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Home / Tips and Tricks / Use your iPhone to control your Mac – Lock, restart, shut down, shut down, rest, browse files, play audio and more «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks

Use your iPhone to control your Mac – Lock, restart, shut down, shut down, rest, browse files, play audio and more «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks



Your iPhone and Mac can talk to each other in many ways, so you can start working on one device and seamlessly switch to the other, share clipboards between the two, and pick up phone calls and answer text messages on both. The compatibility is incredible, but there is even more you can do by integrating third-party software into the mix.

By configuring some settings on your macOS computer and installing Momentous Studios free app called Gateway on your Mac and iPhone, you can remotely control your computer from your iPhone. This means you can do things like sleep your Mac, lock the screen, restart it, turn it off, turn off the sound, and change the volume.

Step 1
: Download Gateway Desktop for Mac

The first half of the Gateway software is a desktop client that you can download for free from the Momentous Studio website or the link below directly. It’s not available in the Mac App Store, so you need to download it from the site or below. The app only works on macOS 10.13 High Sierra and later.

Step 2: Install Gateway Desktop for Mac

Double-click the DMG file you just downloaded (which should be in the “Downloads” folder) to begin the installation process. When the disk image opens in a new window, add Gateway Desktop to the “Applications” folder, which is as simple as dragging the software icon over to the folder icon.

Then double-click Gateway Desktop from your “Applications” folder. Because the software comes from a third party, Apple will ask you if you are sure you want to open it. Click “Open” to continue. (You may need to adjust your Gatekeeper settings if you do not see the “Open” option.)

Step 3: Give Gateway Desktop Full Disk Access

The first time you open Gateway Desktop, it will guide you through some information. On the last page, it will ask you for some permissions. First, the app needs “Full Disk Access”, which is necessary if you want to be able to interact and control your Mac from your iPhone. You can click the arrow button to open your “Security & Privacy” settings to get started.

If you press “Next” instead, you can access the settings manually. Before doing so, click the Gateway Desktop icon on the Mac menu, click ellipsis (•••), and then click “Finish.” Doing so now means that you will not be asked to do it later.

Open System Preferences, and then click “Security and Privacy.” Next, make sure you are on the “Privacy” tab, select “Full Disk Access” in the left window. If your settings are locked, click on the lock at the bottom left, enter your user password and click “Unlock” so you can make changes.

Next, if you do not see Gateway in the list of apps, click the plus sign (+), find and select “Gateway Desktop”, select “Open” and make sure the box next to it is selected.

Step 4: Give Gateway Desktop Accessibility Access

Without shutting down to lock your settings, you also want to give Gateway Desktop “Accessibility” access. This also allows Gateway to control your Mac for you from your iPhone requests. Then select “Accessibility” in the left pane and then select “Gateway” in the list. If it is not there, click the plus (+) button, select “Gateway Desktop” and press “Open”. Please click on the lock at the bottom left to prevent further changes and exit System Settings.

Step 5: Turn on Gateway Desktop again

Gateway Desktop needed to be turned off for the above settings to take effect, so if you did not turn it off before, do so now. Then open the backup from the “Applications” folder.

Step 6: Choose a password for remote access (optional)

When Gateway Desktop is open and running on your Mac, click its icon in the menu bar, click ellipsis (•••), and then select “Settings”. Make sure you are on the “Security” tab in the new window, then enter a password in the field and exit the settings. This step is optional because you do not need a password, but it is an extra layer of security, so it is recommended.

Step 7: Install Gateway for iPhone

The thing on the Mac is almost done, but now it’s time to install the Gateway app on your iPhone. Although the desktop app is not available in the Mac App Store, the iPhone app is is available in the iOS App Store. It requires iOS 13.2 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

Step 8: Find your Mac in the Gateway control

Open the Gateway app on your iPhone and wait for your Mac to appear. If you do not see it, make sure your Mac and iPhone are on the same Wi-Fi network and try again. Your Mac’s default name and IP address are listed when the device is found. Press it and you will be prompted to enter your password and press “Connect.” If you have not created a password yet, just click “Connect” without one.

Step 9: Use Gateway to remotely control your Mac

Once you have access to your Mac in your iPhone app, you will see System Control distant. With this remote you can do all of the following. Note that when selecting specific features, you must grant additional permissions to Gateway Desktop on your Mac before you can use them (see step 11 to see how).

  • Sleep: This will put the computer screen to sleep without locking it.
  • restart: This will restart your computer.
  • Lock screen: This locks the screen so that it is password protected.
  • Turn off: This shuts down the computer completely.
  • Speechless: This silences all sound coming from the computer.
  • Volume: This slider allows you to change the volume of the computer.

Step 10: Add more controls for your Mac

These are just the basic features above. If you do not mind spending a few bucks, check out the shopping cart icon to see the Gateway Store. Here you will find one-time purchases, called “blocks”, that add features to your remote access. Some of them are free, including Apple Music, Podcasts, Screenshot, VLC and Force Quit.

  • Affinity Designer ($ 0.99): Increases your Affinity Designer workflow with current and future shortcuts.
  • Affinity Photo ($ 0.99): Increases your Affinity Photo workflow with current and future shortcuts.
  • Affinity Publisher ($ 0.99): Increases your Affinity Publisher feed with current and future shortcuts.
  • Apple Music (free): Provides you with Apple Music playback controls.
  • DaVinci Resolve ($ 0.99): Increases your DaVinci Loose workflow with current and future shortcuts.
  • Files + QuickLaunch ($ 3.99): Gives you unlimited access to your Mac files via the Files app and lets you open favorite files with a single tap.
  • Final Cut Pro ($ 0.99): Increases your Final Cut Pro workflow with current and future shortcuts.
  • Force Quit (free): Allows you to immediately stop running or stopping apps on your Mac with one touch.
  • Logic Pro X ($ 0.99): Increases your Logic Pro X workflow with current and future shortcuts.
  • Podcast (free): Provides you with Podcasts playback controls.
  • Screenshot (free): Allows you to take screenshots of your Mac screen with one touch.
  • Spotify ($ 0.99): Provides you with Spotify playback controls.
  • VLC (free): Provides you with VLC playback controls.
  • And more to come soon

Once you have added blocks, you will see them essentially System Control screen for your Mac. You can tap the Blocks icon at the top to see them all in a short list, where you can drag and drop to arrange what they look like on the remote. Press “Done” to exit these settings.

Step 11: Give Gateway Desktop more permissions

We will not go through how each control or block works, so you can play with them to see how they work. However, some of them require more permissions on your Mac. Specifically “System Events” for “Automation”, which controls interface elements by simulating keyboard and mouse operations.

When you first encounter one of these apps, you get a prompt on your Mac to grant it access. Click “OK” to do so. You can see these privileges in System Preferences -> Security & Privacy -> Privacy -> Automation. Once you grant permissions, it should work for all future blocks you use.

Momentous Studios does not store any of your data or requests, so it should give you some peace of mind. According to devs, “all information is stored locally on your devices”, and you can see its privacy policy for more information.

Right now, the only downside to Gateway is that your iPhone and Mac must be on the same WLAN network. If you want real remote access from home, Gateway is not possible yet. Hopefully, it includes a way for SSH (Secure Shell) to be remotely controlled from the Mac app from the iOS app. Until then, if you want this type of access right now, you can try Chrome Remote Desktop, which turns your iPhone into a “mouse” and “trackpad” for your Mac as long as the Chrome Remote Desktop client runs on Mac.

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Cover photo, screenshots and GIFs by Nelson Aguilar / Gadget Hacks

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