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Remote Tech Support: Best ways to screen share on iOS, macOS, and more – 9to5Mac

Your friends and family have likely just gotten a range new devices, and an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV is probably in the mix. If you’re like me, you’re the go-to tech support for family and friends and the holidays mean you have some work cut out for you. With fresh handy features like iOS 11’s built-in screen recorder, let’s look at some the best ways to remotely help others with their new Apple devices and an option to screen share with any device.

AirPods

Until iOS 11 and its new screen recording feature, it was a bit of a pain to remotely screen share with an iOS device (especially if you needed to see the screen of the person you’re helping).

iOS 11 Screen Recording

This is a handy feature for a variety or reasons, and it’s really helpful for providing some remote tech support.

Even better, making use of a screen recording means you don’t have to connect live with others (great for busy schedules and working across time zones).

If you don’t already have screen recording enabled, just head to Settings → Control Center → Customize Controls and hit the  button next to Screen Recording.

3D Touch the Screen Recording icon to turn microphone on/off

From there it’s as easy as pulling up Control Center, capturing what you need, and sharing from the Photos app.

Another option if someone is having a particularly tough time explaining their trouble is to have them send you a screen recording of what they’re currently doing so you can solve it.

For a more in-depth look at screen recording in iOS 11 and some tips, take a look at our how to.

FaceTime

If it’s best to help someone on short notice, or if live is better than recorded, a good old-fashioned FaceTime call can do the trick. As long as the person you’re helping has a secondary iOS device around, this will help you get a better idea of what’s going on. It’s also useful to see how the person needs to adjust how they’re trying to navigate, tap, interact, etc. with their device. FaceTime can be a good fit to help with Apple TV support.

It’s nice to have an adjustable stand or tripod to keep the FaceTime device steady and at the right angle. KCOOL’s octopus style tripod is great for portability and flexibility and AmazonBasics Lightweight Tripod is an awesome value for a full size option which pairs well with Ipow’s iPad Tripod Mount Adapter and other accessories.

Mac to Mac Screen Sharing

Providing support to others can be even smoother when you can take control of their device. With Apple’s built-in macOS screen sharing you get that option in addition to quickly being able to switch from viewing their screen to sharing yours.

To do this, make sure the ‘Screen Sharing’ box is checked in System Preferences → Sharing. Also, if the Apple ID they use for iCloud and Messages on the Mac is different, you’ll need to have both emails on their contact card on your Mac.

Do a Spotlight search for Screen Sharing and launch it.

i

You’ll then see a dialog box with the option to enter the Apple ID of the person you’d like to screen share with.

ii

On the receiving end they’ll see this invitation.

3

Make sure they select Control My Screen.

permission

Screen share on Mac from Messages

Another way to start screen sharing is through Messages on macOS. Click Details in the top right corner of a message and select Invite to share my screen or Ask to share screen.

1

Once you are connected, a FaceTime voice call will also automatically initiate along with the screen sharing.

Another useful trick is to open QuickTime Player and start a screen recording (File → New Screen Recording) so they can revisit the guidance anytime they want.

5

When you’re ready to end the session, you can click ‘Screen Sharing’ next to the  in the menu bar and select ‘Quit Screen Sharing.’

6

Screen sharing with any device

If the macOS screen sharing isn’t working well for you, or if you need to help someone with a Windows machine or Chromebook (or any device) you can use something like TeamViewer which is totally free for personal accounts. LogMeIn’s GoToMeeting is another option, but is paid after the 14-day free trial.

With the options above you should be all set to solve any troubleshooting that lands on your plate, hopefully without headaches 🤓. For more ways to get the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as these articles:


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