You are young, you own a phone with no buttons on the front, an expensive laptop and some kind of tablet. You hang out on the internet all the time. And you obviously know how to code something. For you, fixing computers is as pleasurable as enjoying a cold drink on the beach…
At least this is what your parents think about you.
Every time “the internet doesn’t work”, “the printer isn’t printing” or “the password isn’t working” your parents call you in agony hoping for you to fix everything that runs on electricity. Instantly. Why? Because you are sooo into technology and stuff…
It’s actually easier than it might seem
From my experience, “my internet doesn’t work” often means that the Chrome icon has vanished in thin air, and “it doesn’t download” means that your parents can’t seem to notice the small button somewhere in the browser to confirm the download.
Typical phrases include: “OK, see the little circle with the Windows icon in the bottom-left corner?”, “What does the button say?”, “Have you plugged it in?” or “NONONO don’t close the window!”. As fun as it gets….
After countless hours of playing technical support for my family I have chosen a couple of techniques and apps I use to make all of this easier.
No matter if your parents are using Windows or Mac OS X (I really doubt they are using Linux, Ubuntu or Chrome OS), there are some great tools out there that will help you solve all your relatives’ issues they encounter with their computers.
First of all, don’t panic or stress out. The more stressed you become, the more stressful and time-consuming the fixing will get.
If Skype is installed and the person you are talking with knows how to use it at least a bit, ask him/her to share the screen by clicking on the “plus” button next to the camera icon and then on “Share Screen…” and follow the next steps.
Step 1: Install TeamViewer to see their screen and control the computer
First of all, download TeamViewer yourself by following this link and choosing “TeamViewer Full Version”. Follow the regular download and installation process and open TeamViewer. If you are on a mobile device install TeamViewer for Android or iOS. All the next steps are for your parents.
Almost there. This was the most complicated part of the whole process. Stay calm and don’t panic.
Now that TeamViewer QuickSupport is open in the other side of the phone line, open TeamViewer on your computer, phone or tablet and do the following:
And there you have it! Now you can control your parents’ computer from anywhere you need if you have internet and fix smaller issues pretty quickly.
Now that you know how to control a remote computer you can make sure that helping your parents with future computer problems will be as easy as possible for everybody.
What I did with every single one of my relatives is placing a shortcut to the full version of TeamViewer on the desktop and tell them to double-click (very important) the icon if they need my help.
Write down the credentials for your parents’ internet provider
Educate your parents
Try to remember what recurring problems your parents had over the last few months (like, for example, problems with watching YouTube videos) and try to explain how to fix them. Proper education and communication will make everything easier in the long run…. Until they buy an iPad or get Windows 8, and you have to explain they how everything works all over again.