TeamViewer – If a family member’s computer breaks down

Sometimes, computers can break down. It can be a real hassle to go over and fix the problem manually, especially if you’re not as tech-savvy as you used to be.

One of the most frustrating things about owning a computer is when it suddenly malfunctions. Whether it’s because of malware, hardware failures, or some other issue that you cannot seem to figure out on your own, there will come a time when you need to find someone who can help. You could call in an expert – but for this article, we will focus on one of the simplest ways to get help: using TeamViewer.

What is TeamViewer?

You might not think that TeamViewer could be one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal, but you’re mistaken.

When you need to manage a remote computer, many tools can help. The most popular of these is TeamViewer, helping people solve their remote management problems for over 20 years. After all these years, TeamViewer has become one of the most powerful tools for managing a remote computer, with the ability to copy files and make video calls.

If your daddy’s printer goes down, or your Wi-Fi goes down, or Windows Update hangs – you’ll be the one to call for help. After all, you’re the one in the family who knows a lot about computers. That’s fine, but if your dad lives too far away, you can’t go running to her for every little problem. In addition, the COVID-19 epidemic adds another topicality: if you want to be sure that dad doesn’t catch the virus, it’s better to use remote access and try to troubleshoot the problem that way. One of the best applications for remote control is TeamViewer, which, in addition to its many features, is also great because it’s completely free for home use. And you don’t even need to install it; you can run the downloaded file yourself. Another advantage of TeamViewer is that it works not only on Windows but also on macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, so there’s no combination of devices that can’t be used. TeamViewer also provides AES 256-bit encryption for connecting machines, so you don’t have to worry about security.

Computer problems can happen at any time, and if you don’t have a backup plan in place, it will be frustrating. We’ve compiled this list of our favorite remote access tools – both paid and free – for fixing your tech issues.

How to help with TeamViewer

To establish remote access, TeamViewer must be running on both computers. So, before we can help dad, we must first ask her to download and start TeamViewer on her computer (instead of dad, you can, of course, substitute a co-worker, friend, etc.).) For them, it is not necessary to install the full TeamViewer. Still, the Quick Support version is sufficient, whose only task is to provide the interface for remote access on the target computer – without any special features. A significant advantage of this program is that it works without any installation and does not require administrator privileges. Once started, it displays an ID number consisting of nine or ten digits and a randomly generated password. The ID remains the same number every time you start the system, but the password changes, putting security first. Dad also has to find a way to get this ID and password to the helpdesk – either by phone, email, Messenger, or SMS.

This information must be entered on the computer you want to use as a remote control. After entering the ID and the code, you can initiate the connection by pressing the “Connect” button. Once the connection has been successfully established, a window will appear on the computer with the remote machine’s Desktop – you can now control the machine using TeamViewer.

The toolbar contains several helpful additional features; for example, there is a notepad (or digital whiteboard) on which you can record important information. You can also view the software running on the remote machine and add the remote machine to your contacts list. Once this has been done (the grandparent must approve the addition), connecting later without the ID and password is possible.

While using TeamViewer, it is also possible to chat with each other, which is a convenient option, as you don’t have to keep jumping to another chat program to send a few messages.

File exchange between machines using TeamViewer

Although TeamViewer is undoubtedly primarily designed to control the remote computer, the software also allows you to make video conference calls and copy files. It is also significant to connect computers to a phone or a tablet. You’ve taken some great photos of your family celebrations, and you want to show them to dad. Usually, you can send the photos by email, but if the email program says the attachment size is too big? Dropbox or other cloud-based storage could be an alternative, but let’s face it: they’re too complicated for dad, so it’s pointless to burden her with that. TeamViewer comes in again, which can transfer massive files between computers.

A special extra is that remote access and file transfer are encrypted, so you don’t have to worry about someone intercepting the data or photos you send. What’s more, the connection is made directly between the two computers, without the need for a cloud.

TeamViewer supports file copying in several ways, the best version being the File Transfer option in the File and Tools menu, which has a similar look and feel to the FTP client interface. It is similar in use but also includes the drag & drop method. Also, if you want to send the file to a machine in the contact list, you can send the file directly from the right mouse button menu.

Unsupervised access using TeamViewer

Unattended access allows you to connect to a remote machine at any time without the other party’s approval. In this case, all you need is an ID, and instead of a constantly changing password, you need a mode that you set yourself. This option is called “Single sign-on” and is particularly useful if you often need to log on to work from your home computer or vice versa. But of course, it’s also helpful if dad isn’t the most computer-savvy because it’s one less thing she has to do when she needs help. In this case, it’s a good idea to set up TeamViewer to start automatically with the PC, so you can connect to it as soon as you switch on the computer.

As the name implies, the unattended connection is possible even if no one at the remote machine can approve the connection. The only trick is that it only works if you create a free TeamViewer account.

When creating the user account, you have to enter a user name and password of your choice, and you can also configure whether TeamViewer should start with Windows. It is important to note that after creating the account, you must also enable or disable unattended access for each computer separately. Logically, this option is no longer available without a “normal” installation of TeamViewer – but of course, it is also completely free for home use.

If you want to connect to the remote machine, select it in the connection list and double-click on it. The connection will be established immediately after entering the password you have chosen.

Videoconference with TeamViewer

If you have already installed TeamViewer on your dad’s computer, you can also use it to make video calls. This option is available in the “Meeting” section (selectable on the left) under “Video Call”. To initiate the call, you need the partner ID, which can be sent directly from TeamViewer by email. But suppose there is the possibility of communicating verbally. The partner ID can also be read in the tiny window that appears in the bottom right corner when connecting to TeamViewer. To start a video call, press the button, but only if you have already entered the partner ID and the login password. The video call opens in a new window and logically requires a video camera connected to the computer and active. The TeamViewer settings can select which camera and microphone are used for the call. If necessary, it is even possible to mute the microphone.