Are you one of those people that get asked to help your family or friends with their computers when they’re having issues? And you’re looking for a way to do it remotely?
And you have heard about Windows having a remote desktop utility but you’re not sure how to set it up and use it, well, great because in this article I will cover ways on how to enable remote desktop in Windows 10, 8.1, or 7, and on a Mac.
Also, I will discuss using a third party app from our favorite company Google😊.
This is a great way to be able to help others with their computers, especially when it is easier to do it yourself instead of trying to explain to them what is needed to be done. Though they will have to open an application or two, and it’s fairly easy to do. At least I hope it will be.
Since I do most of my work with Windows 10 I will start off with the Quick Assist, this is so much easier than the old standby of Windows Remote Assistance which I will cover next.
Windows 10 Quick Assist:
To use this both computers need to be running Windows 10, it is not available in Windows 8.1 or 7, so whoever you are helping make sure they are running Windows 10. with the latest update, If not you can scroll down to Windows Remote Assistance for further instructions.
The easiest way to find Quick Assist is to type it into Cortana’s search bar, or you can find it in the Start Menu under the folder “Windows Accessories” > “Quick Assist”.
So to get started launch “Quick Assist” click on “Give Assistance” button and sign in with your Windows account, don’t worry, your friend won’t have sign-in to do this. You will now have six-digit code that you will give to the person your helping, this code will only last for 10 minutes (plenty enough time for you to call the person).
Calling the person is the easiest way but I guess you could email them (no, that takes to long) or you could text them. So have them launch Quick Assist on their computer and click on “Get Assistance”, they will then be asked to enter the code that you have.
Once they enter the code you will get a pop-up asking for you to select eighter “Take full control or View screen”, select one and click “Continue” They will then get a screen asking them to accept control from you.
After they click OK you should be connected in a moment or two. Once you are you will have a toolbar on the top of your screen with options to fit to screen, or actual size, send a text, open the task manager, and the best one is that you can select to restart their computer without losing the remote connection.
You now have full control of their computer!
Now for those times when you and the person you are helping are not running the same version of Windows (say that you are running Windows 10 and they are running Windows 7). You are going to have to rely on the Windows Remote Assistance which will take a few more steps than the Quick Assist does.
Windows Remote Assistance:
To start off, have your friend open “Control Panel” on their computer and in the search bar (located in the upper right-hand corner) have them type “Invite Someone to Connect to Your PC”, as they start to type“invite” into the search bar they will notice on the left-hand corner the prompt that they will want to select to access this.
Now have them select “Invite someone you trust to help you” and on the next screen click on “use email to send an invitation” if they should run into a screen that says “The computer is not set up to send invitations,” tell them to click on “Repair” and follow the instructions below. If they don’t go to “Use Easy Connect”
Microsoft will now look for the problem and then show a screen stating that “Remote assistance isn’t enabled” with an option stating “Try these repairs as an administrator”, have them click on that. Microsoft will now ask for their password to continue, after which it will repair the issue and return back to the “Control Panel” with the page where they can again click on “Invite Someone to Connect to Your PC”.
“Use Easy Connect”:
OK, they should now be to a page where they have three options to choose from, “Save this invitation as a file” “Use email to send an invitation” and “Use Easy Connect”. If your PC and the person you are trying to help have the option to “Use Easy Connect” not greyed out, then you’re in luck because all they have to do is click on it and they will be given a password.
Once you have the password enter it into your “Use Easy Connect” screen. There you go, now you are connected to their computer. If either of the computers shows it greyed out, (as you can see in the photo above), you will have to use the next step. 🙁
“Use email to send an invitation”:
You will have to use this option if one of you have the “Use Easy Connect” option grayed out. Have them click on the “Use email to send an Invitation” and Windows will search for their default email service to send the email with an attachment.
