Transfer Files Between Remote Macs with Screen Sharing
Screen Sharing supports drag and drop file copying to and from remote Macs, an excellent feature that was briefly covered in our recent guide to using Screen Sharing in Mac OS X. This offers a really simple way to move files around Macs that are not nearby, and it’s one of those tricks that you’ll really want to know about.
In order to use this handy drag and drop file transfer feature, each Mac must be running a modern version of macOS.
How to Transfer Files in Screen Sharing on Mac with Drag & Drop
Here’s how you can transfer files between remote Macs from the Screen Sharing feature:
- Open a remote Screen Sharing session as usual between the Macs as instructed here
- Drag any file or folder from the local Mac to the remote Macs screen to transfer the item, or vice versa
Yes it’s that simple.
For example, you can just drag a file or folder from your local desktop onto the remote desktop window, and the file transfer will begin. Or you can drag and drop an item directly into a remote folder if you want to specify the location of where the file goes. In a lot of ways this is just like you would move files on your local Mac desktop, except that it’s all remote.
Because the file is transferring over the internet, it won’t be as quick as some of the other ways of copying files around on a local network or across local drives, but the convenience is undeniable.
With screen sharing, you can essentially use a remote Mac as a personal file server if need be, and you’ll never have to worry about documents being inaccessible after you’ve left home, school, or work again.
This feature exists in all semi-modern versions of macOS. The addition of drag and drop was added in OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion), and continues to exist in macOS Monterey, Big Sur, Mojave, Catalina, El Capitan, etc.