Today’s Apple Feedback: Back-to-My-Mac is unstable

I use Back-to-My-Mac a lot to connect to my laptop @ home or my iMac @ work. I’ve lived & worked in 3 different places, owned multiple home & work computers, & had multiple internet providers. I’ve been using Back to My Mac since it was a feature of Mobile Me. Before that, I was using Chicken of the VNC since the early 2000s. And while it was free, I’d been using LogMeIn as a backup when Back to My Mac wasn’t working – and that was a *lot*. LogMeIn always worked when Back to My Mac didn’t. Could you please make it more reliable? I’m tired of seeing this message:

This week, I’ve tried to log into my home laptop 4-6 times. It usually fails the 1st time & works when I try again an hour later. Not today though.


Well, frustrated with no working “Back to My Mac” (hence, BTMM) for the past week or two, I wanted to convince Apple that this is a real problem, so I temporarily set up external screen sharing and sent them an update with screen-caps as proof that BTMM should work, but doesn’t.  I blotted out the sensitive bits and of course…

I rarely get Back-to-My-Mac (BTMM) to work. Here’s proof via screen caps that BTMM should work, but fails:


Initiate via BTMM:


Waiting via BTMM:


BTMM error:


Initiate via URL:


Credentials via URL:


Success via URL:


Remote BTMM prefs:

Hopefully Apple will make BTMM more reliable at some point…

5 thoughts on “Today’s Apple Feedback: Back-to-My-Mac is unstable

  1. So I was just putzing around, frustrated with BTMM not working, and was able to kick BTMM into gear by logging into the remote (home) computer and turning BTMM off & back on in the iCloud system preferences pane. While I was there, I confirmed that my wireless access point had my iCloud login correctly configured. I also search the keychain database for old BTMM passwords (there were none). Interestingly, BTMM seems to use 4 stored passwords – perhaps for each device? Anyway, doing this BTMM off & on routine seemed to work – not very helpful in the moment that you need it to work and it’s not working, but a notable fix. Now, I just wait for it to go sour again.

    While I was doing that, I figured out another issue. System prefs has been telling me that it needs to restart whenever I click any preference pane. It’s been doing that ever since upgrading to Mavericks. Turns out, I’d checked the 32-bit mode checkbox in 10.8 and it persisted through to 10.9 even though it won’t work when it’s checked.


  2. So last night, I tried to help my dad fix his ability to print wirelessly, and since the Messages app won’t screen share using iCloud accounts anymore, I thought I could create an account on my computer, enter my dad’s iCloud credentials into the account and use BTMM to see his screen – what I thought would be a clever work-around to lost Messages/iChat functionality. However, despite every possible setting being correct, all I got were authentication failures. Both computers had the same Apple ID logged in. Both had BTMM enabled. Both had screen sharing turned on (or remote management – tried both). His Airport extreme had the same Apple ID logged in. I even added it to my time capsule. Every piece of tech was restarted multiple times. I was at it for nearly two hours with my bewildered dad on the phone. Finally I gave up and walked him through port forwarding and I finally got in, fixed his printer, and had him turn off screen sharing as a security precaution. I screen share with my computers all the time. There was no reason I could find that BTMM wouldn’t have worked – everything was set up correctly. The firewall was setup properly. It’s so frustrating that what used to be so easy is now such a stressful experience. Come on Apple, stop dropping features! Bring back the ability to share screens via the Messages app and iCloud! I hear Yosemite is supposed to have this, but I see no reason they can’t make it work in Mavericks, or even 10.6.x.

    Liked by 1 person

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