Apple Remote Desktop

0 (0)
12.7 MB
Age rating
Current version
Last update
8 months ago
Version OS
13.6 or later
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User Reviews for Apple Remote Desktop

0 out of 5
0 Ratings
2 years ago, TomDFrog
'twas great, not eclipsed
After nearly two decades of use, it is time I abandon this software for something actually developed and supported. Since it is NOT for soccer moms and teens, it gets no love from Apple. Monterrey and M1 Macs are what has killed it for me. It no longer works properly. I can only see the mounse on the M1 machines I remote into from my 2013 MacPro. It is a shame. Have always been shocked this was not rolled into Safari. Stunned they did not gobble up Timbuktu when it was discontinued. It was such a great App for an IT person. But, it's lack of WWW access to other machines and now inability to work with M1 from Intel twilights this App in my tool belt.
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7 years ago, TerryMundo
Hidden settings with Upgrade issue
I’ve been using Remote desktop for years (maybe over 10) It has had some isssues over the years. Currently people seem to have the same issue as me, the app forced an update on my computer but older comptuers can’t update. You can go to prefrences and click on ‘Allow Communication with older clients (less Secure)’ THis will fix the issue. Then you can update the clients remotely if needed. Forcing secure connections is what Apple and other companies need to do today. I am able to manage 60 computers remotley from diffrent locations, even thousands of miles away. Install, update, reboot and change configurations. I think it’s great, however, clients do disapper at times and need to be put back in. Reports hang at times but after a reboot work again. There are some bugs with the software. Over the years it seems that it has gotten more buggy. In all I use it everyday and when I do have a probelm I am able to fix it rather quickly by googling the issue.
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7 years ago, REXprints
Gone critical
I’m a professor. I’ve got a couple dozen iMacs to manage, with attendant students. ARD was critical in deploying software, shutting down, locking screens for lectures and tests, distributing files, on-screen help and discreet messagesfor individual students, student presentations and demo’s. I’ve used it for years, forgiving it’s little erratic stumbles and false problems, but the last upgrade (admin app) and update (client side) have ended all that. The dread “Failed to Authenticate” issue is sometimes a false problem you can ignore, but now almost always a critical fail. After getting blown around in the storm of on-line questions and solutions from all the other disappointed users, I’ve given up. I have cobbled together AirDrop, Bluetooth, thumb drive, and cloud work-arounds for some functionalities, but basically ARD has seriously degraded my ability to teach and manage the college studio courses. I depended on it all day every day, so I’m very sorry Apple hasn’t come up with a solution. Such a pity for a company which successfully made education its core market.
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7 years ago, WPS_Tech
Just horrible
We use this in a public school district. Initially it worked great, but as time went on, newer versions became buggier and buggier. Right now we experience the following; 1. Machines constantly showing up as “Access Denied”. Get info, enter the admin password and it’s fine. Quit and reopen ARD and different machines will now show as “Access Denied”. 2. Machines that show as “Offline” and remain offline until you quit and restart ARD, then it’s active. 3. Dragging a small .pkg to one machine takes a minute to send and install. Dragging the same package to two machines at the same time takes 30 minutes (LAN, not wi-fi). 4. We have a Mac Mini we’d like to use as a Task Server to push .pkg files to remote laptops in mobile carts as they come online. Every week we fight with getting the Task Server to actually enable and more time getting our admin ARD clients to see that it’s available. Wait a few days and "Task Server is unavailable”. None of these problems existed in earlier versions of ARD 3.x.
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2 years ago, longTimeMacAdmin
Finicky? perhaps. Extremely useful? YES!
I have 85 Macs to take care of on a single LAN network. Most of those macs are managed through MDM, but I still lean on Apple Remote Desktop to remotely connect to clients to observe problems, copy files to specific locations, and run custom maintenance tasks and one-off installers. ARD provides many quicker, alternative methods to MDM, and I am glad it is in my arsenal. Yes, it can be quirky, have long, 20 second delays in connecting or sometimes refuse to perform a WAKE, COPY or RESTART command on a machine that is ARD enabled, but I have learned how to work around these quirks - usually by deauthenticating and reauthenticating. Like any software, it has limitations, but I certainly do not think it deserves a two-star rating.
