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Computer Screen - VNC to Mac - Grey Screen


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Hi everyone,


When doing a VNC media from Watchout to a Mac computer, what generally shows up is the Grey Background pattern from the login screen but it is empty. It does not show the actual desktop of the computer.


Does someone know how to make this work?

It used to work but since a certain Mac OS, it doesn't work anymore.


Thank you.

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Have you tried a standard VNC viewer on the Windows machine to connect to the host Mac VNC server?

I would not worry about WATCHOUT until it is confirmed that the Mac computer host is

working normally with standard tools.

If it is not, use Mac support to determine what needs to be corrected on the Mac.

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This page seem to imply it should work:





This support page talks about "only get to they grey login screen", which sounds like what you're describing. It's a few years old, but perhaps there are some hints there:




But, as Jim says, try it with a regular VNC client (e.g. RealVNC) first, making sure that works. If it does, so should WATCHOUT.

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Alright, after a few hours of testing here are my results. Running tests with another VNC software was a good idea Jim.


Screen Sharing functionality changed back in Mac OS 10.7. They added support for Multi-Users from this point on.

That means that now one person can work on the physical computer and a second or third can also work on a different user account remotely without affecting the user in front of the computer. Pretty wild.


This also means that from Mac OS 10.7 on, when ever you connect with a Windows VNC software to a Mac with Screen Sharing or Remote Management enabled, you are presented with the Mac OS Login Screen. This for me happened in RealVNC viewer or UltraVNC viewer or in the Watchout Production Software.

Now the problem is that the VNC tool in Watchout is only a Viewer so it is not possible to actually Login to see the desktop.


Note: I was presented with a full login screen but I've also experienced only seeing the background color of the login screen. I suspect this may come from either a computer with only 1 user on it or a computer with an external screen connected to it.


After much research I found two possible options to work around this.

1-Install RealVNC server on the Mac computer. Make sure to disable Screen Sharing or Remote Management in the Mac System Preferences first. This server shows you the currently logged in user and skips the Mac OS login screen.


A) You'll need the paid version if you do not want to see the "Upgrade Notification" every time someone connects.

B)The server installs as a service which will always run for your convenience but if you want to disable it, just click on its icon -> click Stop Server.

From this point on, it will not automatically start anymore unless you restart the service mode version of the server by yourself.

C) The server also comes with a "User Mode" version which is the standalone software version of it. Find it under Applications -> RealVNC -> Advanced


2- ** I'm not yet sure if this method fully works ** During my test using my Windows in Parallels and my Mac, this did not fully work. I would like to try with a real Windows version.

A) Turn OFF Screen Sharing and Remote Management.

B) Open Terminal and type: sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.RemoteManagement VNCAlwaysStartOnConsole -bool true

C) Enter your password and hit Enter

D) Re-enable Screen Sharing with a Password for VNC viewers

E) Connect again


I found this command on this page: http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20131003103827136

To revert the command, Disable Screen Sharing, rerun the command and change the true for a false, re-enable screen sharing.


This turns OFF the Mac OS Login screen upon connecting through VNC and it almost worked except that in Watchout the screen share would not update when I made change in the Mac computer. But this method works correctly with other VNC viewers such as RealVNC and UltraVNC viewer.


I'm not sure what the difference is between RealVNC viewer and the view built-in Watchout but it would be if this method worked as it is the fastest and simplest one.

Mike do you know why that might be happening?

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