How to give remote tech support on Windows and MacOS


Touch upon this storyCommentMaybe a pal’s printer is on the fritz. Or your dad and mom are questioning why their pc is working slower than normal.These mundane tech points occur on a regular basis, and I’d be prepared to wager you’ve needed to troubleshoot one — or requested somebody that can assist you — not less than as soon as. However what occurs when the individuals in your life who want hands-on assist dwell too distant for a drop-in?Because it seems, you might have already got entry to instruments that may assist you 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 assume.However, as a well-known fictional uncle as soon as stated, “with nice energy comes nice accountability.” As soon as the individuals 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 assist requests. Our recommendation? Use this energy correctly, and possibly set some boundaries.This may increasingly go with out saying however the individuals on either side of this equation must be related to the web. If the particular person you’re making an attempt to assist remotely doesn’t have an web connection, you might attempt strolling them by 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 dwell 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 generally.And eventually, these instruments are constructed into extensively used variations of Microsoft’s Home windows and Apple’s MacOS, however they’re not in all of them. You could have to search out one other resolution should you’re making an attempt to troubleshoot a lot older gadgets. Ship us an e mail at yourhelpdesk@washpost.com should you’re having bother.Two computer systems working both Home windows 10 or 11. (In case you repeatedly use an older model of Home windows, we’d strongly suggest you replace in some unspecified time in the future. Microsoft ended assist for Home windows 8.1 this month.)A Microsoft account (for the particular person making an attempt to help another person)Discover and run the Fast Help app. (The best method to do that is sort “Fast Help” into the search bar; you may additionally must replace the app by way of the Microsoft Retailer should you’ve by no means used it.)Click on the “Help one other particular person” button underneath the “Give help” header, and log into your Microsoft account.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.If you’d like supervise the particular person on the opposite finish whereas they attempt to work by issues themselves, choose the “View display screen” possibility. However should you’d slightly simply do all of it your self, choose the “Take full management” possibility.At this level, the particular person you’re making an attempt to assist has to grant their permission. As soon as they hit the “Settle for” button, you’ll have the ability to 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 resolve are useful or wanted.Like Home windows, Apple’s Mac computer systems include a reliable — and free — built-in display screen sharing device. So what’s the catch?Nicely, for one, it’s a bit tough to search out. You received’t see it in your Mac’s Launchpad or Functions folder. One of the simplest ways to entry it’s to open the Highlight search bar by urgent the Command key and the house bar on the similar time, then typing in “Display sharing.”When you’ve efficiently launched the app, you’ll want both the distant machine’s host identify (which nobody ever remembers) or the Apple ID tied to that machine.Fortunately, there’s a better option to begin utilizing this device.Two Mac computer systems working MacOS Excessive Sierra or newer.Apple IDs for each computer systems.Begin — or proceed — a dialog within the built-in Messages app with the particular person whose pc you wish to management.Click on the icon within the top-right nook that appears like an “i” inside a circle.Click on the “share” button, adopted by “Ask to Share Display.”The particular person 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 provide you full management over their pc — so you can also make adjustments instantly — or to simply allow you to observe.