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7 years ago, CATnJT
Was best the thing ever, now just a total frustration
I support over 1500 macs and have survived thanks to ARD, until now. With the upgrade to 3.9 I have managed to survive the simple issue of allowing older clients and the oddball “holding old IP’s” so that you think you are connecting to one computer but really getting a different computer that now has that IP. Now I am finding that I spend half my time doing a Get Info and pretending to make a change to get the computer to become Available because they just don’t seem to be noticed by ARD Admin. I have to constantly manually override the IP’s that even when ARD says the computer is available isn’t really because it is an old IP. Now every one of my computers that the users have ran software updates and their client is now 3.9.3 will not let me observe or control. I can do everything else but it just says nothing or finally gives an error.
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2 years ago, Ageostrophic
Quickly Helpful
I found this to be quickly a very helpful tool. I balked at paying the ~$80 price for this app for many years, but finally gave in. I have to support my family and I made it a requirement that they get Macs if they wanted the support. They did, but I totally lost in the end, because the support they require is always too much. Now, I can a lot more easily support them remotely with this application. I have only touched the surface of this app, I am sure there are some annoyances once you get to the power user level, but for me this is so very helpful compared to what I had been doing: Screen Share and Terminal.
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7 years ago, wilson_c
Not recommended for existing ARD users.
After upgrading to 3.9, every one of hundreds of client machines fails to authenticate and shows the status “Needs Upgrade”. Of course, now that I have updated ARD the only way to upgrade clients is to open a terminal and SSH into each of them and run “sudo softwareUpdate -i RemoteDesktopClient-3.9.0” on them one-by-one. Exactly the sort of thing we buy ARD to help us avoid. I’ve been using it since v1.0 and this is the first time ARD has been unable to push out client updates. It also seems that Apple has broken all ARD supports for any OS prior to 10.8. Whereas before it would gladly connect to clients as early as v3.4 (yep, we have servers running software which requires Leopard). Whatever the goal of this new version is, it is not appropriate to deploy in a professional environment.
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4 years ago, musiclover1015
Amazing Service! Keep selling this app!
Do not listening to the other reviewers. This is an amazing service Apple offers and I really appreciate this utility in my day to day small business operations. Thank you for Apple for continuing to offer this service for near 20 years! Please continue offering this service in your future macOS software updates. Many of these users might not have the proper networking configuration to take advange of this service ("Access Denied"). Blame your network configuration for errors you encounter with this service.
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4 months ago, Thisguydone
Still works great on my imac and mac studio
Not sure what all the negative reviews are about but it can't be this product because it works flawlessly. I have on older intel imac and an M1 studio and everything works as expected and it was super easy to set up. My imac is the server and the M1 is the client and its practically like having the studio right in front of me. We are all on the same local network, the M1 is being used headless at this point with just Apple Remote Desktop. Very nice
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1 year ago, DaelB
Work Great For My Needs
As of January 2023, this software seems to be working great with no glitches. I am accessing an M1 Mac Mini from my M2 Macbook Air. This is my first test, but so far it is working well. I am able to install and set up the items needed remotely so when I arrie at the studio, I have a system with Logic Pro set up ready for a session. I admit I am not a heavy user trying to manage many machines. only two right now, and soon to be three. None the less, this is perfect for my needs.
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7 years ago, poemtree
C’mon Apple!
Apple created a Catch-22 by removing the ability to “Upgrade Client” in the Manage menu. In the past, when you upgraded to a new ARD, you could push the new client out to all your managed machines. Inexplicably, that is gone in this version. Apple gaslighted me, I looked for an hour, questioned whether it had ever existed, thought maybe they moved it. Nope, just gone (I did see it in an old version on a legacy server). So now I have to ask my users to install the client update on their own machines, and I can’t access those machines from a 3.9.0 console until they do. This is not “just works” and there is a “step three”. Disappointed...
