Remotely Access a Windows Computer from a Mac Computer Using VNC
This will show you how to remote control Windows computers with Mac computers.
Set Up Windows for Being Controlled
Download TightVNC here.
After download, navigate to the package and open it.
Click next and accept the terms of agreement.
When you reach this page, click custom install.
Click and deselect TightVNC Viewer from installation. We don’t need that. If you plan on also remoting to other devices via VNC on this Windows Computer, I recommend RealVNC Viewer for Windows.
Leave all of these options checked below.
Once completed, we need to set passwords. Here is how I do it.
We need a password for remote access to work. Since we aren’t forwarding the computer for access and using a VPN to get in from outside the network, a weak password will be fine. I set “1” as my password for “Password for Remote Access.”
I set no password for “Administration Password.”
Click finish on the installer.
At this point, you should be done installing TightVNC Server on your Windows computer.
It should also have automatically started up and you can find it in your hidden icons down here on the taskbar:
If it isn’t running, then go to your start menu > All Programs > TightVNC (or whichever directory you install all of your programs to) > TightVNC Server (Service Mode). From there, Click Start TightVNC Service.
Also, TightVNC normally starts automatically on boot up. To ensure that it does, make a shortcut of Start TightVNC Service within the startup folder on the computer.
See the number following TightVNC Service within your icons whenever hovering over TightVNC Server?
That is the IP address of your machine. Take note of that for connecting below.
Unless if you did something special prior to this in your static IP/reservations settings on your router, this was assigned automatically. I recommend static IP addresses for all of your devices.
In order to change this automatically assigned IP address into a static one to prevent it from changing again, you need to research your router model to learn how to change this setting within your router settings.
Now we can connect!
Set Up Mac for Controlling
Make sure your Mac is on the same network as the device you are controlling – more on connecting outside the network below.
Download RealVNC Viewer for Mac here.
Once installed and opened, configure the preferences. Go to your toolbar and navigate to preferences for VNC Viewer:
Go to the expert tab.
Search or find ColorLevel and set to rgb222 for a balance between speed and visibility:
Search WarnUnencrypted and set to false.
Search Quality and set to custom.
Apply changes and close. These settings will now be used for all connections made and saved on this computer.
Those are basic parameters I always change. You may want to change other things such as default scaling in that menu.
Now simply connect to do the device. Enter its IP address from above into the search bar and click enter (e.g. device 19 has IP ending in 19).
Enter the password and check remember password.
You are now connected!
At this point, rename the connection. Close out and find it in the address book.
Click on it and click Cmd+I to pull up properties (or right/two finger click).
Put in a friendly name below the IP address (e.g. 19 for device #19).
I usually name mine according to my cash device naming system.
I also export my connections. Click file in the toolbar, export connections. This exports everything so if you have more devices, you might as well set those up first.
I recommend exporting these VNC files to a Dropbox or Google Drive folder so you can use them on other computers.
Controlling from Outside Your Network
In order to control this device from outside the network, I recommend setting up a VPN on your router. You can then use the same IP address you used above to connect to the machine as long as you are connected to your router via the VPN on the device controlling.
I will have an example soon on how I set up a VPN with my router, but how you can set up a VPN on your router depends on your model. Every UI is different. You will have to research your model for how to set up a VPN on it.
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