Your friends and family have likely purchased or been gifted a range of new devices over the last few days and weeks, and odds are probably good that you’re the go-to for tech support. Sometimes it’s easy enough to troubleshoot with a call or text when you aren’t nearby, but it’s usually helpful to see what’s going on and also have some remote control access. Follow along for a look at how to screen share with iPhone, iPad, Mac, and more to help friends and family with tech support more efficiently.
In this post we’ll also look at how to screen share and control with Macs, iPhones, and iPads natively. However, we’ll look at third-party options like TeamViewer and logmein as well to screen share with almost any device.
A favorite trick of mine is using QuickTime on a Mac to screen share an iOS device. However, if the person you’re helping only has iOS devices these first two options may be obvious, but are definitely useful.
Instead of struggling through a phone call, a good option is to have the other person take a FaceTime call on a secondary iOS device, and point it towards the device they are struggling with.
Even though this doesn’t allow you to control their device, it quickly allows you to see what’s going wrong. It’s also useful to see how the person needs to adjust how they’re trying to navigate, tap, interact, etc. with their device.
An adjustable stand or tripod to keep the FaceTime device steady and at a good angle is helpful. An octopus style tripod is great for portability and flexibility and the 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.
iOS Screen Recording
If you can’t make a FaceTime call work, having the user in need take an iOS screen recording and sharing it is another great option.
This approach makes it easy to troubleshoot for your friends and family whenever you have time to text or call them back with a solution.
You can point them to our tutorial on getting started with screen recording with iOS 11 and later if they need help with that first step.
Mac to Mac Screen Sharing
Providing support to others can be easiest when you can take control of their device. This is an option with Mac to Mac screen sharing, or you can also share your screen instead of seeing theirs.
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 Mac isn’t the same, you’ll need to have both emails on their contact card.
Here are two ways to start screen sharing on Mac:
Do a Spotlight search for ‘Screen Sharing’ and launch it.
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.
On the receiving end they’ll see this invitation.
Make sure they select Control my screen.
The alternate way to start screen sharing is through Messages on macOS.
- Click Details in the top right corner of the message (shown below)
- Click the icon with two rectangles.
- Select Invite to share my screen or Ask to share screen.
Once you are connected, a FaceTime voice call will also automatically initiate and you’ll see everything on their screen.
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.
When you’re ready to end the session, click Screen Sharing next to the in the menu bar and select Quit Screen Sharing.
Screen Share an iOS device using a Mac
This is a fun modified use of a developer feature that Apple built into QuickTime Player back in 2014. When you use the Screen Sharing Mac app with this screen casting feature you can see everything happening on an iOS device as long as both parties have Macs.
- Start a Mac screen sharing session.
- Have the person you’re helping plug in their iOS device via USB cable to the Mac that they are screen sharing with.
- Have them launch QuickTime Player and click File → New Movie Recording.
Once the movie window opens, select the drop down arrow next the record icon and click the iOS device you’d like to see, then click record.
Here is a snapshot of what you’ll see on their Mac as you screen share.
After you’ve solved all their issues, you can even help them save the footage so they can review it later as needed.
TeamViewer seems to be the best third-party software option for screen sharing with Apple devices and more. It’s free for personal accounts and even has what sounds like remote control options.
TeamViewer is the only remote support technology in the world to allow LIVE iOS device screen access and control from any desktop or mobile device.
This is a great solution if you’re trying to help someone with Windows, Android, or another platform from Mac, or vice versa.
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