Apple Remote Desktop Not Finding Computers? Try This

Apple Remote Desktop has become flaky over the last few versions of OS X.  Apple isn’t really working on it anymore.  It is still a great tool, but often, it will have difficulties finding computers on the network.  Here is what I do to make it work a little better.

Remove Every Device From The “All Computers” List

First, highlight all the devices in the All Computers list and delete them.  Then, quit ARD and move onto the next steps.

removeall

Flush DNS and ARP Caches

ARD looks for computers advertising bonjour on the local network.  I have found that flushing the cache and removing ARP entries helps ARD start fresh when looking for computers.

Flush DNS Cache

10.6

sudo dscacheutil -flushcache

10.7 and 10.8

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

10.9

dscacheutil -flushcache; sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

10.10

sudo discoveryutil udnsflushcaches

Flush ARP Cache

 sudo arp -ad

The commands are not guaranteed to fix the issues, but I have had good luck with it.  I have also used the commands above to fix the issue of computers in a list randomly changing into a different computer than what was originally added.

Another Trick (Perhaps The Most Useful)

You may also want to restart ARD on the client machines using the kickstart command.

/System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -restart -agent

One Reply to “Apple Remote Desktop Not Finding Computers? Try This”

  1. For really stubborn issues such as incorrect machine names which still persist after deleting that particular machine’s record, delete the contents of /private/var/db/RemoteManagement. I recently had one particular machine that would only identify by its IP address in ARD on my MacBook, but identified correctly on a colleague’s. Cleaning the database resolved the issue.

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