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3 years ago, streetcredit12v
Cartoonishly Bad
Let's call this exactly what it is - outdated, ignored software that stands as the only way those with multiple macOS systems (not for much longer, because of these issues) can leverage what used to be possible with Target Display Mode: Using a newer iMac to control another in a seemless manner at a larger workstation. This is essential for developers who are issued Macbooks at their jobs and often work from home. This app is not only overpriced, but it is also both a poor substitute for a removed feature and a glaring bit of oversight (more likely cash-grab) on the behalf of Apple. When this software works, it's horribly slow when hardwired. When it doesnt work, there is absolutely no feedback as to what the issue is. Hanging "connecting" messages are frequent - even when connected via either TB3 or CAT5 cable. The longer we pay for this kind of faux product (something offered for free on literally every single other platform), the further down the gutter the quality of Apple's products will slide.
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7 years ago, IT Upshot
This used to be great...
…Now, not so much. With every update it has become slower, and temperamental. It doesn’t remember settings from one session to another, it takes a long time to load the list of computers in the “Scanner,” and this latest version, my users got annoyed with weird keychain notifications just because they fell into the scope of ARD. We also got surprised with this new extra “Shared Control” button that adds nothing new. Who asked for this feature? If you had set your preferences to “Share control with user” the regular “Control” button was fine. Please, Apple, make this a great app again.
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2 years ago, Mr. Evil
Pretty cool tool, terrible name
Came from Windows Server admin world.. so RDPing is normal. Seeing a $75 RDP client was a big turn off, before I realized by reading comments that's not quite what this is. This is more comparable to a SSMS tool to manage mac clients. Sure you can ARD into other machines, but there's a lot more going on within this tool. Got this as an upgrade over built in "screen sharing" and generally pretty happy with now being able to manage my headless man mini file server at my house.
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4 years ago, JFoDizzle
Very finicky, drives you insane
This app works about 75% of the time. That's just enough to make you think you're doing it right, until the thing you did before no longer works. Just now I tried to run a Unix command on 5x systems, it didn't work and the systems said they were offline, unavailable, and unauthorized. Then I restarted ARD and did the exact same thing – but with success. Software isn't like playing catch where you just need practice doing the same thing over and over, if it works once it should work predictably without me closing the tool and trying it all over again.
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5 years ago, Xysta
Poor stability and support
As others have stated, the latest version 3.9 is very unstable. I have used it for many years as tech support in my school district. After 3.9, it crashes often and is more frustrating to work with. Some clients do not want to connect or are not available. We have been in the process of phasing out all Apple equipment. This is not just because of ARD. I'm being nice when I say that their customer/software/equipment support for education is not good.
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3 years ago, 17yukidesu17
Very easy to use
I don't know why there are so many bad reviews. If you are managing Apple computers this just wokrs. There is almost no setup to manage computers over a local network. The highlighted reviews are both from 4 years ago, so I thought I would add one about the current version which seems to have fixed the bugs and works just fine.
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7 years ago, UofSC Student Media
ARD 3.9 - suprisingly bad
I have been managing Macs for many years with ARD and have had nothing but praises for the software. It has been stable and updates / upgrades a breeze. That is until version 3.9 came out just the otrher day. What should have been a minor upgrade has become a major headache. ARD 3.9 upgrade immediately and completely breaks the functions we bought ARD for; UNIX command management of systems, software distribution and general remote management of computers. This update is terrible. Doesn’t seem like it was tested thorougly before it was pushed out. Please push a fix ASAP or publish a troubleshooting web page. Wait to update your copy for as long as possible.
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7 years ago, MNBeeBop
Works great for me
I’ve been using ARD for 15 years. I agree that past versions worked better than recent versions. I encounter the Access Denied notification more often than I’d like, but other than that it is the best app out there for observation and remote access in a school setting. I also use it to install apps remotely, but I do each machine individually as trying to do more than one at a time takes longer than doing each one by itself.
