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Screen Sharing on a Mac: 5 Best Ways to Do It

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Last updated: October 11, 2023

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Different methods for screen sharing on a Mac include the native Screen Sharing app, FaceTime SharePlay, AirPlay, iMessage, and third-party apps.

To activate screen sharing on a Mac, click the Apple logo, select System Settings, click General, choose Sharing, and toggle on the Screen Sharing option.

Key Points

  • Screen sharing fosters real-time collaboration, allowing multiple users to view and discuss content simultaneously.
  • FaceTime’s SharePlay allows you to share your screens during calls without needing hostnames or Apple IDs.
  • AirPlay enables you to mirror your Mac’s display onto AirPlay-compatible devices, including Smart TVs and other Macs.
  • iMessage integrates with the native Screen Sharing tool, allowing you to share screens using your Apple IDs.
  • Third-party applications like Zoom, Slack, and Google Meet offer robust screen sharing capabilities with added functionalities and cross-platform support.

Ever wanted to instantly show someone what’s on your Mac screen, no matter where they are? Screen sharing is a game-changer. It lets you work together on projects, fix problems from afar, and show off presentations.

Dive into this guide as I unveil the top methods for screen sharing on a Mac. From built-in macOS utilities to third-party applications, let’s explore the seamless world of screen sharing on a Mac. Whether you’re a tech guru or just starting out, I’ve got you covered.

Why Would You Need to Screen Share on Mac?

Screen sharing on a Mac can be incredibly useful for various reasons. Some of these reasons are as follows:

  1. 🤝 Collaboration: Whether you’re working on a team project, brainstorming ideas, or editing a document together, screen sharing allows multiple people to view and discuss the same content in real time.
  2. 🔧 Technical Support: If you’re facing technical issues on your Mac, you can share your screen with IT professionals or tech-savvy friends to diagnose and resolve problems without them being physically present.
  3. 🎓 Education and Training: Tutors, teachers, and trainers can share their screens to provide visual explanations, conduct webinars, or guide students through specific software or online resources.
  4. 📊 Presentations: Business professionals can share slides, charts, and other visual aids during virtual meetings or webinars, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
  5. 🏠 Remote Work: For those working from home or in different locations, screen sharing can simulate the experience of working side-by-side with colleagues.
  6. 🎬 Entertainment: Want to show a friend a funny video or share vacation photos? Screen sharing can be fun to share personal content with loved ones.
  7. 💻 Software Demos: Developers or sales teams can provide live demonstrations of software or products to potential clients or users.
  8. ✍️ Review and Feedback: Designers, writers, and other creatives can share their work with clients or team members to receive immediate feedback.

In essence, screen sharing on a Mac enhances communication, fosters collaboration, and facilitates a more interactive digital experience.

How to Activate Screen Sharing on a Mac

Mac’s built-in screen-sharing feature is a powerful tool, but how do you get started? Setting up Mac-to-Mac screen sharing requires a few steps on both Macs, but the process is quick and straightforward.

Let’s walk through the simple steps to activate screen sharing on your Mac:

  1. Click the Apple logo and select System Settings.
click the apple icon and select system settings
  1. Click General and select Sharing.
click general and select sharing
  1. In the right pane, toggle on the Screen Sharing option to make your Mac discoverable to other devices.
toggle on the screen sharing option
  1. You may be asked to enter your username and password.
enter your username and password and click modify settings
  1. Click the small i button next to Screen Sharing.
click the small i next to screen sharing
  1. A new window will appear. You can allow all users to access or limit it to specific users within your network.
choose all users or only these users
  1. If you wish to grant access to VNC users possessing your session password, click the Computer Settings button.
click the computer settings button
  1. To let other Macs to join your screen-sharing session, you must activate it. The joining Mac should know your computer’s name and network address. You can find this information under the Screen Sharing: On label.
  2. The name might appear as XYZ’s MacBook Pro, and the address will be in the format vnc://[IPAddress].
your computer name and network address
  1. Once you’ve gathered this information, forward it to the user wanting remote access, and the rest of the process is straightforward.

5 Best Ways to Screenshare on a Mac

Want to show what’s on your Mac screen to someone else? It’s easier than you think! Macs have some cool ways to let you share your screen, whether it’s for work, fun, or helping out a friend.

Here, I’ll break down the top five methods. So, let’s dive in!

1. Use the Native Screen Sharing App

macOS has a built-in screen-sharing tool, simply named Screen Sharing. It’s user-friendly and straightforward to use as long as you have your Apple ID email.

For a smooth experience, ensure both devices have a stable internet connection. A weak connection might result in no screen sharing or a laggy display.

To use the Screen Sharing app on the device you want to share with, follow these steps:

  1. On the desired Mac, open Spotlight using Command ⌘ + Space, type Screen Sharing, and press Enter.
type screen sharing in spotlight search
  1. Enter your Apple ID in the pop-up window.
enter your apple id in the pop up window
  1. Go back to your original Mac. You’ll see a Screen Sharing notification.
  2. Click Options and then Accept.

Voila! Your Mac’s screen will now show up as a window on the other Mac.

2. Screen Share During a FaceTime Call

Note: This method only works on macOS Monterey and later versions.

FaceTime has long been a favorite for Apple users, offering a seamless way to connect face-to-face. But did you know it also packs a powerful screen-sharing feature? With Apple’s SharePlay in FaceTime, sharing your Mac’s screen with fellow Apple users is quick and easy.

