How to Screen Share Between Mac, iPhone & iPad

Screen sharing with your iPhonethat is, showing your screen to someone as part of a video callis not a straighforward feature of iOS or any of Apple's stock apps. It is not so easy as simply using the iPhone screen mirroring feature to another iPhone. Even so, there are several different ways to screen share your iPhone, your iPad, and your Mac. You even can enable remote computer access! We'll go through all the possibilities including the easiest option of all, FaceTime screen share, as well as screen sharing and control with iMessage, and screen sharing Mac to Mac. Let's get started going over our screen sharing options for Mac to iPhone and iPad, and screen sharing Mac to Mac. 

Related: How to Mirror an iPhone to a TV

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

How to Screen Share Between Mac, iPhone & iPad

What’s In This Article:

FaceTime Screen Share

FaceTime doesn't have a built in screen share option. Even without a tool for screen sharing, FaceTime may still be your easist option with no complicated instructions needed; all you need to do is start a FaceTime call with a secondary device and point the camera at the screen you need to view.  

To enable a FaceTime call, you and the person you're working with need to have iPhones. To start the call:

  1. On your iPhone, open your Phone app and choose the contact you'd like to FaceTime.
  2. Tap the FaceTime icon to initiate your video call.

    facetime screen share on iphone 
  3. Once the call starts, point the camera on your iPhone at your Mac screen so the other person can see.

If you find this solution dissatisfying, then you're in the right place. The solutions presented below all allow iPhone screen sharing, they're just more complicated to set up.

The Best Screen Share App: Zoom

For free screen sharing software, Zoom is pretty great. It's our number one recommended way to set up screen sharing on an iPad, iPhone, Mac or PC. With Zoom you can mirror your iPhone to an iPad, or to a Mac, or visa versa, or any combination of the above. It could not be more flexible and easy to share your screen. Zoom is a third-party video-conferencing app designed to let large groups do video meetings. It has excellent screen sharing features, and it lets you sign in with a free account. Let's get started with Zoom.
  1. Both ends of the call need to have the Zoom app  installed. You can get the app from the iOS App Store, and the Mac or PC versions from the website. We will demonstrate the process on the iPhone.
  2. Open the Zoom app.
  3. Tap New Meeting.

  4. You may toggle Video On as you see fit. You won't need to use your iPhone's cameras for screen sharing to work, and while screen sharing is working, your audience won't see your face via the Cameras. But you might want to say hi before sharing your screen.
  5. Then tap Start a Meeting. This will begin a web meeting.
  6. Once the conference starts, tap Participants. The menu for these options automatically hides when you aren't using it. Just tap the screen to get it back.

  7. Tap Invite to invite your audience into the meeting.
  8. Choose a method to send your invitation. I'll demonstrate with Send a Message

  9. This opens the Messages app. Choose who you want to send it too, then tap the send arrow. They will receive a link that will automatically open their Zoom app.
  10. Back in the Zoom app, tap the Share Content icon.

  11. On the list of content you might share, tap Screen.
  12. If you see multiple options under Screen Broadcast then choose Zoom. The other options will create a screen recording and save it to that app. 

  13. If you want to talk while sharing your screen, make sure Microphone is On.
  14. Then tap Start Recording.

  15. You are now broadcasting your screen to the members of your Zoom call. To stop, tap the clock on your iPhone screen and a popup will ask if you want to stop. Choose Stop.

That's probably the best way to share your iPhone screen, share your Mac screen, or any other device. We have a few other options below, but they can get tricky.

How to Mirror iPhone to Mac, with a Cable

If you want to share your iPhone screen on your Mac computer, you will find that the easiest way is with your standard charging cable that came with your iPhone. Once you've done these steps, you can then share your Mac screen with any of the other methods, such as Facebook Messenger Screen Share or Messages Screen Share, and since your Mac screen will show your iPhone screen, you're audience will see both. To share your iPhone or iPad screen to your Mac, you simply:

  1. Plug your iPhone or iPad in to the computer using the charging cable and a USB port.
  2. Open QuickTime Player, which comes with all Mac computers.
  3. Go to the File menu, and select New Movie Recording.

  4. On the new movie window, look next to the record button for a tiny down arrow. Click there to get a menu of audio and video recording sources.

  5. Select your iPhone from the drop-down menu.

  6. Now you can see your iPhone's screen on your Mac's screen.

You can record with QuickTime if you'd like, or you can leave your QuickTime window open and then share your Mac screen using one of the methods below.

Screen Share on Mac with iMessage

The easiest option for screen sharing on Mac is through iMessages, but it only works between Mac computers. If the person you'd like to share a screen with has a Mac and is signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID they use to sign in to Messages, all you'll need to do is:

  1. Open the Messages app on your Mac and start a conversation with the person you'd like to share with.

    screen share with imessage
  2. Click Details.

    how to screen share with imessage
  3. Now, click the Screen Share button.

    use imessage to screen share on mac
  4. You'll have the options to Invite to Share My Screen or Ask to Share Screen.

    screen sharing options on imessage

You can accept your friend's sharing request, or they can accept yours, depending on who is sharing a screen with whom. Once the call is accepted the audio will start and the Screen Sharing app will open. 