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7 years ago, deepspacefan
Don’t do it!!
Worst upgrade ever. Besides the fact that you end up having to manually update all your clients one by one, once that is done, you lose connectivity to them. I have about 40 clients that I manage through this. I can observe them all and can individually control them but only have remote management of three currently. I have wasted a whole day to try and fix this and after every restart or reboot or attempt to fix, I lose connectivity to more clients. I cannot believe that Apple released this with so many bugs. I so hope that they release an update soon so that we can all get back to our real work.
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8 months ago, [steve k]
Perfect for running two headless Mac Minis in my home
I've been using ARD for years to administer my headless Plex server on one Late 2012 Mac mini, and my high res music players on another Late 2012 mini. Today after upgrading to Sonoma I noticed that everything seemed faster and more responsive. I happened to look at my app updates here in the Mac App Store and sure enough, it looks like ARD was updated. Nice!
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7 years ago, sionefoalu
No problem whatsoever
Just installed over 3.8.5 and no problems whatsoever. In my experience all, or at least most, people who report problems, have over the years added, removed, changed programs, utilities etc. etc., slowly corrupting the system over time, and are now facing the straw breaking the macos back. It could equally have happened when updating another program.
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3 years ago, xxco
Fine App - But not enhanced for years
Apple could invest more in Remote Desktop. I use it to maintain and support sveral Macs via LAN and WAN connections. At the time of its introduction, it was a super app. It's still good. But there have been few feature updates and improvements over the years. The good news is that Apple has not (yet) abandoned Remote Desktop altogether as with many great Apple apps before it (eg, Aperture, MacProject, etc ... ).
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7 years ago, dmac146
“Needs Upgrade"
If you get this and face the prospect of having to manually ssh to all your clients to run softwareupdate since you can’t reach them after upgrading ARD, just go to Preferences -> Security and check on the option that says “Allow communication with older clients (less secure)” which by default is off (you could have at least warned us Apple…). This will allow to you re-connect with them and from there send the UNIX command to update them without having to ssh one by one.
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3 years ago, CodeMonkeyJunkie
Useless on a Mac Pro with multiple screens
Opened a bug with Apple (Apple care ) about 2 years ago … they still haven’t fixed the driver issue. Mac Pros have a display driver bug that if you have more than 3 screens in any configuration ARDP can only use 2 of them. The rest are visible, but there is nothing you can do to get to them. Found that out after buying this overpriced RDP manager. So if an app opens on one of the non-reachable screens … there is nothing you can do until you can get physical access to the Mac again.
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5 years ago, onlinedelivery
Reinstall & Update
Upgraded a desktop system and couldn't get it to run with Mojave. Then realized I had been running it with Mojave already on the laptop. Deleted the app, upgraded the desktop Mojave, and reinstalled the app. It's working fine. No freezes or crashes. All the usual features are working just fine.
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2 years ago, AlxDemer
Not Bad, Just Needs Some TLC
While I may not be using this to manage tons of computers, I still use it to remote into my other Mac computers. Overall, I have had a good experience. There of course are occassional bugs and weird behaviors... I think with some patches and feature updates, this software can be better. You can do it Apple!
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4 years ago, 2olley
Apple Doesn’t Support this app
I work in tech support for education. We’ve used macs in our labs for years primarily because we had Apple Remote Desktop and very few people could manage a lot of devices remotely. Apple stopped supporting this product years ago and should just take it out of the app store. Nothing works reliably and they don’t care. We were willing to pay more for macs to have this functionality but now they are just overpriced machines. This is one of many reasons Apple has lost education market share to Google.
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2 years ago, ShellHelment
Has Apple Given up on this?
