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Can’t cancel a Screen Sharing window. Skitch saves the day.

This morning I tried to connect from my MacBook to another Mac using OS X’s Screen Sharing application, and ended up staring at an unsuccessful connection window, that couldn’t be canceled. Skitch, the screenshot capture, annotation and upload tool, unexpectedly solved the problem.

As you can see, the “Cancel” button is grayed out, there are no window controls, and it’s evidently unassociated to any visible application. I tried quitting the Screen Sharing application, but to no avail. Basically, I was stuck — there was no way to get rid of this window.

Not wanting to interrupt my work, I just moved the window off to the corner of my screen, where it sat and spun. Later in the afternoon, I noticed the window sitting there, still spinning, and decided to tweet a Skitch of it, for the world to see and share in my frustration.

I fired up Skitch, targeted the zombie window and snapped. Skitch then came to the foreground, presented me with the image for annotation and upload, and I immediately had one of those “Ah, ha!” moments — the default title of the window was “NetAuthAgent”. See, Skitch, by default, uses the name of the window’s creating application to the name of new snaps.

Seeing that, I launched Activity Monitor, filtered on “NetAuthAgent”, and sure enough, there was the zombie process.

I clicked “Quit Process,” confirmed, and the zombie window disappeared. Neat. Thanks Skitch!

Published inTechnology


  1. Nick Nick

    Thank you, 😀 I always used to just leave it on another space or down in the corner. Thought I would google this time.

  2. Brian Brian

    Awesome Nick. Thanks for your input, worked like a charm!!

  3. Brian Brian

    Sorry, thanks to Matt for the tip. Nick, you still rock too buddy.

  4. James James

    Thanks for the tip. Had the same problem. Put window to bottom and left it. Could not cancel as noted above. Save for a restart…i was miffed as to how to close window let alone search for the problem. Found this article. Fixed. THANKS!

  5. kestinen kestinen

    Google brought me here. Thanks for the tip, this saved my day!

    (no exaggeration, as I’m on my final day of using Adobe Illustrator CS6 trial period and have to subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud the next time I boot up my Mac)

  6. Ton Ton

    Thank you all. this helped closing the windows. BUT… the real problem is the fact that the remote computer (server) does not want to accept the connection.
    I have a MBA and an iMac at home and one in the office. When I open a screen sharing connection on one iMac then, after I close my MBA lid (sleep mode) and take it to the other location, I cannot make a screen sharing connection on the other iMac.
    Only with a reboot of the MBA it works.
    Is there a way to disconnect the shared connection on the MBA without rebooting?
    I guess I should disconnect the share on the first iMac then close the lid on the MBA but I tend to forget that.
    I appreciate your feedback

  7. Atil Atil

    Perfect, Thanks

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