Tutorial: How to Remote Access Mac Not on Same Network

This post focuses on introducing how to remote access Mac not on the same network. If you're looking to access a remote Mac from another location, continue reading to find a step-by-step tutorial.


By Ellie / Updated on March 14, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

How do I remote into a Mac on a different network?


How do you remote into another Mac outside of your home network? Need to set this up to be able to help my parents. Any help?”

- Question from Reddit

Remote Desktop from Mac to Mac

In today's digital age, remote access has become an indispensable tool for individuals and businesses alike. Whether you're a freelancer, a remote worker, or managing a team from a distance, the ability to access your Mac remotely can greatly enhance productivity and flexibility.

However, remote access on a Mac becomes challenging when you're not on the same network. This article delves into the different methods for remote access on Mac and offers step-by-step instructions.

How to remote access Mac not on same network [3 options]

Discover the top three widely-used methods for remote access Mac not on same network. Continue reading to uncover the comprehensive step-by-step instructions.

Option 1. Screen Sharing

To share your screen on a Mac remotely, use the Screen Sharing app on your computer. The Screen Sharing app is a built-in utility on Mac computers that allows users to remotely view and control another Mac's screen over a network connection. This feature enables users to collaborate, troubleshoot technical issues, or provide assistance to others by accessing their Mac's desktop interface from a different location. With the Screen Sharing app, users can interact with the remote Mac as if they were physically present, making it a convenient tool for remote work, IT support, and collaboration purposes.

Step 1. Begin by opening Spotlight on your Mac. You can achieve this by clicking the magnifying glass icon located in the top-right corner of your screen. Alternatively, press the Command + Space Bar keys simultaneously on your keyboard.


Step 2. Next, type "Screen Sharing" into the search bar and press Enter on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can select the app using your mouse.

Screen Sharing

Step 3. Type in the Apple ID of the user's computer you wish to access remotely and then click on "Connect." If you're unsure of the Apple ID, you can find it by clicking the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen. Then navigate to System Preferences > Apple ID. The Apple ID will be located just below the profile picture and username in the left sidebar.

Connect To

Step 4. Click on "Connect" or press Enter on your keyboard. The other computer will then receive a notification in the top-right corner of their screen.

Step 5. The other user needs to click on "Accept" when they receive the notification.


Step 6. Subsequently, the other user can choose whether to allow you to control or observe their screen. If they opt for "Control my screen," you'll gain full control over their computer, enabling you to open apps, move files and folders, and more. If they select "Observe my screen," you'll be able to view their screen without control over their computer.

Control My Screen

Step 7. Once the other user clicks "Accept," you'll be able to see their screen from your computer.

Control Successfully

Option 2. Messages conversation

Another Mac built-in feature that allows you to remotely access a Mac is the Messages app. Through the Messages app, users can leverage the Screen Sharing functionality to control another Mac computer. This feature comes in handy for providing remote assistance, collaborating on projects, or accessing Mac files and applications on a distant Mac device.

Step 1. Start by opening the Messages app and navigating to the conversation with the person you want to assist.

Step 2. Click on the info button located next to their name.

Step 3. Then, click on "Share" and select either "Ask to Share Screen" or "Invite to Share My Screen." Since you're assisting, opt for the "Ask to Share Screen" option.

Ask to Screen Share

Step 4. The other person will receive a notification on their Mac indicating that you've requested to share their screen. They should click on "Options" and then "Accept" on that notification.

Accpet Control Request

Step 5. Subsequently, they'll encounter a menu window offering two options. They should choose "Control my screen" and then click "Accept."

Allow Control Screen

Step 6. Once the person accepts your screen control request, you'll gain access to and control their screen directly from your Mac.

Option 3. Remote Login

Remote Login is a frequently utilized method to permit a remote Mac running the same macOS to access your Mac files. By activating this feature, you can access your Mac from another device using SSH (Secure Shell Protocol) or SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol). These two protocols support most file sharing operations on your Mac.

Step 1. Navigate to "System Preferences" and select "Sharing."


Step 2. Enable Remote Login, then click on the Info button located on the right.

Step 3. Click the “Allow access for” pop-up menu, then choose one of the following:

  • To allow everyone to log in to your computer, select “All users” from the pop-up menu.
  • To choose specific users who can log in to your computer, select “Only these users.” Click the Add button, select the users, then click Select.

Remote Login

Step 4. Launch Terminal on another Mac or utilize an SSH application.

Step 5. Type in the following ssh command and press Return:

ssh username@hostname

Note: Substitute your personal information for the username and hostname. The username is what displays at login. You can locate the hostname under Remote Login in System Preferences.

Step 6. Enter your password and press Return.

Bonus tip: Remote access Windows not on same network

When it comes to remote desktop access on Windows from outside the network, consider utilizing AnyViewer. This is a free, yet professional remote desktop software for Windows, providing a simple and effective solution to access and manage a Windows computer from any location.

AnyViewer offers a multitude of impressive features, such as:

  • Secure measures: AnyViewer prioritizes security by employing robust end-to-end 256-bit Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) encryption, ensuring the privacy of your data during transmission. Additionally, it enhances account security with two-factor authentication, thwarting unauthorized access attempts.
  • Access beyond the local network: AnyViewer allows for access beyond the local network, enabling remote control of devices over the internet, even if they are located behind firewalls or NAT routers.
  • Additional features: AnyViewer is packed with supplementary features aimed at enhancing the remote access experience. These include convenient file transfer capabilities, integrated chat functionality, and the ability to reboot and reconnect to a remote computer seamlessly.

Step 1. Download, install, and launch AnyViewer on both computers.

Download Freeware Win PCs & Servers
Secure Download

Step 2. Navigate to the login section and click on "Sign up" if you haven't already created an account. If you have an existing account, simply log in.

log in anyviewer

Step 3. Log in to the same AnyViewer account on both devices. Then, utilize the "One-click control" feature to establish unattended remote access.


Here's a tip: For businesses with increased requirements, it's advisable to consider upgrading to a Professional or Enterprise plan. This upgrade provides extended capabilities, such as the ability to monitor multiple devices simultaneously, group management functionalities, mass deployment options, and much more.

The bottom line

In conclusion, this tutorial has outlined three effective methods for remote accessing Mac not on the same network, catering to various needs and preferences. Whether through Screen Sharing, utilizing the Messages app, or enabling Remote Login, users can seamlessly connect to their Mac from any location, enhancing productivity and collaboration.

Additionally, the bonus tip provided insight into remote accessing Windows computers outside the network using AnyViewer, offering advanced security measures and convenient features. By following the step-by-step instructions provided, users can confidently set up remote access for both Mac and Windows systems, ensuring efficient and secure connectivity regardless of location.