How to remotely help father with computer.
February 3, 2014 9:10 PM   Subscribe

My Dad often has trouble with the computer that run along the lines of "can't download email attachment" or "doesn't know how to forward email". I need a program that will allow me to access his computer remotely so I can do simple common tasks for him, as he's unable to retain the information even when we go through it step-by-step, over long drawn out phone calls. Being able to see what's on his screen, or to indicate to him where to click would simplify things for both of us greatly. I have used RealVNC before, but only within a home network and don't know how challenging it is to do over the internet. We are both using Windows 7. Thanks.
posted by roshy to Technology (18 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Windows remote assistance. No need for anything special.
posted by ssg at 9:14 PM on February 3, 2014

I used Logmein (the free version) to access my mom's computer remotely. It saved us from many an argument!
posted by cecic at 9:16 PM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

I find QQ's remote assistance the easiest to use for this because it's incredibly basic and there's voice/ video chat functionality as well.
posted by hellomiss at 9:39 PM on February 3, 2014

I use TeamViewer with my parents. Very simple, has a variety of options, including direct file transfer, which is nice.
posted by HermitDog at 9:59 PM on February 3, 2014 [5 favorites]

Seconding TeamViewer. My roommate is a professional tech guy and uses this a ton to help friends and relatives in other states. He's tried other similar programs but this is his go-to.

I've been on the other (your dad's) end of this, and it is super crazy easy to set up and use. It's also very obvious to the user that you're setting up temporary remote access - there's no sense of "oh no, now this other person can read my emails forever."

Since your dad will see exactly what you're doing on his screen, this is also a great way to demonstrate things to him, maybe combined with a phone call at the same time.
posted by jessicapierce at 10:37 PM on February 3, 2014 [1 favorite] but not sure if it does remote control. You could try Copilot or TeamViewer. Chrome also does remote control.
posted by Dansaman at 10:38 PM on February 3, 2014

Seconding free version of LogMeIn.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:05 AM on February 4, 2014

We used to use LogMeIn also, because of the frustration of a minute task taking an hour to resolve.

After 10 years of unsuccessfully explaining what the desktop was, how to switch between applications, what a right click was, how to create, name and move a folder all came to an end when my parents got an iPad.

LogMeIn and other remote solutions are fine. But if the use case and budget permits, I cannot recommend an iPad enough.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:33 AM on February 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Urg, I retract LogMeIn Free recommendation. I logged in today and got a message telling me that the free version is no longer available and you need to buy a paid subscription instead. Oh well, it's still a good service if you're up for paying.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:33 AM on February 4, 2014 [2 favorites]

I've helped many a parent and in-law with CoPilot.
posted by mmascolino at 5:00 AM on February 4, 2014

I've used Teamviewer too, a number of times. Very simple and efficient.
posted by nicolin at 6:12 AM on February 4, 2014

I use constantly when assisting my folks with PC issues.

Also, Soluto lets you monitor and update their computers remotely. It's great!
posted by getawaysticks at 6:22 AM on February 4, 2014

Don't bother with LogMeIn.

Only a couple of weeks ago they retired the free version and are forcing everyone to pay up within 7 days of logging on. That wouldn't be so bad if the pricing wasn't so high for just 2 computers.

As a result, I've switched the entire family to TeamViewer. Go with that instead.
posted by mr_silver at 6:32 AM on February 4, 2014

Nthing TeamViewer. Easy, simple to use, and free.
posted by liquado at 6:53 AM on February 4, 2014

Chrome has an add-on called Chrome Remote Desktop that also works well.
posted by soelo at 7:26 AM on February 4, 2014

posted by humboldt32 at 9:55 AM on February 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding Chrome Remote Desktop - free and easy to use. He does exactly what you're describing for his mom this way.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 10:49 AM on February 4, 2014

Thanks to everyone who suggested TeamViewer! It's perfect! Everyone is much happier now. :)
posted by roshy at 10:14 PM on April 11, 2014

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