How to: Fix your parents' PC remotely with TeamViewer


teamviewer.pngI don’t know about you, but in my life the following situation occurs on a regular basis. Phone call. It’s a random member of my family, or a friend. Their PC doesn’t work, and they think you might be able to fix it. Cue them trying to explain the problem over the phone, and utterly failing, as well as the two of you getting utterly confused, your friendship or family bonds getting severed, and never speaking to each other ever again.

What you need is some way of seeing the other person’s PC. Services like VNC or LogMeIn. Except that those are a bit fiddly and complex for a technophobe to set up and configure. No – you need something easier. Enter Teamviewer.

Teamviewer did a fantastic job this morning when I used to it to help my Dad troubleshoot a network issue. Despite him living in a remote village in eastern France, I was able to quickly and securely view his desktop. If I’d wanted to, I’d have been able to conduct a presentation, transfer a file, or join a VPN.

All he needed to do was install a small program, and give me a userID and password. Seriously – if my Dad could manage it, then it can’t have been tricky. It’s free for non-commercial use, and very functional. I can’t recommend it enough.

Now all you need to know is how to actually fix the damn thing. For that, I recommend this guide from Lifehacker. Good luck, and don’t forget to set their homepage to Tech Digest when you’re done.


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Duncan Geere
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  • TeamViewer is nice software, but sometimes it’s quite annoying with it’s ads and directions to buy license. Moreover it seems not fully protected from unauthorized access.

    For this reason we use free alternative for TeamViewer called Ammyy Admin

  • Nice posts and perfect way of guerilla marketing from Teamviewer and Co šŸ™‚

    But it would be great to hear something about the security problems of these tools.
    You can find manuals in the internet to use the Teamviewer.exe as a spy tool and for unauthorized connections/access…


    • Not sure what you mean about Guerilla marketing, Mickey, but I can assure you that the company, before they posted in the comments, was in no way involved with this blog post. I found them on the web mentioned in on a message board, tried it out, liked it, and in the fortunate position to be a writer on a tech blog – wrote about it.

      As for using TeamViewer to spy, well, that’s not something I know very much about, but it’s certainly interesting. I’ll do some research. Thanks.

  • Hi Duncan,
    You might like to consider trying out Mikogo, a free screen sharing tool that allows you to share your screen with up to 10 participants in one session. This makes it great for remote support, but also group trainings, demos, online meetings, presentations, and more. Free features include switch presenter, whiteboard, remote keyboard/mouse control, recording, file transfer, scheduler, and more.
    Drop by the website and take it for a spin: Feel free to contact me if you are after further info.

    The Mikogo Team

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