This post is for all the mac users and system administrators who had to deal at least once in their life with the need to download the Microsoft Remote Desktop macOS app - the port of the famous system utility present in Windows to make remote connections via the RDP protocol - through a distribution channel other than the official one, namely the App Store.
The need of downloading the MS RDP app outside the App Store is something that I personally had to achieve at leat two or three times, due to the fact that using the "proper" channel - the App Store - might be very tricky under various circumstances. For example, you can't easily do that if:
- You don't have an AppleID (and you are not willing to create one for such a trivial and once-in-a-lifetime need as downloading remote access software).
- The Mac on which you are working has a registered AppleID account with a forgotten password: this is another scenario where accessing the App Store can be difficult, because the password is required even to remove or replace the account if some anti-theft services (such as the "find your mac" feature) have been activated ahead of time of your own Mac).
- The macOS version is considered "too old" or incompatible with the minimum requirements asked by the App Store for that specific app.
If you're stuck with these kind of issues, looking for an alternative way to retrieve those apps is more than legitimate: unfortunately, until not so long ago, finding the macOS port of most Microsoft apps was really difficult, with the constant risk of ending up downloading outdated versions from "scary" download sites with spam-like behaviours (Softonic and the likes) and installers full of bloatware that you might as well want to avoid.
Luckily enough, Microsoft recently released a dedicated website for those system administrators who want to acquire Windows software for Mac without having to go through the perils of the App Store. The site is called https://macadmins.software/ and is full of direct download links to most of the Microsoft apps for macOS, including - yet not limiting to - the Microsoft Remote Desktop app.
Here's a brief list of the other macOS ports that you will find there:
- Office 365 (all versions)
- Office 2019 and 2016 (all versions: home & student, professional, enterprise, etc)
- All the individual apps included in the Office 2019 and 2016 suites, namely Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Outlook
- Microsoft OneNote
- Microsoft OneDrive
- Skype and Skype for Business
- Microsoft Teams
- Microsoft Intune
- Windows Defender
- Visual Studio Code
For all these software, a link is made available that allows the direct download of the installer, without having to go through stores, distribution sites where authentication is mandatory or anything like that. It goes without saying that everything is absolutely legal, as expected from an official Microsoft site.
That's it for now: we hope that the website which we've talked about in this post will allow many users and system administrators to quickly get the Microsoft Remote Desktop app for macOS without going through the App Store and/or having to create an AppleID in a simple, fast and legitimate way. See you next time!