Mac Remote Desktop

SFU faculty and staff are able to remotely connect to on-campus managed Mac computers by using SFU's Virtual Private Network and Apple's built-in Screen Sharing app.

This is a convenient way to:

  • Remotely login to on-campus managed Mac computers from a remote Mac.
  • Access software and files from office workstations.
  • Connect with other on-campus resources (such as shared-drives and printers).

Undergraduate students

Undergraduate students who need to remotely access on-campus IT lab machines can use SFU's virtual computer labs.

How to connect (Mac to Mac only)

SFU managed Macs are pre-configured with Apple's built-in remote management settings to help administrators troubleshoot issues. For you to use remote management, your user profile will need to be added as an allowed account for your on-campus Mac.

Step 1: Ask your departmental IT staff to configure your on-campus Mac

Only IT administrators can complete the following steps.

  1. Open "System Preferences"
  2. Selecting "Sharing"
  3. Select "Remote Management"
  4. Under "Allow access for" select the + icon.
  5. Select the user account to add. 

* Also consider disabling sleep mode for a reliable connection.


You won't be able to use remote desktop without MFA or SFU VPN. Setup instructions:

Already have MFA and SFU VPN? Skip and proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: Sign in to SFU VPN

Sign in to SFU VPN app with your SFU computing ID and MFA code.

Step 4: Connect to your on-campus Mac

While signed in to SFU VPN, open Apple's built-in Screen Sharing app and enter the hostname of your on-campus Mac.


My on-campus Mac isn't responding. What should I do? 

If inactive, on-campus devices will enter a sleep mode to conserve energy. For a reliable connection to your on-campus Mac, you will need to ensure that sleep mode is disabled. To help with energy conservation, SFU recommends that you only do this as a temporary measure.

SFU doesn't centrally manage my on-campus Mac. Will I still need to use SFU VPN to connect?

Yes. Remote connection protocols (VNC, RDP and ARD) are all blocked while off campus to protect the SFU community from common threats. SFU VPN provides an encrypted and secure connection to the SFU campus network and is required for remote connections to on-campus devices.