This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Use the kickstart command-line utility in Apple Remote Desktop

You can use kickstart to execute Apple Remote Desktop commands without restarting the remote computer.

Use kickstart to set Apple Remote Desktop preferences. For example, you can install, uninstall, activate, set up, and restart Apple Remote Desktop components.

Learn how to control a remote Mac with Screen Sharing with the kickstart command-line utility in macOS Mojave 10.14 and later.

Get started

You can find the kickstart tool at:


Type the commands in this article as one line of text. If the text wraps as you enter it, that's fine. Don’t press the Return key until you’ve entered the entire command.

For more information about the kickstart command, use the -help flag:

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -help

Sample commands

The commands in this article work with Apple Remote Desktop 3.2 and later.

Here are commands that you can use:

  • Restart the ARD Agent and helper:

    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -restart -agent

  • Turn on Remote Desktop Sharing, allow access for all users, and enable the menu extra:

    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -activate -configure -allowAccessFor -allUsers -privs -all -clientopts -setmenuextra -menuextra yes

  • Turn on Remote Desktop Sharing, allow access for specified users:

    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -activate -configure -allowAccessFor -specifiedUsersYou must use the -configure, -access, and -privs options in a separate command to specify the set of users and their access privileges. For example, this command is for users with the short names "teacher" and “student." It gives them access to observe (but not control) the computer, and to send text messages:

    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -configure -users teacher,student -access -on -privs -ControlObserve -ObserveOnly -TextMessagesUnlike other kickstart options, you can’t combine the allowAccessFor options with other kickstart options. You must use it as in the last two samples above. You might have to call kickstart more than once to finish a computer’s setup.

  • Remove access privileges for specified users ("student" in this example):

    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -configure -users student -access -off

  • Disable ARD Agent and remove access privileges for all users:

    sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ -deactivate -configure -access -off

Published Date: