Messages (Mountain Lion): Share your screen

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Share your screen in Messages

With Messages, you and a friend with Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard or later can share a screen, even at a distance, making it easy to collaborate on a website or other project. With screen sharing, both of you can work on the shared desktop.

You and your friend can do anything on the shared desktop, such as opening folders, creating documents, and copying files by dragging them from one desktop to another.

During screen sharing, Messages automatically initiates an audio chat so that you can talk to your friend.

You can share screens using AIM (including and, Jabber, Google Talk, and Bonjour. You can’t share screens using iMessage or Yahoo!.

Screen sharing in Messages is independent of screen sharing settings in System Preferences. You can share screens using Messages even when Screen Sharing is deselected in the Sharing pane of System Preferences.

Important: When you share your screen with a friend, your friend has the same access to your computer that you have. Share your screen only with people you trust, and be particularly careful if you receive a request to share your screen from someone who isn’t in your buddy list. If the request comes from someone using Bonjour, remember that the name shown for the person in Bonjour does not necessarily match the person’s real name, so his or her identity is uncertain.

Share your screen or a friend’s screen

  1. Select a conversation with your friend or send your friend a message.

    Keep the conversation going

  2. Do one of the following:
    Option Description
    Share your screen: Choose Buddies > Share My Screen.
    Share your friend’s screen: Choose Buddies > “Ask to Share.”
  3. While you’re sharing screens, you can do the following:
    Option Description
    Switch between viewing your screen and your buddy’s screen: Click the small desktop image.
    Close the screen sharing session: Click the Close (X) in the upper left of the small desktop image.

Respond to a screen sharing invitation

When someone invites you to a screen sharing session, a small window appears notifying you of who sent the invitation.

Click the window to expand it, and then click one of the following:

Accept: Accepts the invitation.

Decline: Rejects screen sharing. The invitation window closes and the person who invited you is notified.

Text Reply: Rejects the screen sharing session and opens the Messages window so you can send a message to the person who invited you.

Published Date: Sep 4, 2015