If you’re the one family members call with questions about setting up and using their smartphones and computers and smart TVs, we’ve put together some helpful tips to help your loved ones with their tech emergencies if you can’t pay them a visit (you couldn’t get there by kick off anyway).

1. Take advantage of being able to video call

You’ve been there before, trying to talk a loved one through a simple tech set up, everything is going great until …. it didn’t work. Sometimes they think they are following your directions, but are doing it wrong. Hop on a video call from the start (don’t worry, you look great), and you’ll be able to see and guide what they are actually doing and can help make sure they do it right. So much frustration saved.

2. Show them how to share their screen

If you’re helping your loved one with something on their computer, tablet, or smart phone, a video call may not do the trick. Screensharing is pretty simple to do these days with video chat apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype. They come with a built-in screensharing feature, so all you have to do is decide on which app you want to use and have your family member set it up on their device, if they don’t already have it. Start the screenshare feature and let your tech support services commence!

3. Set up a remote access app

Sometimes you just have to do it for them, for both your sakes! Of course, you still have to get through the challenge of setting up remote access remotely, but it’s worth the trouble if you can just fix things or set things up for them yourself from there. Pro tip- if you have a tech support frequent flyer, set up remote access when you ARE with them in person, in anticipation of making things easier when you need to help them remotely.

There are multiple ways to gain remote access to your loved one’s computer, but we recommend using an app like TeamViewer. This way, after set up, all you’ll need is your own username and password to access their device. You may have to have them do a screenshare with you while you help them set up the app and grant you access, and it will be smooth sailing from there.

Congrats, you can finally embrace your role as family tech support guru with pride and minimal family drama repercussions. And you know Aunt Mary will hook you up with your favorite butter jam biscuits next time you are in town for a visit. Worth it.