How to quickly share your screen (and grant control) with Join.me

Join.me is a free service that lets you share your screen with others, chat live, and even let them control your mouse. Find out how to get started.

Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET

Screen-sharing is that fascinating technology that lets you give any number of people a look at your desktop screen the way you see it now.

Many programs like WebEx and GoToMeeting offer robust solutions for companies who use screen-sharing to facilitate virtual meetings, while more-common apps like Skype and iChat integrate it into their software, too.

But if all you want to do is quickly share your screen (or see someone else's), Join.me (compatible with PC and Mac) is a free Web-based program that lets you share your screen, chat with viewers, and even allow others to control your mouse.

It's so easy to use that you might want to set this up on your family members' computers so that you can quickly offer technical support when they need it. You can say goodbye to long, frustrating technical support phone sessions that lead to nowhere.

Step 1: Head to https://join.me/ and click "Share." You'll be asked to download a program and install it. When it finishes installing, the program will launch, and you'll see a little toolbar at the top of your screen.

Step 2: To share your screen, click the link at the top and click "Copy viewer link to clipboard." Now send that link to people you want to share your screen with. When they open it, they'll see your desktop in their Web browser.

Step 3: Use the icons in the toolbar. Here's what they do (from left to right):

  • Phone: Click this icon to get a free conference call number that all the viewers can call. They'll be required to enter the provided nine-digit conference ID.

  • Chat: This is where all the viewers can chat.

  • Pause screen: Click this icon to temporarily pause your screen. This is useful if you need time to set up the presentation and would like some privacy. Click the icon again to resume screen-sharing.

  • Participants: Here's where you'll see the list of participants. In the beginning of the conference, you may ask everyone to identify themselves by clicking this icon, hovering over their generic, generated name (like "Viewer 1"), and entering their real names.

  • Mouse: Join.me also lets you give viewers control over your mouse. If you are using Join.me to give others hands-on technical support, ask them to click this button so that you can freely use their mouse and quickly fix the issue.

Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET

Tags:
Tech Culture
About the author

Sharon Profis is a CNET How To expert who cooks up DIY projects, in-depth guides, and little-known tricks that help you get the most out of your tech. During her four years at CNET, she's covered social media, funky gadgets, and has shared her tech knowledge on CBS and other news outlets.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Want affordable gadgets for your student?

Everyday finds that will make students' lives easier: chargers, cables, headphones, and even a bona fide gadget or two!