Back to My Mac is being cut from all versions of macOS on July 1

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in macOS
In an updated support document, Apple has revealed that Back to My Mac support will be cut from all versions of macOS on July 1, not just Mojave.

macOS Sierra


"As of July 1, 2019, Back to My Mac service is not available in any other version of macOS," an updated support page indicates. As alternatives, the company suggests using iCloud Drive, Apple Remote Desktop, and native screensharing tools.

Back to My Mac lets people connect directly to one or more Macs for screensharing and file transfers. The tool has been absent from Mojave since the first betas launched in 2018, but it had been thought that Apple might keep the service running for older Macs.

One problem with Apple's recommendations is that Apple Remote Desktop can be buggy and costs $79.99. Third-party options can be cheaper or even free, such as Chrome Remote Desktop.

Some ways around iCloud Drive include Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive. iCloud does however have deep integration across Apple platforms, and a 50-gigabyte account is only $0.99 per month.

The broader cutoff was first spotted by MacRumors.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 436member
    It was a nice concept.  But in practice I found it to be an unwanted intrusion into my workflow.  Good that Apple tried it.  Good that Apple will lay it to rest.
  • Reply 2 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,822member
    I miss this more than most other things Apple did. People often lament the loss of MagSafe but it doesn't come close to the void left by Back to My Mac because things have changed so radically in battery life that a near-always-connect Mac isn't as needed whereas the need for a simple and automatic access to other Macs has increased for me, USB-C offers a considerably more than MagSafe's power-only utility, there are countless options for re-adding a MagSafe-like option to any modern Mac notebook, and Apple has no built-in replacement for Back to My Mac.
    forgot username
  • Reply 3 of 33
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,531member
    It seems odd to me that Apple would cut off simple screen sharing, given that its a great way to help other Mac users remotely. Getting relatives and friends to purchase and install a third-party app to do this is far more difficult.

    i get that its a very underused feature, and parts of it were redundant with modern systems, but screen sharing was a big help to me in getting many of my friends and family to switch to Macs.
    forgot username
  • Reply 4 of 33
    samrodsamrod Posts: 22unconfirmed, member
    chasm said:
    It seems odd to me that Apple would cut off simple screen sharing, given that its a great way to help other Mac users remotely. Getting relatives and friends to purchase and install a third-party app to do this is far more difficult.

    i get that its a very underused feature, and parts of it were redundant with modern systems, but screen sharing was a big help to me in getting many of my friends and family to switch to Macs.
    I hope dropping Back to my Mac doesn't mean Apple is killing local file sharing or stripping screensharing from Messages.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    chasm said:
    It seems odd to me that Apple would cut off simple screen sharing, given that its a great way to help other Mac users remotely. Getting relatives and friends to purchase and install a third-party app to do this is far more difficult.

    i get that its a very underused feature, and parts of it were redundant with modern systems, but screen sharing was a big help to me in getting many of my friends and family to switch to Macs.
    They haven’t, they’ve just cut off external access to the drive on your Mac, something that isn’t needed with iCloud. Screen sharing is still a part of macOS through settings it’s just not going to be as easy as you’ll need IP Addresses etc. That being said though I find apps like TeamViewer to be better for remote screen sharing.
    toysandme
  • Reply 6 of 33
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,148member
    chasm said:
    It seems odd to me that Apple would cut off simple screen sharing, given that its a great way to help other Mac users remotely. Getting relatives and friends to purchase and install a third-party app to do this is far more difficult.

    i get that its a very underused feature, and parts of it were redundant with modern systems, but screen sharing was a big help to me in getting many of my friends and family to switch to Macs.
    Obviously Apple has numbers indicating it's a feature that's hardly used. Also, iMessages on the Mac has built in screen sharing.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 349member
    Parallels Access is a nice cheap and reliable alternative. You can run your Mac apps on your iPad.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,851member
    chasm said:
    It seems odd to me that Apple would cut off simple screen sharing, given that its a great way to help other Mac users remotely. Getting relatives and friends to purchase and install a third-party app to do this is far more difficult.

    i get that its a very underused feature, and parts of it were redundant with modern systems, but screen sharing was a big help to me in getting many of my friends and family to switch to Macs.
    BTMM was for getting into YOUR Macs with the same Apple ID, not helping others. You can still screen share with others via Messages as you have always been able to. That’s how I do remote IT help for friends. 