For the last few years, this product has become unusable. I rely on this to manage 120 or so computers in a mid sized enterprise. Up until a few years again, it worked great. However, lately, after a few minutes of running, all the computers in the list show up as off line and I cannot scan for them. I have to quit or force quite, then in Activity monitor, force quit out of ARDAgent. I have to do this several times a day.
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6 years ago, AverageJoey
Best remote desktop for mac
If you are managing Macs this is the best remote desktop software for it. No exceptions. It is a bit long in the tooth and I would love to see it gets some updates but there really isn’t anything missing from this software. Now an iPad version would be great but that is a topic for another day.
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7 years ago, Sco'rt
Don’t worry about 3.9 “Upgrade Needed"
This is a pretty hefty speed improvement over the previous version, clients come up quickly and the framerate is better when monitoring multiple screens. Don’t worry about the “Upgrade Needed” error as you just have to go to Preferences => Security and enable old clients again.
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6 years ago, OSX2000
Please, just fix the bugs already!
Remote Desktop 3.9.x has big problems with modifier keys (command, option, etc.) becoming sticky. You use them once, and it's as if they stay pressed down, messing with what you're doing, which makes controlling another Mac extremely frustrating. I had to roll back my machines to Remote Desktop 3.8.5, which does not have this issue, and I won't be updating again until it's fixed.
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3 years ago, Katineni35
Won't download or install & blocks other apps from updating
New version won't download or install & blocks other apps from updating. How is it possible for Apple to let something great turn into garbage over the years. It shows a lack of respect for long time users. No explanations either. No attempt to communicate what they are doing to long time PAID users. I can't even imagine how frustrating this must be to enterprise users. I'm only managing a dozen Friends & Family Macs. Apple has truly become the new Microsoft0
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5 years ago, Will McK
The Opposite of Fine Wine
It's gotten worse with time. I've been using ARD for a little over three years now. There have always been a couple bugs and glitches here and there, but it seems like recently it's become completely unreliable. Computers will show up as available, but then when I try to interact with them it'll say not authorized. Computers randomly (and constantly) become unavailable, even though I'm able to see in-person that they have not gone to sleep or anything.
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7 years ago, d_caldwell
Awful! Avoid if at all possible
Lots of problems. Earlier problems with outdated clients and whatnot have been resolved. Today’s problem is “Access Denied” errors on a BRAND NEW Macbook Pro with the latest MacOS and RDP client installed. All the permissions are correct, I’ve reset them several times. I can connect and remote control the system, but I can’t install software or run scripts on it. I use this software a lot (well, I used to…) to roll out new machines. I have wasted most of a day trying to get this to work on a single machine!
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7 years ago, Nomad_NYC
Beware! Do not install!
As noted by other users: this version makes it impossible to access your clients unless those also have version 3.9 (and, no I did not think to upgrade any of my 700 clients first to prepare for this minor upgrade). Of course, Apple in their infinte wisdom provides no downgrade option - no place to download 3.8 installer. Just another half baked ARD update - this time it is not just useless (like taking color out of icons so everything is harder to locate) - it breaks what little functionality it managed to retain.
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3 years ago, Jorge.Arenas.Pro
Can't resize to full screen
Connecting from a iMac 27" 5K display to a remove Macbook Pro, 13" means that you are not going to be able to see the remote session full screen in your 5K retina display in the iMac... there is just no way to resize the screen to use the total available space... big overlook from the developers in my opinion!! Microsoft Remote Desktop can perform this task flawlesly... and is a free tool...
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7 years ago, jmobiliomusic
Apple Remote Desktop 3.9 - big mess after forced upgrade
I teach in and manage a digital music lab. I have been using ARD since 1997 (!) in various music lab settings - and have sung its praises over and over. This most recent forced upgrade has turned into a nightmare. ARD 3.9 is constantly giving critical error messages, wont authenticate the iMacs in the lab, and yes I have deleted and re-authenticated (or tried too) and yes I upgraded the ARD client on all the iMacs in the lab. My teaching has come to a screeching halt with this issue. HELP!!! Apple please get on this immediately!
