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It is a battle cry that we often hear from parents, siblings, or friends who can be classified as ”technically challenged.” The call usually comes late at night, or in the middle of dinner.

A loved one (let’s just call her “Auntie”) is so panicked and upset that she struggles to even explain the problem. You calmly try to assess the situation, but Auntie’s frustrated voice on the other end of the line becomes less helpful, as she curses technology and longs for an easier way.

You try to evaluate her problem and offer various suggestions or ideas, but you can tell that in Auntie’s exasperated state, her ability to follow your instructions is severely compromised. If you could only take control of her computer, you might be able to calm the situation.

But lo and behold, that option is not so far-fetched. Unbeknownst to many is that by simply starting a Zoom session, you can, with their permission, remotely access a befuddled friend’s screen, keyboard, and mouse to help them resolve their issue.

The Zoom feature is called Remote Control, and accessing it is quite simple. Here is a step-by-step guide to enabling Remote Control:

  1. Open a Zoom session and send the session link to “Auntie.”
  2. Once both of you are connected in the Zoom session, instruct Auntie to click on the green “Share Screen” icon and to then choose her main screen.
  3. Now, on your screen, click the “View Options” drop-down menu and select “Request Remote Control.” Then click “Request” to confirm.
  4. Auntie will receive notification that you have requested permission to take control of her screen. She needs to allow this action.
  5. Once she allows you to take control, you just need to click inside the Shared Screen to gain full access. You will now be able to control her screen as if it were your own.
  6. Once you have finished, to stop Remote Control, you again click the “View Options” drop-down and select “Give Up Remote Control.”

Most people have become quite familiar with Zoom since the start of the pandemic. Anyone can open a free account at https://zoom.us/ and using the Remote Control feature can alleviate tremendous frustration.

Do you have a tech trick that saves you time and effort? Send it to us at [email protected] and maybe we will highlight it in a future blog!

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