    That said, BTMM was great and will be missed. It even worked to connect to my Mac mini at home while it was on a shared-IP VPN, which completely breaks stuff like Screens. It was magic. I haven’t found a workaround that works yet. 
    Soliforgot username
  • Reply 9 of 33
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,851member

    chasm said:
    It seems odd to me that Apple would cut off simple screen sharing, given that its a great way to help other Mac users remotely. Getting relatives and friends to purchase and install a third-party app to do this is far more difficult.

    i get that its a very underused feature, and parts of it were redundant with modern systems, but screen sharing was a big help to me in getting many of my friends and family to switch to Macs.
    They haven’t, they’ve just cut off external access to the drive on your Mac, something that isn’t needed with iCloud. Screen sharing is still a part of macOS through settings it’s just not going to be as easy as you’ll need IP Addresses etc. That being said though I find apps like TeamViewer to be better for remote screen sharing.
    That’s not what BTMM did. 
    Soli
  • Reply 10 of 33
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 2,851member

    JWSC said:
    It was a nice concept.  But in practice I found it to be an unwanted intrusion into my workflow.  Good that Apple tried it.  Good that Apple will lay it to rest.
    How was it an intrusion? Nobody forced you to even turn it on much less use it. 
    Solitoysandme
  • Reply 11 of 33
    ivanhivanh Posts: 352member
    Airport Utility still has Back to My Mac in the latest update for Airport Time Capsule as released yesterday.
    edited May 31 forgot username
  • Reply 12 of 33
    owlboyowlboy Posts: 35member
    It worked great for me. And worked through firewalls.
    forgot usernamefastasleep
  • Reply 13 of 33
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,706member
    My idevices do not have access to iCloud. Work has installed a profile that prevents me accessing iCloud. So things like syncing photos and books don’t work because Apple wants you to use iCloud services, because $. It is very annoying. 
    Ironically, syncing kindle books works just fine. 

    While the above is a trivial annoyance, expecting me to store all my data on Icloud so that things like BTMM are not necessary is annoying given the above constraints.

    As for remote screen sharing, I use teamviewer across macs and iPads. Bit difficult on the iPad, but you would expect that as you are using a finger on a mouse based GUI.
    edited May 31
  • Reply 14 of 33
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,588member
    OpenVPN and screen sharing is a good way to go if you have routers/servers which support it
  • Reply 15 of 33
    teamviewer has been a great free alternative — cross-platform, secure, and it includes chat and audio conferencing for tech support. 
  • Reply 16 of 33
    chasm said:
    It seems odd to me that Apple would cut off simple screen sharing, given that its a great way to help other Mac users remotely. Getting relatives and friends to purchase and install a third-party app to do this is far more difficult.

    i get that its a very underused feature, and parts of it were redundant with modern systems, but screen sharing was a big help to me in getting many of my friends and family to switch to Macs.
    They haven’t, they’ve just cut off external access to the drive on your Mac, something that isn’t needed with iCloud. Screen sharing is still a part of macOS through settings it’s just not going to be as easy as you’ll need IP Addresses etc. That being said though I find apps like TeamViewer to be better for remote screen sharing.

    Not everyone wants to use the cloud, for anything, nor may they even be able to legally for privacy reasons.

    Speaking of workflow this is a feature I never found the time to learn that required specific macs (not universal) and is now being orphaned - so glad I never invested time in this - when will Apple just design it right and leave it alone, vs fiddling around with the latest and greatest soon to be cancelled in so many things - is itunes 12.6.x yet another example of outcry for workflow stability from those that use their macs (not ios) for more than basics...?

    Are we now thankfully almost getting caught up with Numbers, with category sort fairly recently available on iOS?

    I still use iWeb, and find it some of the most brilliant ease of use GUI web authoring software I've ever used. I also still boot into Snow Leopard for legacy access to files - like visiting an old friend... Back then major MacOS cycles were as long as 3 years (10.4, 10.6), and seemingly based on merit, vs an annual corporate calendar... Like Macworld I wish the tyranny of timing for macOS would fade back to merit based release timing, and hardware would use standard retail memory & slots... Stable yet flexible workflow, and less planned obsolesence...

    edited May 31
  • Reply 17 of 33
    Phobos7Phobos7 Posts: 15member
    Nooooooooooooooo
  • Reply 18 of 33
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,578member
    What is the benefit of Back-to-my-Mac over direct SSH/VNC?  Did it avoid the need to send a WOL packet sometimes, or just eliminate the need for a VPN?

    These types of solutions always scare me, as the local computer maintains network connections to an external server to maintain a NAT translation and open firewall port.  It is much better to just set up a proper VPN to your router, but call me an old fart...
  • Reply 19 of 33
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 916member
    one word: Screens.app

    problem solved.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,822member
    polymnia said:
    one word: Screens.app

    problem solved.
    I’ve never been able to get Screens to work outside of a LAN.
    forgot username
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