‘Tis the season to provide family tech support. Christmas is almost here and many people will be getting new tech devices. Some will be adding laptops and I hope many will be getting Chromebooks. Are you responsible for any technology in your school? If so, my guess is you are considered your family’s resident tech expert. That’s me in our family and I’m happy to help, but due to distance and time I can’t always come onsite. Have you ever tried to help someone over the phone and thought, if you could just see the screen you could figure out the issue? Well there are a few options in the Google-verse for providing tech support.
If you just need to see the screen, and have a G Suite account you could use Google Meet. I wrote a post about it called Video Conferencing and Screen Sharing Doesn’t Get Easier Than Using Google Meet.
However, sometimes interacting with someone’s device. would be beneficial. Enter Chrome Remote Desktop. There is a Chrome app for Chromebooks, but as Google continues their efforts to move away from standard apps, they have developed a Progressive Web App making it even easier to use.
There are two parts to Chrome Remote Desktop:
- Remote Access – Allows you to access your own computers
- Remote Support – Allows you to connect to someone else’s computer with their permission
This post is going to focus on the Remote Support feature.
On The End User Side
The first step to connecting to a remote computer is to have the user go to remotedesktop.google.com/support. The first time the user uses Remote Desktop they will need to install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension. They can do so by clicking the down arrow in the Get Support box.
Clicking the down arrow will open a window asking to install the Chrome Remote Desktop extension.
Click on Add extension
Once installed, the down arrow is replaced by a Generate Code button.
Once you click Generate Code, a 12 digit code will appear on the Get Support section. You will also see a countdown which begins at 5 minutes. This is a one time use code and if it isn’t used to connect with in the 5 minute window, the code expires. Remote Support is designed with the idea that you are in contact with the user by chat, phone, or some other means and that you are both in front of the devices you will be using. Therefore, the 5 minutes should be plenty of time. At this point the user needing support is waiting on you.
On Your Side
In the Give Support section, click Access code and enter the code from the end user’s screen. Then click Connect
Your screen will now show a Support session number. The Remote User will be prompted that you want to connect and to click the Share button. Once they do you’ll be able to control their screen.
There are a few options while you are connected.
To end the the session you can click Disconnect from your computer or Shop Sharing on the remote computer.
That’s it. You’re now all set to to relief some stress for your friends and family this holiday season by providing a little remote tech support. Maybe you’ll get some baked goods in return. Merry Christmas!