How to control computers remotely with your Android phone

Are you tired of providing on-site tech support for your friends and family? Providing support remotely is an easy way to help them while maintaining your sanity. If you don't have a computer nearby, but have your Android phone, you can still help. We'll show you how.

Are you tired of providing on-site tech support for your friends and family? Providing support remotely is an easy way to help them while maintaining your sanity. If you don't have a computer nearby, but have your Android phone, you can still help. Here's how:

Computer setup
Step 1:
On the computer you want to remote control, download "TeamViewer QuickSupport" from TeamViewer. The downloaded file is named TeamViewerQS_en.exe. The program is self-contained so it does not need to be installed.

Step 2:
Double-click on the TeamViewerQS_en.exe file to launch TeamViewer on the computer you want to control.

Step 3:
At the main screen, the numeric ID of that system is listed and a numeric password for that session. Make a note of the ID and password as you'll need that information later.

TeamViewer QuickSupport
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 4:
If you're setting this up on someone else's computer, you may want to create a shortcut for them or place the file on their desktop so they can find it more easily when they need your help. Once you've connected to the computer, a small window with a session list will pop up in the lower right-hand corner.

TeamViewer session list
A session list will pop up on the remote computer. Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Android setup
Step 1:
On your Android phone, install TeamViewer from the Android Market and launch it. In the first box, enter the ID of the "partner" computer. In the second box, enter the password and tap the "Connect to partner" button.

TeamViewer Android connect
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 2:
Once connected, you'll see gesture control instructions.

TeamViewer instructions
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Step 3:
Close the instruction screen to see the desktop of the remote computer.

TeamViewer connected
The desktop can be zoomed in or out. Screenshot by Ed Rhee


You've got control! Now you can help your in-law's figure out how to use Netflix streaming or add an RSS feed to Google Reader. You can help someone with just about anything he or she might need help with, without having to physically be there. You can use the mouse, type, print, and even reboot the remote computer.

The Android version of TeamViewer does have a few limitations, compared with the computer version. The Android version does not support local audio, text chat , video chat, or file transfers.

Tags:
Tech Culture
About the author

Ed Rhee, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He focuses on Android devices and applications while maintaining a review blog at techdadreview.com.

 

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