If it cannot connect to their email service they will be presented with a screen with three suggested options, all they have to do is click “Next” which will send them back to the first page where they will want to select “Save this invitation as a file”. This will save the invitation as a file, and they will be given a password which you will use. They will then have to send to you via email the file as an attachment. Hopefully, they know how to do this. 😊
Now it’s your turn, this is where you will open your email and click on the attachment which will open the “Windows Remote Assistance” window and ask for the password which you will get from the person you are helping. Once you enter the password you will now have a screen showing their screen.
For you to have control of their computer you will have to select “Request control“ at the top left-hand corner of your screen. They will now get a pop-up asking them if they want to allow you to share control of their desktop, and once they click yes you should have control of there computer.
Wow, that was a lot of steps, but at least you have control of there computer, one thing to keep in mind is that after a minute of no action by you it will terminate the connection.
If you have Mac OS X 10.10 or later you will be able to use the Messages app to perform a remote control session. And it is a lot easier to establish that it is in Windows.
To get started you will both need to be signed into messages using your Apple ID, once you have signed in open the Messages app and right click on the person you are going to help and select “Ask to Share Screen”.
Your friend will receive a pop-up screen showing that “you are requesting permission to share your screen” have them select the “Control my screen” option and click “Accept”. Your all set, you now have control of their Mac and can help with whatever they need. Now that is much simpler than Windows don’t you think? 😊
Windows to Mac:
Sorry but as of this writing there is no built-in option to accomplish this and I don’t expect there will be in the near future. But not to fear there are a lot of “Video chat apps” like Skype or Google Hangouts that will allow users to share their screens with a click or two of a button.
However, there is no option to allow you to control their PC but you can at least see what is on their screen and walk them through whatever problems they are having.
Chrome Remote Desktop:
This may be the easiest way to connect with your friend’s computer if the above methods don’t pan out for you or the person that you are trying to help. Or if you are trying to connect a Windows to Mac. At least that is according to what I read, I don’t have access to a Mac so I could not try it out to make sure.
It involves downloading a Chrome app on both computers from the Chrome app store, this is the link to this app. and you will want to share this with the person you are helping.
Once you both have it installed you can find the app in your Windows “Start menu” or for Mac “Spotlight” and launch it from there. If you can’t find in either of those places you can start it from Google Chrome and select the “Apps” button on the upper left corner of the browser. once you find it on the next window click on the app to get started.
When the app window opens you both need to click on the “Get Started” button. On the next screen have your friend select “Share” and you will select “Access”. The first time you go through this your friend will have to install yet another app,☹ have them click on the “Accept and install” the Chrome remote desktop host and follow the instructions. They will then be presented with a passcode which they will want to give to you.
Once you have entered the code you’re all set for controlling your friend’s computer. Now that you both have installed the Chrome desktop Remote and they installed the second part of it your all set to work on their computer anytime they have problems, no more installing anything. Just open the app, get the code, and your on your way.
As you can see, once you have both computers set up, this is by far the easiest to use and it is stated that it uses a secure connection, unlike other utilities that are out there like TeamViewer.
Wrapping this UP!
Well there you have it, you now know how to enable Remote Desktop in Windows 10 along with the new Quick Assist feature (My favorite), And we covered the old method of using Windows older version of Remote Desktop for those that are not running the current version of Windows or are running Windows 7 (which a lot of people like), even if they are running Windows 8.1 (not sure if anyone is using this one anymore 🙂 ).
If you are a Mac user, we covered that also which turns out to be easier than Windows (go figure), and if all else fells we covered using Googles “Chrome Remote Desktop” which seems to be the easiest way of helping a family member or friend once you have it set up, that is if you will be helping them more than once.
One more thing before I let you go, I tried out all of these options minus the Mac-to-Mac because I don’t have access to a Mac. I like to make sure that what I’m writing about does indeed work and out of all of these I preference is the Quick assist, it’s the easiest to set up and use. So if you access to it, you won’t be disappointed. 🙂 It might also help if you were to share this post with them so they could follow along on their own computer.
Do you have any Question regarding how to set up Remote Desktop?
Even if you don’t have a question I would love to hear your thoughts on helping others with the use of Windows Remote Desktop or even the Chrome method, you can do so in the comment section below!