iPadOS Screens App Stuck on “Connecting”

I use my iPad around the house to connect to my main m1 mac mini computer, like a tiny local only laptop. I use the Screens app on iPadOS as my VNC viewer. This worked great until a few days ago, for no apparent reason, it randomly stopped working.

Screens was stuck on “trying to connect”. This was frusterating because the day before it was working and I hadn’t changed any settings, my IPs were all correct, and nothing updated. After some searching, looked like turning off my mac mini’s firewall (Settings > Firewall > Off), I was able to connect, but having no firewall is not a solution, so I turned that bad boy back on right away.

Edovia has a support article with a known problem and “solution” for this, but it didn’t work for me. After much trial and error, while keeping the Firewall on, I was able to connect by:

  1. On mac mini: Settings > Sharing: Enabling “Remote Login” (ssh access)
  2. On Screens on my iPad: Long press the Screen > Edit > Enable “Secure Connection” and also in “Advanced” underneath the setting, turn on “Enable on Local Network”

I probably should of had a secure connection to begin with, but 🤷‍♂️. The quality of the image and the response time seems to have taken a ding, I imagine this is due to the encrypted connection, but hey I’m not complaining – it works and I’m just working with code/text, not doing image editing or anything.

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