OSX 10.5: Screen Sharing

One of the additions to Apple’s new Operating System OS X 10.5 Leopard is the ability to quickly share your computer screen with people in your network (home or office) and with any of your iChat contacts (this works with both .Mac accounts and AOL (AIM) accounts).

Doing so allows you to see or share the screen of the computer you’re connecting to and then take control of the mouse and keyboard as if you were sitting in front of the computer yourself. Additionally, the connection between the computers opens a Microphone connection so that you can discuss over the network the work you’re doing on the other computer.

Below is a quick tutorial on two different ways that you can enable and take advantage of Screen Sharing on your New Mac.


To enable screen sharing with a computer on your network you first need to make sure that you’ve enabled screen sharing in system preferences:

  1. Click the Apple on the menu bar
  2. Select System Preferences
  3. Click Sharing under Internet and Networking Section
  4. Be sure the Screen Sharing Box is checked
  5. Follow these steps on all computers you’d like to share screens with
  6. If you would like to limit who can access your systems screen you can by limiting screen sharing rights to only the users you select

After you’ve enabled screen sharing, open Finder and select the computer on your network under Shared on the left. You should see in the main window now any shared folders you have access to on that computer and to the top right a Share Screen button.

Click the button and enter a name and password with rights created on the computer you’re connecting to. When you’ve finished click ok and a window should appear showing you the screen of the computer you’ve just connected to.

At this point you should have complete control of the computer over the network.


Another way to take advantage of screen sharing is through iChat. Connect to iChat with either your AIM or .Mac account and find a friend that is also connected with Apple OS X 10.5 and using iChat. When you select their screen name you should see the screen sharing button enable on iChat.

Click the button and select either “Share my screen with this contact” or “Ask to share this contacts screen”. After you’ve done this the friend/contact will receive a prompt to either accept the screen sharing request or deny it.

If the user accepts, then a window will display with other computers screen and a microphone connection will be enabled so that you can discuss over the internet what ever you’re doing when you’ve connected to the other computer. Either user can control the mouse and keyboard at this point.


The addition to share screens quick and easily is one the best new features in OS X 10.5 Leopard. If you have multiple Macs in your home you should quickly learn how to use this feature as it will save you the time of having to wonder around the house to change things or access files on different computers.

The only features that this new addition is really missing is the ability to share screens on old versions of OS X or with Windows or Linux computers. Maybe that capability will be in future releases.