How to restart your Mac remotely

Reader G. Murray desires to restart his Mac at instances when it’s no longer within arm’s reach—or even within strolling legs’ reach. He’s questioning what options are to be had with cutting-edge Macs. His Mac is on a community created via a Time Machine, so it has a privately assigned IP deal using NAT (Network Address Translation).

Two forms of options apply right here: for a while, the Mac is still ticking away but isn’t doing what you need so that you want to restart it if handiest you can connect remotely to it, or while the Mac is unreachable and ostensibly crashed or experiencing other troubles, and you need to electricity cycle it.

Remotely hook up with a running Mac.

Screen sharing and far-off terminals get entry to allow you to control a Mac remotely, but reaching that Mac over the Internet is often the fly in the ointment.

[ Further reading: The best wireless routers ]

While macOS includes Back to My Mac, which pairs with iCloud to permit far-off entry to a Mac through the Screen Sharing app, it simplest works in its regular configuration from every other Mac signed in to the same iCloud account. Apple offers no visitor the right to enter different Macs—even though you may set up an account on every other Mac briefly—nor does it have an iOS app.

Instead of Back to My Mac and the Screen Sharing app, you can use the regularly occurring screen-sharing protocol VNC. (To be more puzzling, Apple’s Screen Sharing app is based on VNC but is no longer equal.) VNC can make paintings over Back to My Mac but doesn’t continue because it’s now not a supported characteristic. Third-celebration macOS and iOS apps will let you access any VNC-capable gadget.

Enable display sharing in the Sharing gadget choice pane, and click the Computer Settings buttons to show on VNC. Warning! Always set a robust password for VNC because it’s clean for attackers to experiment with VNC and discover yours if it’s handy from the Internet.


Back to My Mac fails with “double NAT” conditions, which I regrettably have and aren’t rare. A double NAT usually happens when an ISP gives a modem that acts as a router and features you couldn’t reflect or flip off. You’re developing a NAT-interior NAT if you connect an AirPort Extreme with DHCP and NAT enabled to a LAN port on the ISP’s modem. All outbound connections work pleasant. However, inbound ones can be a mess. (In my case, the furnished model has a few difficult-to-understand networking features used by CenturyLink’s fiber-optic network.)

Instead of counting on macOS, you could flip to third-party remote to get the right of entry to software, even though my favorites have dwindled and left active improvement. In contrast, ones that used to have loose or lower-priced flavors have gone commercial and expensive.

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TeamViewer remains the exception, continuously evolving and unfastened for private, non-commercial use. It can punch through NAT, and it’s my desired tool as thoughts on practically every platform, including iOS. The agency prices a pretty hefty fee if you’re using it for commercial enterprise functions, starting at $850 for a perpetual license for remotely gaining access to up to a few gadgets. For enterprise customers without large budgets, I advise LogMeIn, which is $250 a year for two devices.

Chris Breen’s 2012 directions on using SSH to reboot or shut down a Mac through a Terminal consultation remain accurate, so I refer you there. But growing a far-flung Terminal session via SSH, a secure protocol that’s sincere over the Internet, calls for putting in place port mapping on a router or Wi-Fi base station the usage of DHCP reservation (so your Mac has the identical private IP address all of the time) and NAT port forwarding (so an Internet-accessible network cubbyhole maps to the Mac you want it to).

Unfortunately, Apple does not offer a detailed manual for AirPort configuration because it did years in the past. I’m reluctant to toot my very own horn. Still, if you only need to set up this form of far-admission for SSH or different services, you’ll find instructions on this topic in the book Take Control of Your Apple Wi-Fi Network.

Sandy Ryan
Writer. Music advocate. Devoted bacon trailblazer. Hardcore web fanatic. Travel junkie. Avid creator. Thinker. Skateboarder, coffee addict, record lover, reclaimed wood collector and RGD member. Producing at the junction of minimalism and mathematics to craft delightful brand experiences. I'm a designer and this is my work.