

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Use Remote Desktop Software

Remote desktop software is the easiest way to connect to a Mac from anywhere in the world. It allows you to connect two Macs or access a Mac from an iPad, iPhone, or Windows PC. Remote desktop software gives you more options when it comes to controlling a Mac remotely, including file sharing, screen sharing, and remote administration.

Some of the best remote desktop software for Mac include GoToMyPC, GoToResolve, Zoho Assist, Royal TSX, and Jump Desktop. Apple Remote Desktop is another option aimed at enterprises that manage large networks of Macs remotely.

To use remote desktop software, you will need to install the software on both your Mac and the remote computer. Once the software is installed, you can create a new connection by entering the PC name and user credentials. After the connection is established, you can start a remote desktop session by selecting the connection and clicking "Start".

Microsoft Remote Desktop is a popular remote desktop software that allows users to access their Windows PCs from a Mac. It offers features such as seamless connectivity, enhanced productivity, and security. To set up Microsoft Remote Desktop, you need to download and install the software from the Mac App Store. Then, open the app and create a new connection by entering the PC name and user credentials. You can also customize display settings, adjust screen resolution, and use local resources.

Another option for connecting to a Mac from a Windows PC is to use the Remote Desktop client for Mac from Microsoft. This allows you to work with Windows apps, resources, and desktops from your Mac. To get started, download the Remote Desktop client from the Mac App Store and set up your PC to accept remote connections. Then, add a Remote Desktop connection or a remote resource.

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Use Remote Management in macOS

Remote Management in macOS is one of your system's built-in settings that you can enable or disable to allow or deny access to your device via the Microsoft Remote Desktop client for Mac or other similar software tools.

To enable Remote Management on your system settings, go to System Preferences > Sharing on the Apple Menu. Tick the Remote Management box to invoke a pop-up window where you can choose what you allow remote users to do on your device. Here, you can make a list of users you want to allow access to your device. By default, it is set to 'All users', meaning anyone in your Wi-Fi network can request a remote connection.

You can also enable remote management through the Mac terminal, which has a specific-purpose command-line utility kickstart activated with this command:

> sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -configure -allowAccessFor -allUsers -privs -all

While enabling remote management doesn't mean anyone can connect to your device, it is still recommended to keep this feature turned off unless you are actively using it. To disable remote management, press Command + Space Bar (or F4) and type "Terminal" to start the Terminal app. Then, run the following command:

> sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -deactivate -stop

Enter the password for your device's admin account. Alternatively, you can go back to System Preferences > Sharing and untick the Remote Management box. However, remote management may automatically turn back on once you restart your device.

Remote management can be especially useful if your device gets lost or stolen, as it can help minimise damage by remotely erasing all sensitive corporate data. It is also a useful tool for IT professionals to connect and control any Mac device to troubleshoot and fix certain issues.

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Use Remote Login in macOS

Remote Login in macOS is a feature that allows users to access a computer via SSH (Secure Shell Protocol) or SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol). This method requires more advanced knowledge of macOS as it involves using the Terminal.

To activate remote login on a Mac, follow these steps:

  • Go to the Apple Menu in the top left of your desktop and select System Preferences, then click on Sharing.
  • Select Remote Login from the options.
  • Check the box for Remote Login. You will see a message indicating that to log in remotely, you need to type "ssh yourusername@youripaddress".
  • Take note of both the username and IP address, as these will be required for other users to connect to your Mac using Terminal.
  • To control the level of access to your Mac, you can choose between "All Users" (allowing anyone on your network to connect) or specific users by using the "+" symbol to add individual users.
  • To access the Mac remotely, use Terminal, a free command-based tool in macOS.
  • In Terminal, type "ssh usernameofmac@ipaddressofmac", replacing "usernameofmac" and "ipaddressofmac" with the credentials you noted down earlier.

Note that using Terminal is a technical process. As an alternative, you can utilise a remote desktop client or third-party VNC viewer to connect to your Mac using the same credentials.

Additionally, if you are connecting to a corporate network or computer, consider using a VPN to create a more secure and encrypted connection.

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Frequently asked questions

Remote desktop software is the easiest way to connect to your office Mac from home. Remote desktop software allows you to connect two Macs and enables file sharing, screen sharing, and remote administration of a Mac from any device, including Windows PCs, iPhones, or iPads.

If your office Mac is on the same network (e.g. WiFi or LAN), you can use the Remote Management tools in macOS. Go to System Preferences > Sharing and select Remote Management. You will then be prompted to define what you would like remote users to access on your Mac.

You can connect to a Mac from a Windows PC by following these steps:

When you locate the shared computer or server, double-click it, then click Connect As.

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