First announced in August 2018, Back to my Mac, Apple’s remote access service that used to be a built-in feature, has now been disabled for Mac users across all macOS editions.
As of July 1, 2019, Back to my Mac is no longer available to people on any macOS version.
The feature was removed from macOS Mojave 10.14 last year. Back to my Mac is also nowhere to be found in the current macOS Catalina 10.15 beta.
The zero-configuration service would register your home IP address with iCloud to enable secure remote access to your Mac via the Internet. You could manage your Macs while away from home, transfer files between your local and remote Mac, search its files and much more.
Basically, Back to my Mac was three things in one:
- File access
- Screen sharing
- Remote desktop access
A new support document offers some advice on transitioning aways from Back to my Mac.
In terms of file and remote desktop access, the company notes that customers can use Spotlight Search and the Finder to search files and folder across remote Macs, as well as drag them to their local computer. To access files across devices, you should turn on iCloud Drive and optionally enable the Desktop & Documents Folders option in iCloud settings to store them in iCloud, too. Keep in mind that iCloud Drive has an individual file-size limit of 50GB.
As for screen sharing, macOS Mojave and Catalina allow you to open, move and close files and windows on a Mac on your local network—and even use its apps. However, Apple’s Screen Sharing is only meant for Macs on the same network so good luck accessing your remote Macs with it. Those who wish to set up and test Screen Sharing in macOS to see if it’s right for them can do so by enabling the feature in the Sharing preference menu across their Macs.
If you want my advice, screen sharing is handled way better by specialized third-party VCN clients like iTeleport or Screens. Also, stay away from Apple’s own Remote Desktop client because it’s buggy as hell, hasn’t been properly updated in two years and costs $80.
Back to my Mac was a pretty seamless service. By utilizing wide-area Bonjour networking for secure discovery across the Internet and creating an ad hoc encrypted connection between the machines using IPsec, it just worked. Little wonder ease of use was perhaps its biggest advantage: all it took to connect to a remote Mac was a click of its icon in the Finder’s sidebar.
Back to my Mac debuted in Mac OS X Leopard 10.5 in 2007.
Have you ever used Back to my Mac and if so, are you sad to see it go? Let us know by sharing your thoughts in the commenting section right down below.