How to Remote Control Mac from iPhone

iphone and Mac are an ideal duo. Also because the Mac can be wonderfully controlled remotely with the smartphone. Whether it’s media content or computer management, you can access your Mac on the go with your iPhone – as long as you use the right app and keep a few setup steps in mind.


How to Remote Control iTunes on Mac from iPhone

Everybody knows it: You’re listening to music on your iMac and suddenly one of those songs from your library comes up that you don’t like at all. Now the running starts: Go to the Mac, press the button to end the screensaver, enter your password or thumbprint, bring iTunes to the front and select the next song. With the iPhone, this would be much more comfortable, because you have it in your pocket anyway. All you need is the free app "iTunes Remote" from the AppStore.

Step 1: First, open iTunes on your Mac. Click "File"> "Private Share"> "Enable Private Share".

Step 2: Enter your Apple ID and password, and click "Enable Home Sharing".

Step 3: Confirm the activation message with "OK". The private sharing is now activated, the remote app can access your iTunes computer via WLAN.

Step 4: Now download the free remote app from Apple from the app store and install it on your iPhone:

Step 5: Start the app. It will now ask if you want to use private sharing. Tap the appropriate button.

Step 6: The remote app now offers you your Apple ID as a private sharing account. Confirm with "Log in". Normally, no password is requested.

Step 7: The iPhone now reports that private sharing is enabled. Confirm this with "OK".

Step 8: The iTunes remote app now shows a button "Media Library". Tap on this.

Step 9: You will be connected to the media library and will now see a listing of all playlists. Alternatively, you can list artists or albums, or search for a specific song.

Step 10: When you tap the song on the iPhone, it will play on the Mac. Use the forward and back buttons to move to the next song or play another song, artist, or playlist from the library. Conveniently, the app also brings the Mac out of sleep mode when needed. So now you can play music from Mac with iPhone anytime.


How to Remote Control Mac Completely from iPhone

Of course you can also remote control the whole Mac with the iPhone. There are many ways to do this, the easiest might be the "screen sharing" function: This involves a so-called VNC connection. "VNC" stands for "Virtual Network Computing" and allows Macs and PCs to be controlled by other devices. The setup is very simple:

Step 1:  Open your Mac’s System Preferences and click "Shares".

Step 2: Enable "Screen Sharing" in the sharing options by placing a check mark. This will enable the Mac’s VNC server. If necessary, remember the address that the Mac displays, such as ("computer name.router name"): this is necessary to connect, depending on the VNC app on the iPhone.

Step 3:  For more security, click "Computer Settings" and check "VNC viewers can control the screen with the following password" and assign a password. This will prevent anyone on the network from accessing the computer.

Step 4:  For security reasons, VNC cannot connect to the currently logged in user on current macOS versions. So you either have to log out of the Mac to be able to use VNC via iPhone. Or you have to enter the following command in Terminal:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/ VNCAlwaysStartOnConsole -bool true

Step 5:  That’s it for preferences on the Mac. Now switch to the iPhone and download the free app VNC Viewer from the App Store:

Step 6:  Launch the app and swipe through the info screens until you read "Get Started". Tap the button.

Step 7:  Tap "Bonjour," which is Apple’s network protocol that makes networking Macs especially easy.

Step 8:  All VNC Macs on the network will now show up. You should at least see your Mac. Tap on it.

Step 9:  You can safely ignore the warning that the connection is not encrypted. Tap "Connect."

Step 10:  VNC Viewer will now ask you for the password you entered in step 3. Enter it and activate the "Remember Password" switch. This will save you the trouble of entering the password on the iPhone later. After that, tap on "Done".

Step 11:  VNC Viewer now connects to the Mac and offers a tutorial for certain operating gestures. Because operating a desktop computer on a small iOS device is not trivial. So feel free to take a look at the tutorial.

Step 12:  You can now remotely control your Mac on the network. If you want to do this remotely, you can set up a VPN connection to access your network from your iPhone. If you only see the login screen, you didn’t pay attention in step 4: You need to log out or enter the terminal command mentioned there.


Remote Control Another’s Mac with  iPhone

Last but not least the third variant: You are on vacation and suddenly grandpa calls that he has a problem with his Mac or PC. For these cases (or also for a simple connection to the home Mac without VPN) there is the wonderful app TeamViewer: This allows remote control in a few simple steps. Here’s how it works:

Step 1:  Tell whoever needs help to go to and click "Download QuickSupport" there. This will download a simple TeamViewer variant to the target computer. ×

Step 2:  The "target person" must now activate the downloaded TeamViewerQS. This contains the TeamViewer QuickSupport app. This can, but does not have to, be installed in the Programs folder.

Step 3:  At the same time, you can download and install the free TeamViewer remote control app from the AppStore on your iPhone.

Step 4:  Now tell the person who needs help to launch TeamViewer QS. This will display an ID and password for the person to tell you. ×

Step 5:  Enter the ID and password in the TeamViewer app on your phone. This is how you establish a connection.

Step 6:  That’s it: TeamViewer on iPhone is connected to the target computer. You can now help your friend or relative on the computer as if you were sitting right in front of the Mac.