The Best Tools to Easily Perform Remote Tech Support
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There are many free tools that allow you to remotely access the other person’s computer and fix it. There are a million and one remote tech support options out there. We’ll look at the best ones here, whether you need to walk them through downloading one if you want to set up remote access ahead of time.
TeamViewer is the remote support tool of choice for many computer users. It can be used in several different ways. You can direct your partner to download the TeamViewer QuickSupport application, which can run without administrator access or any system configuration. It will give them a session ID and password that they can give to you, allowing you to easily remotely connect from your TeamViewer program. There’s no setup process here — just download the appropriate program and double-click it to launch it.
You could also opt to set up unattended access after installing the full TeamViewer client, giving you permanent remote access to the computer without the remote user having to give you any passwords or confirm anything. As long as their computer is on, you’ll be able to access it remotely. If you want to do preventative maintenance or fix their computer while they’re not around, this is a convenient option.
TeamViewer is also cross-platform, so you can use it to troubleshoot a Mac or troubleshoot your parents’ Windows computer from your Linux PC. You can even remotely connect from an Android or iOS device.
Windows Remote Assistance
Windows has a built-in remote assistance feature designed for just this situation. While only Professional editions of Windows can use the remote desktop server software, every version of Windows can send a remote assistance invitation and invite someone else to assist with their computers. This can be a convenient option because it’s already installed on the remote Windows computer, so you don’t have to walk the person through installing anything.
To use this feature, tell the other person to launch Windows Remote Assistance — either by opening the Start menu, typing Windows Remote, and pressing Enter or navigating to Start -> All Programs -> Maintenance -> Windows Remote Assistance.
They’ll need to use the Invite someone you trust to help you option and then select Easy Connect, which will give them a password.
Note that Easy Connect won’t always be available — if it isn’t, the remote user will have to create an invitation file using the Windows Remote Assistance app and send it to you.
You’ll need to open the Windows Remote Assistance application on your computer, choose Help someone who has invited you, select Easy Connect, and enter the password. If Easy Connect isn’t available, you’ll have to provide the invitation file.
After they approve your connection, you’ll be able to see and control their desktop remotely so you can begin cleaning it of viruses, removing toolbars, or dealing with whatever other problems are there.
Windows Remote Assistance can help you, but it’s not the ideal permanent solution. If you find yourself needing to connect regularly, there’s no way to connect without having the other person open the Remote Assistance app and tell you the password. If a solution that allows you to remotely log in without pestering the other person is ideal, set up TeamViewer or a similar program instead.
Chrome Remote Desktop
There’s a good chance both you and your recipient already have Google’s Chrome browser installed on your computers. If you do, you can use Chrome Remote Desktop app to connect to them remotely.
To do this, both you and the other person will need to have the Chrome Remote Desktop app installed. The other person will need to open the Chrome Remote Desktop app from their new tab page and click Enable remote connections.
They’ll then need to click the Share button to share their computer with someone, which will give them an access code.
Once they provide you with the access code, you’ll be able to open the Chrome Remote Desktop app, click the Access button, and enter the access code. You’ll then be connected to their computer.
You could also try setting up a PIN for permanent remote access. Like TeamViewer, this tool is cross-platform and also works on Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS. It will also likely be more robust than Windows Remote Assistance, as it shouldn’t fail — unlike the Easy Connect option in Windows Remote Assistance.