Unreliable screen sharing with Messages app (Catalina)

I’m trying to use screen sharing to help my daughter with her new iMac, starting from the Messages app. Sometimes she just looks at what I’m doing on my iMac, and sometimes I take control of hers to demonstrate.

After 15-30 minutes, the sharing fails and we get a “disconnected” message. Then we are unable to reconnect. We try to send the invitation in both directions, but it never arrives. Sometimes restarting one or both Macs gets it working again. Sometimes the screen freezes in the Screen Sharing app, but we can still hear the audio. Sometimes when it’s failing, the audio cuts in and out, so it’s hard to understand.

We both have solid Internet services, otherwise. What can I do to solve this problem?

I would try either:

  1. Jump Desktop with Jump Desktop Connect


  1. Screens with Screens Connect

I have found both to be much more reliable than macOS’ built-in Screen Sharing. Unfortunately, neither are as free as Screen Sharing, but they both have demo/trial versions, I believe, and they are both in Setapp.

Thanks, TJ. Sad that Apple provides something that “just doesn’t work.”

True, but in this case I think the task is complicated by things like your ISP’s firewall/router/etc.

The “Connect” apps for Jump Desktop and Screens are specifically designed to work around those things.

Apple’s screen sharing works great on a LAN, or if you have a Mac directly attached to the 'net.