Here’s how to screen share during a FaceTime call:

  1. Initiate a FaceTime call.
  2. Hover to the menu bar and click the FaceTime icon.
click the facetime icon in the menu bar
  1. Click the SharePlay symbol (a screen with a figure in its top right).
click the shareplay icon
  1. Decide whether to share a particular window or your full screen.
select window or screen option
  1. Once chosen, the individual on the other end will see your screen’s content.

This approach doesn’t let the other participant control your Mac, but it’s hassle-free as it skips the need for hostnames or Apple IDs. Plus, SharePlay is perfect for movie nights with pals!

3. Share Your Mac’s Screen With AirPlay

Using the integrated AirPlay function, you can reflect your Mac’s display onto an AirPlay-ready Smart TV, iPad, or another Mac on the same Wi-Fi network. Here’s how:

  1. Access the Control Center via the menu bar.
click control center in the menu bar
  1. Click Screen Mirroring and choose the desired device from the dropdown.
click screen mirroring in control center
  1. Choose Mirror Built-in Display to project your screen onto the selected device.

Additionally, recent Mac models can serve as AirPlay recipients. This means you can stream videos from your iPhone or iPad directly to your Mac.

4. Use iMessage for Screen Sharing

The native Messages app on your Mac also offers a screen sharing feature for iMessage users. This method integrates with the Screen Sharing tool discussed earlier, but it uses your Apple ID, eliminating the need for a hostname.

Here’s how to use iMessage for screen sharing on Mac:

  1. Launch Messages from the Dock.
click the messages app icon in the dock
  1. Locate the contact you want to share your screen with and start a chat.
locate the contact you want to share your screen with and start a chat
  1. Navigate to the menu bar, click Conversation, and select Invite to Share My Screen.
click conversation and select invite to share my screen
  1. Wait for their approval. Once they give the green light, a screen sharing icon will appear active on the menu bar.
  2. From there, you can adjust your screen sharing settings as desired.

5. Screen Share via Third-Party Apps

Besides native apps, third-party applications can help you share your Mac’s screen. Many of these apps also offer web-based versions with similar functionalities. These apps often come with added features, cross-platform compatibility, and unique interfaces that cater to diverse needs.

Remember, these apps require permission to display your screen.

Some top picks include the following:

  1. Zoom: A widely-used video conferencing tool that offers robust screen sharing capabilities, ideal for both personal and professional use.
  2. Slack: Primarily a team collaboration tool, Slack also provides screen sharing features, especially useful for internal team meetings.
  3. Google Meet: Part of the Google ecosystem, this video conferencing tool allows users to easily share their screens during meetings.
  4. Skype: A long-standing communication tool offering video calls and screen sharing, making it easy for users to share content in real-time.
  5. TeamViewer: Known for remote access and support, TeamViewer also provides screen sharing features, allowing users to share and control screens remotely.
  6. Discord: Originally designed for gamers, Discord has evolved into a comprehensive communication platform with voice, video, and screen sharing features.
  7. GoToMeeting: A professional video conferencing tool with a focus on business meetings, offering seamless screen sharing capabilities.
  8. Microsoft Teams: A collaboration tool by Microsoft, Teams offers chat, video conferencing, and screen sharing, making team communication more efficient.
  9. Webex Meetings: A product by Cisco, Webex Meetings is a video conferencing tool that provides high-quality screen sharing for presentations and collaborations.
  10. RingCentral Webinar: A tool designed for online presentations and meetings, offering seamless screen sharing capabilities.

Be a Pro at Screen Sharing on a Mac

The ability to share your screen has become more than just a feature—it’s a bridge to enhanced communication, collaboration, and connection. From casual chats to professional presentations, the tools at our disposal ensure distance no longer hinders our ability to interact and share in real-time.

Here are some more tips for you:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How does screen sharing work?

    Screen sharing allows you to broadcast your screen’s contents to another device over the internet. It captures real-time screen activities, transmitting them to a remote viewer. This facilitates collaborative work, presentations, or remote assistance without being physically present at the same location.

  2. Is Mac screen sharing safe?

    Mac screen sharing is generally safe using built-in macOS features and trusted applications. Apple incorporates encryption and security measures to protect data. However, you should grant access judiciously, use strong passwords, and ensure both parties have secure internet connections to minimize security risks.

  3. How to screen share from Mac to TV?

    To screen share from a Mac to a TV, use Apple’s AirPlay feature. Ensure both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network. On the Mac, access the Control Center, select Screen Mirroring, and choose the TV. The Mac’s display will then mirror onto the TV seamlessly.

  4. Why can’t you screenshare on Mac?

    If you can’t screen share on a Mac, it could be due to software conflicts, incorrect settings, network issues, or outdated macOS versions. Ensure screen sharing is enabled in System Settings, both devices have a stable connection, and you’re using compatible and updated software for the task. Contact Apple support if issue persists.

  5. Does screen sharing cause lag on your Mac?

    Screen sharing can sometimes cause lag on your Mac, especially if there’s limited bandwidth or a slow internet connection. The processing demands of transmitting real-time screen activities can also impact performance. Closing unnecessary applications and ensuring a stable connection can help reduce potential lag during screen sharing.

Hashir Ibrahim


I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.



Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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