Screen Control with Screen Share on Mac Using iMessage

Screen sharing on Mac also offers the option for screen control with permission. If you'd rather not offer full control of your screen, observe mode allows highlighting areas on your screen to help you navigate your problem. If you need more help and would like someone else to control your screen:

  1. You'll receive an invitation; click Accept.
  2. You'll be given the option to let the other person control your screen or just observe it, click on Control My Screen, then click Accept.

If you need to invite someone else to control your Mac screen, use iMessages to start a thread as explained in "Screen Share on Mac with iMessage" above, then:

  1. Click the Screen Share button.

    use imessage to screen share on mac
  2. Click on "allow ___ to control my screen." You'll see a check mark after you've successfully selected them. 
  3. To remove this permission, just click again to remove the check mark.
  4. You'll begin screen sharing between the two computers. If you want to view an iPhone screen, you'll need to cast the iPhone to the computer screen using a cable, as described above.

Facebook Messenger Screen Share

Like with iMessages above, the Facebook Messenger screen sharing option works great when used between two Mac or PC computers, but you'll find that feature is disabled if either end of the call is using a phone. If you want to share your iPhone's screen, you can plug your iPhone in to your Mac with the cable trick, then use Facebook Messenger on your computer to share your screen and the iPhone's screen along with it. To start a video chat:

  1. Open Facebook Messenger in your internet browser.
  2. Go to the contact you'd like to video chat with and tap on the video camera icon to initiate the call.
  3. Tap the screen share icon. Your contact will see your computer screen. Navigate to QuickTime to show your iPhone screen.

How to Screen Share on Your Mac

If you want to be able to not only see the screen on someone else's Mac, but also open apps; move, open, and close windows and files; and even restart their Mac, they'll need to turn on Screen Sharing. If you want someone else to be able to see and control your Mac's screen, or even to be able to remotely view and control it yourself, you'll need to turn Screen Sharing on for your Mac. Let's get started learning how.

  1. Click on the Apple menu on your Mac, then click System Preferences from the drop-down menu.

    turn on screen sharing on mac
  2. Click on Sharing.

    how to screen share on mac
  3. If Remote Management is selected, deselect it, then select Screen Sharing.

    turn on apple screen sharing
  4. Now you'll need to choose who to share your screen with, you can choose All Users or Only these users. All Users is great if, for example, your Mac is connected to a network server at work or school and you'd like to screen share with anyone on that server. Only these users is the right choice for someone who'd like to share with just a few select people.

    screen sharing mac options
  5. If you select Only These Users, you'll be able to add and subtract members to your sharing group by clicking the plus or minus under the Allow access option.

    how to share screen on mac
  6. Once you click the plus sign you'll be able to choose someone to share with from Users & Groups; this includes everyone who uses your Mac except guest users and Sharing Only users.
  7. You can also choose one or more people from Network Users or a group of people from Network Groups; these options are all within your Mac's network server.
  8. For even more options, click on Computer Settings.

    turn on apple screen sharing
  9. Now you can choose Anyone may request permission to control screen, or VNC viewers may control screen with password, or both. With the VNC viewer option people with a VNC app like VNC Viewer can share your Mac's screen. 

    turn on share screen on mac

Start a Screen Sharing Session with Another Mac

After you have permission, you can see and control the screen of another Mac on your network. To do this you'll need the name and address of the Mac you want to share. This information can be found in the Sharing screen of System Preferences that we visited in the step above.  

  1. If you don't have this information, ask the person whose Mac you want to share to choose the Apple menu, then click on System Preferences, then Sharing. They'll see the name and/or address of their Mac on this screen, the address is after "Computers on your local network can access your computer at:." ​

    computer name and ip address
  2. You can connect using either the name or the ip address. To use the name:
  3. Click on the Finder icon in the Dock.

    screen share on mac with computer name through finder
  4. You'll see a gray sidebar; in the Locations section click Network.

    how to screen share with another mac using mac name
  5. Double-click the name of the Mac you want to share, then click Share Screen.

    connect to another mac and screen share
  6. If you don't see the Mac you want to screen share with in Locations, hold the pointer over the word Locations, then click Show.
  7. You can also connect your Mac to another Mac for screen sharing using the address. To do this:
  8. Go to the Finder again and click on Go in the menu bar.

    screen share with another mac using ip address
  9. Click on Connect to Server.

    screen share mac to mac
  10. Enter the address of the Mac you want to screen share with, then click Connect.

    how to screen share mac to mac
  11. If both Macs are logged in with the same Apple ID, the screen sharing session will start automatically. If the Macs are logged in with different Apple IDs, you’ll need to enter the user name and password for someone who is allowed screen sharing access on that computer, or you'll need to request permission to screen share.
  12. If another person is already connected to the Mac as a remote user, you'll have the option to Share Display with the other remote user or Log In and use a different user name and screen.
  13. If you choose Log In, you'll be on the Mac with the other remote user, but you won’t screen share with them.
Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is an SEO Content Strategist and Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.