Using Screens Connect

Last updated 3 months ago

Screens Connect is a small, free, optional companion application to make connecting to remote computers as simple as possible. On macOS, Screens Connect offers several features to enhance your remote computing experience.

  • Improved Keyboard Support: Screens Connect provides information about keyboard currently connected to a remote Mac so that Screens knows which keyboard mapping to use, even if the current keyboard on your Screens device differs.

  • Improved Shortcut Gestures: Screens uses default shortcuts for Mission Control, Show All Application Windows, Move Left/Right a Space, and Spotlight. It provides the current hot keys used on the remote Mac so that Screens knows which shortcuts to use.

  • Automatic Port Forwarding/Port Mapping: Screens Connect works with UPnP- and NAT-PMP-compatible routers to automatically configure the router to allow Screens connections.

  • Nearby Computers and Screens Connect Lists: The Screens Library features an automatically updated list of computers available for Screens to connect to. The Nearby Computers list leverages the power of Bonjour on macOS and many Linux distributions to find Screens Connect computers on the local network. Screens Connect manages information for these lists under your Screens ID.

Screens Connect for Windows offers benefits specifically for the Windows platform:

  • VNC server: Windows doesn't ship with a VNC server, so Screens Connect for Windows includes TightVNC.

  • SSH server: Windows also lacks a secure shell server. freeSSHd is also included for secure connections.

  • Bonjour: Screens Connect includes Bonjour to broadcast computer availability over the local network, automatically adding Screens Connect computers to the Nearby Computers list in the Screens Library.

For more information, see our Screens Connect user guides for macOS and Windows.


  • Screens Connect 3.0 requires OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion or later. If your machine is running an older version of OS X (note that OS X 10.6.8 is the earliest supported version), please download Screens Connect 2.2 instead.

  • Screens Connect must be installed on each remote computer you wish to connect to over the Internet. If for some reason it's not possible to use Screens Connect, you will have to take a different approach to making your computer available for connections from outside its local network. Instructions are available for Mac and Windows/Linux.