Find out how to give distant tech help on Home windows and MacOS

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Possibly a buddy’s printer is on the fritz. Or your mother and father are questioning why their pc is operating slower than standard.

These mundane tech points occur on a regular basis, and I’d be prepared to guess you’ve needed to troubleshoot one — or requested somebody that will help you — not less than as soon as. However what occurs when the folks in your life who want hands-on assist reside too far-off for a drop-in?

Because it seems, you might have already got entry to instruments that may allow you to take management of another person’s pc and repair these issues from afar. Even higher, they’re free, and rather a lot simpler to make use of than you may suppose.

However, as a well-known fictional uncle as soon as mentioned, “with nice energy comes nice duty.” As soon as the folks in your life discover out you’ll be able to repair a few of their pc issues from the consolation of your sofa, you might quickly end up as much as your eyeballs in tech help requests. Our recommendation? Use this energy properly, and possibly set some boundaries.

This will likely go with out saying however the folks on either side of this equation must be related to the web. If the individual you’re making an attempt to assist remotely doesn’t have an web connection, you can strive strolling them by way of tethering to a suitable iPhone or Android smartphone, if their mobile plan permits for it.

As a result of the instruments we’re going to debate primarily provide you with a reside video feed of another person’s pc over the web, don’t be shocked by the occasional hiccup or little bit of lag both — it simply occurs typically.

And at last, these instruments are constructed into broadly used variations of Microsoft’s Home windows and Apple’s MacOS, however they’re not in all of them. You could have to seek out one other resolution in case you’re making an attempt to troubleshoot a lot older units. Ship us an e-mail at yourhelpdesk@washpost.com in case you’re having bother.

  • Two computer systems operating both Home windows 10 or 11. (If you happen to recurrently use an older model of Home windows, we’d strongly advocate you replace sooner or later. Microsoft ended help for Home windows 8.1 this month.)
  • A Microsoft account (for the individual making an attempt to help another person)
  1. Discover and run the Fast Help app. (The simplest means to do that is sort “Fast Help” into the search bar; you might also must replace the app through the Microsoft Retailer in case you’ve by no means used it.)
  2. Click on the “Help one other individual” button underneath the “Give help” header, and log into your Microsoft account.
  3. When you’re logged in, you’ll be given a six character code that you just’ll share with whomever you’re making an attempt to assist. Have them plug within the code earlier than the 10-minute time restrict expires.
  4. If you need supervise the individual on the opposite finish whereas they attempt to work by way of issues themselves, choose the “View display screen” possibility. However in case you’d fairly simply do all of it your self, choose the “Take full management” possibility.
  5. At this level, the individual you’re making an attempt to assist has to grant their permission. As soon as they hit the “Settle for” button, you’ll be capable of see — and management — their PC.

From right here, you’ll be able to dive proper into their pc and make no matter adjustments you each determine are useful or wanted.

Like Home windows, Apple’s Mac computer systems include a reliable — and free — built-in display screen sharing instrument. So what’s the catch?

Nicely, for one, it’s a bit difficult to seek out. You gained’t see it in your Mac’s Launchpad or Purposes folder. One of the simplest ways to entry it’s to open the Highlight search bar by urgent the Command key and the area bar on the identical time, then typing in “Display sharing.”

When you’ve efficiently launched the app, you’ll want both the distant machine’s host title (which nobody ever remembers) or the Apple ID tied to that machine.

Fortunately, there’s a better approach to begin utilizing this instrument.

  • Two Mac computer systems operating MacOS Excessive Sierra or newer.
  • Apple IDs for each computer systems.
  1. Begin — or proceed — a dialog within the built-in Messages app with the individual whose pc you need to management.
  2. Click on the icon within the top-right nook that appears like an “i” inside a circle.
  3. Click on the “share” button, adopted by “Ask to Share Display.”
  4. The individual on the opposite finish will get a immediate asking them to share their display screen. As soon as they settle for your request, they’ll select whether or not to offer you full management over their pc — so you may make adjustments straight — or to only allow you to observe.

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