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I can't connect to my Mac mini M1 through a remote VNC connection
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I cannot connect to my Mac mini M1 through a remote VNC connection

Reviewed on 16 June 2023Published on 07 April 2023
Security & Identity (IAM):

You may need certain IAM permissions to carry out some actions described on this page. This means:

  • you are the Owner of the Scaleway Organization in which the actions will be carried out, or
  • you are an IAM user of the Organization, with a policy granting you the necessary permission sets

VNC (Virtual Network Computing) is a desktop-sharing system that allows users to remotely access and control a computer’s desktop from another device. Scaleway users renting a Mac mini M1 can use VNC by simply enabling the “Screen Sharing” or “Remote Management” configuration on their Mac mini’s system preferences. Using the Mac mini’s IP address or hostname, a user can then connect to the M1 from another device through a VNC client (such as RealVNC, TightVNC, etc.).

However, some users that have recently upgraded their macOS are currently encountering a bug preventing them from effectively using the screen sharing feature. Error messages include Connection failed to <M1s_address> and Make sure Screen Sharing or Remote Management (in the Sharing section of System Preferences) is enabled on the remote computer.


This is a known issue that multiple Apple users have reported over time. Unfortunately, Apple’s support team has not effectively addressed it yet.

If you are experiencing this issue, you can try the following solutions:

Connect to the Mac mini M1 via SSH and restart Screen Sharing

  1. Run the following command to connect to your Mac mini M1:

    ssh m1@<your_mac_mini_m1_ip>
  2. Run the following command to forcefully terminate Screen Sharing:

    sudo killall screensharing
  3. Run the following command to load the screensharing.plist file responsible for Screen Sharing:

    sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.screensharing.plist

If you need to restart Screen Sharing, unload the screensharing.plist file before loading it again. You can do so by running the following command:

sudo launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.screensharing.plist

Verify your latest upgrade has not reset your system preferences

Even though it is uncommon for system preferences to be reset during an upgrade, double-checking is always best practice. Make sure there was no reset due to compatibility issues or significant changes between the old and new versions of the OS.

Verify whether Screen sharing or Remote management is enabled

Make sure that either “Screen sharing” or “Remote management” are enabled on your Mac Mini M1. Go to System Settings > General, then verify that Sharing is ticked.

Verify that incoming VNC connections are not blocked by the firewall

Make sure that your Mac Mini M1 firewall allows incoming connections for your VNC client. Go to System Settings and then, depending on the OS version, Firewall will be located in either Network or Security & Privacy.