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7 years ago, vmgstudio520
Ever since the last big update I am not able to reliably control or observe machines. This has worked so flawlessly for YEARS but for some reason now seems to be botched. I often find myself rapidly clicking the observe or control buttons and/or waiting long periods of time until the connection is made. I don’t understand why this is a problem and why this issue is still present after months. Seriously… this needs to be fixed/addressed NOW.
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1 year ago, skosari
ARD is faster than VNC. I tried Splashtop also but that requires h264 decoding on the client which runs my fan alot. This doesnt use any power and its faster and you can leave it on for long periods of time whitout any hiccups. Its the Microsoft RDP of Mac OS and you have to pay for it :/
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2 years ago, Gark2
From Hero to Zero!
ARD made me the tech hero of our school site... I could assist anyone remotely on campus and manage machines with aplomb... but NOW... This is a flakey version of ARD, even with home-run GB to each computer on same quailty switch. Our school just purchased new $60k lab of new M1 iMacs. I looked forward to reliable ARD performance. But no, after using every version of ARD since 1.0, this may be the most unusable experience in years ... AND why 10 months since the last update?
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8 months ago, pfisher12
No Improvements
Two years ago, I provided a review and offered some feedback. Two years later, nothing has changed with ARD. Obviously, Apple has released newer versions of macOS but nothing significantly has changed with ARD. I think, sometimes, it is getting worse than better.
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6 years ago, SlikHill
No management functions
I have 20 new iMacs. (I had to update each one to 3.9!). But that did not help. Double click a client and under the Administrator tab it shows nothing and no plus symbol to add an admin, only a minus. I am completely unable to manage any of the Macs through ARD even though they show up as available.I have used ARD for over 10 years and NEVER had this issue. I see in the reviews, it has been over a year with serious issues. Wow, Apple has really lost its way!
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6 years ago, former_window_user
Buggy software
I recently switch to Mac and need to work remote occasionally. I ran into issues half of the times using the software which wasted lot of times to troubleshoot. The app could not connect to the remote Mac Pro, and caused the Mac Pro stuck in Curtain mode. Apparently it was an common issue for ARD. The only option I found was to hard reset the machine. I never run into any issues when using remote desktop on Windows. It is very disaapointing...
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7 years ago, Inder Nandrey
Broke the functionality
updating to 3.9 broke the functionality of remote desktop app. it no longer connects to macs on the computer and gives the authentication failed error. i have tried reinstalling the app and even reinstalled the OS. I hope apple fixes this issue with a quick update since its useless now. i needed the remote desktop function to access my computer at work and home and this is rendered my computers and workflow usesless.
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6 years ago, the_chiefgeek
Not a replacement for Back To My Mac
Apple removed Back To My Mac from the Mojave update and mentioned this as a sutiable replacement. If all you ever do is access remote computers on the same network, then Apple Remote Desktop works fine. If on the other hand, you need to access apple computers on different networks and do not have VPN connection between the networks, this app will not work for you. Save your money and try a third party app for accessing remote computers.
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6 years ago, hdi2
Disappointing performance and over priced!
I have used Apple Remote Desktop for over 10 years. It used to be great. Starting a few years ago, it became painfully slow to connect. I have spoken to AppleCare about this in the past, but apparently this isn’t important enough for Apple to actually resolve. I recommend that you buy an app called Screens. It’s less expensive, and it seems to be more reliable than Apple Remote Desktop.
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2 months ago, IPADUSR
It works for me.
A lot of the reviews go back to older verstions of Mac OS. Version 3.97 seems to work great using Sonoma. I'm not doing anything too technical, just updating a few macs at my house; it seems to work just fine. No complaints here. It's doing what it's supposed to do.
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4 years ago, Mitwyatt
Great for day-to-day tasks.
I have been using ARD for around 5 years now and in an edu setting of around 40 macs, this tool is very useful for accomplishing a variety of tasks at scale. I really hope Apple continues to support and develop this app.
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