Apple Remote Desktop

Developer: Apple

Current Version: 3.9

Last Updated: 1 year ago

Download Size: 13.4 MB - Download


Apple Remote Desktop is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end-users, create detailed software and hardware reports, and automate routine management tasks — all from your own Mac.

Software Distribution
-Easily copy and install software on remote Mac systems.
-Encrypt network data when copying packages and files.
-Configure a Task Server to assist with package installations on offline computers.

Remote Assistance
-Observe and control your Mac computers.
-Transfer files between Mac computers using Drag and Drop.
-Copy and paste information between any two computers.
-Prevent end-users from viewing the screen while you control their systems with Curtain Mode.
-Control Virtual Network Computing (VNC)–enabled computers including Windows, Linux and UNIX systems.

Remote Administration
-Perform over a dozen commands securely on remote Mac systems.
-Remotely lock screens, sleep, wake, restart and shutdown of Mac systems.
-Execute UNIX shell scripts or commands on your client systems.

Asset Management and Reporting
-Perform lightning-fast searches with Remote Spotlight search.
-Gather reports on more than 200 Mac hardware attributes.
-See reports on user logins and application use.
-Use a Task Server to assemble inventory reports, even from mobile systems not connected to the network.

-Automate routine management tasks using Automator in OS X.
-Get started immediately with over 40 actions.
-Chain actions together to create powerful system administration workflows.
-Combine actions with other application actions to create end-to-end solutions.
-Save workflows as plug-ins to provide simple, customised interfaces to Apple Remote Desktop features.


Release Notes:

The Apple Remote Desktop 3.9 update improves usability, compatibility, and reliability and is recommended for all users. 

This update:

• Allows users to export and restore an encrypted list of computers and user credentials
• Allows administrators to call attention to items on a remote screen using an assistant cursor
• Adds Touch Bar support for MacBook Pro (2016) computers
• Improves security when communicating with clients running OS X Yosemite 10.10.5 or later
• Adds an optional compatibility mode for communicating with clients running any version of OS X Mountain Lion 10.8, OS X Mavericks 10.9 or OS X Yosemite 10.10.4 and earlier


Most Helpful Reviews

Version 3.8
Review by cscspanthers

Verison 3.8 fixed everything! - When I started using ARD 3.8 it was like the ARD of old. Everything started working as it should and its quite fast now to perform tasks. Anyone who previously had issues (like us) should immediately update both the Admin and client side. The interface takes a little getting used to and I’m not a total fan of it, but more importantly it just works and works very well. This software went from absolute junk to well worth the money in one update. I’m glad Apple has listened to all the complaints about ARD and fixed all the major issues. I’m an Apple Administrator for a school district and this is an absolute awesome app to manage your Macs, even ones in a remote location. I use it to monitor Macs, help people out remotely, push updates (awesome for updating Flash & Java in a lab), push UNIX commands, update the OS, etc, etc. Its an extremely useful tool if you’re managing a lab of Macs, or just a lot of Macs in general.

Found helpful by 65 out of 78 people
Version 3.6.1
Review by JyoonieB

Still breaks the screen sharing daemon on the remote machine - As a worker in technology, I rely on remote desktop solutions to do my job. If you do, stay away from this buggy software. It crashes the screensharing daemon on my remote machine when I go into curtain mode. I'm forced to SSH into the box and reboot it to get screensharing working again. My local and remote machines are both using the most current Lion installs. I've seen similar reports from people using Mountain Lion. ARD 3.6.1 lacks full screen mode, indicating that it hasn't received much attention in the last couple years. Get on the ball, Apple!

Found helpful by 239 out of 261 people

More Reviews for Current Version

Version 3.9
Review by 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.

Found helpful by 91 out of 98 people
Version 3.9
Review by 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.

Found helpful by 9 out of 11 people
Version 3.9
Review by 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.

Found helpful by 74 out of 79 people
Version 3.9
Review by 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!

Found helpful by 7 out of 7 people
Version 3.9
Review by noneavailable1

Thanks for the forced upgrade without warning - Bad form. ARD has been a valuable tool over the years but Apple has a lot to learn about how to roll out enterprise tools. Now I’ve got to ssh into the remote servers and use the command line like a cave-man. Please bring the passion and simplicity back and leave the cuteness behind. You can do it.

Found helpful by 6 out of 7 people