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Prior to OS X Lion, I could easily take control of my Mac Mini via ScreenSharing from one of the other Mac's on my home network.

Now, with OS X Lion, there is an option to share the same screen or view a virtual screen. Sharing the screen with the user currently logged into the target system requires confirmation. If it's just the kids watching television or I simply want to take over iTunes and have it pull shows or music from one of our other libraries, there isn't anyone that can operate the keyboard and mouse to accept the request.

I see no point in having the ScreenSharing feature for home users where one cannot configure the client/target so that it can automatically accept requests, yet I can't find such an option. I must be overlooking it.

How do I configure OS X Lion to automatically accept requests for ScreenSharing?

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This had me scrtching my head for a while too but I just got it nailed. The problem was that I was connecting as a different user to the user who was currently 'actively' using the screen. If you connect as the active user you get control. Facepalm!

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I'm also using Screen Sharing to connect to a Mac mini running Lion (from a MacBook Pro running Lion), but the Mac mini does not prompt the user to confirm the connection.

This is my setup on the Mac mini (the host):

  • Screen Sharing on (obviously)
  • Allow access for: Administrators
  • Anyone may request permission to control screen: disabled
  • VNC viewers may control screen with password: disabled

On the client, I use the Connect to Server command with an address in this form:


The username and password are those of an administrator account on the mini.

If the username I enter is that of the currently active account on the mini, the client just connects, no questions asked. If the username is of another account, then Screen Sharing asks me if I want to share the display or connect to a virtual display.

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I discovered that sometimes the Finder's "Share Screen…" button will get stuck as a different user, even if you use "Connect As…" to log in as the user account that is already logged in. To work around it, you can just open Safari and type "vnc://user@machine.local" into the address bar. Hit enter, and Screen Sharing will open up and ask for the password, skipping the "Ask to control" screen.

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You can set a password in Computer Settings in the Screen Sharing options page and then use a non-Finder client to connect to your Mac. I personally use the Java version of TightVNC.

You'll have to enter both passwords (VNC password and user password), but you don't have to press any buttons on the host.

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