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Remote access is one of the most valuable tools in a computer user’s kit. With it, you can reach your own machines from anywhere, help a friend, or even remotely control USB devices How to Remote Control USB Devices with Teamviewer How to Remote Control USB Devices with Teamviewer If you want the ability to remotely control things like music, hard drives and cameras from any location in your house, you could use the free version of TeamViewer and do it at no cost. Read More .

Though Windows has its own built-in Remote Assistance feature 5 Tips for Fixing Remote Desktop Screen Settings 5 Tips for Fixing Remote Desktop Screen Settings A Remote Desktop connection is a great way to service a remote computer from the comfort of your home. But it can be tricky to set up. Our troubleshooting tips should come in handy. Read More (that not many people know about Windows Can Do THIS? 15 Surprising Features You Had No Clue About Windows Can Do THIS? 15 Surprising Features You Had No Clue About Windows can do a lot more than you may think. Even if you're a veteran Windows user, I bet you'll discover a feature in our list that you never knew existed. Read More ), some users might need the more powerful features available in other software.

One of the most popular remote control programs is TeamViewer, which has continually added features and become the standard for its kind. With version 12 releasing this month, we thought it would be a good time to have a look at what TeamViewer can do for you. Let’s review the most popular features of the software, along with what’s new in version 12.

Install and Meet TeamViewer

Getting TeamViewer (TV) installed on your PC is simple. Head to the TeamViewer website and click the Download TeamViewer button to grab the installer. During setup, choose the Basic installation and make sure you indicate that you’re using TV for Personal / Non-commercial use. The software is free for home users, while business folks pay a fee for more advanced features.

You don’t have to dive into any menus to enjoy the basic functionality of TeamViewer. Every time you open it, TV assigns you a nine-digit ID, along with a four-digit password. To connect to someone else’s machine, all you need to do is ask them for these two codes. Punch them into your Partner ID box and make sure to check Remote control, and you’ll be connected to them in seconds.

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If you’re using TeamViewer as a short-term solution to help someone, they don’t even have to install the full software. Scroll down a bit on the homepage and click the Join remote control session button to download a temporary version of TV that only stays running until you close it. This is a great way to get the service running for someone who isn’t tech-savvy 5 Reasons Chromebooks are the Perfect Computer For an Elderly Person 5 Reasons Chromebooks are the Perfect Computer For an Elderly Person It's your granddad's birthday — but what should you buy him? You could get him socks (again), some gardening equipment, or perhaps a large bottle of whisky… Or you could buy him a Chromebook. Read More .

Once You’re Connected

Once you’ve connected to a remote machine successfully, you’ll control this computer as if it was your own. Unlike some other remote assistance software, TeamViewer lets you respond to user account control (UAC) prompts Stop Annoying UAC Prompts - How To Create A User Account Control Whitelist [Windows] Stop Annoying UAC Prompts - How To Create A User Account Control Whitelist [Windows] Ever since Vista, we Windows users have been pestered, bugged, annoyed, and tired of the User Account Control (UAC) prompt telling us a program is starting up that we intentionally launched. Sure, it has improved,... Read More to allow administrative actions. This is why you should exercise caution about who you let connect to your computer, as fake tech support scammers Anatomy of a Scam: The "Windows Tech Support" Con Examined Anatomy of a Scam: The "Windows Tech Support" Con Examined They're constantly on the prowl: cold calling scammers claiming to be from "Windows Tech Support". We were targeted by one of these con artists and here's what happened. Read More use this software to rip you off.

You’re not just limited to using the controls on the remote machine, however. TeamViewer includes an action bar at the top of its window with several useful commands. Under the Actions tab, you can send commands to reboot the computer, press Ctrl + Alt + Del, or black out How To Troubleshoot And Fix Windows Black Screen Issues How To Troubleshoot And Fix Windows Black Screen Issues The B in BSOD doesn't always stand for blue. Sometimes you'll experience a Black Screen of Death. This can be even more troublesome because it provides no error message. Let's troubleshoot together. Read More the remote screen.

Under the View tab, you can choose to show the remote user’s cursor, change the connection’s balance between speed and quality, and adjust the resolution Graphic Display Resolutions - What Do The Numbers Mean? [MakeUseOf Explains] Graphic Display Resolutions - What Do The Numbers Mean? [MakeUseOf Explains] Display resolutions can be a rather cryptic business, with multiple standards used to describe the same display resolution in 10 different ways. All of those technical terms tend to change based on the display's purpose... Read More .

The Communicate tab lets you start a call with the remote user if you haven’t already done so using Hangouts or some other tool. You can also open a text chat to get feedback from your user, and even switch sides if you need them to control your machine for a bit.

Finally, under Files & Extras you’ll find tools for taking screenshots How to Take the Perfect Screenshot in Windows How to Take the Perfect Screenshot in Windows The best way to take a screenshot depends on the version of Windows you're on. We show you the subtle differences, give troubleshooting tips, and reveal the best keyboard shortcuts and tools. Read More and recording the session, as well as transferring files. If you’re remotely connecting to show a friend how to perform some process, recording the session 3 Free Screen Recorders to Capture Your Windows Desktop 3 Free Screen Recorders to Capture Your Windows Desktop You can use a screen recorder to create tutorials, document bugs for troubleshooting, or track unsolicited activity on your desktop in your absence. Choose from one of our recommended tools. Read More is a great way to give them a reference so you don’t have to review it with them several times.

Whether you’re connecting to someone’s computer for five minutes or working on a remote machine for hours, these tools go a long way in giving you all the control you need over the remote machine.

More Useful Features

For advanced users 11 Tips For Using Team Viewer - The Best Free Remote Desktop Connection Manager 11 Tips For Using Team Viewer - The Best Free Remote Desktop Connection Manager Whenever you're in need of a free remote desktop client with advanced features, TeamViewer should be your first choice. Let us highlight its unique features. Read More , TeamViewer can go beyond just remote access. More features are available to you if you sign up for a free TeamViewer account. This lets you add computers to your contacts for easy access. If you support several people, this lets you easily see if they’re online and connect quickly.

Unattended Access lets you access a computer even if someone isn’t present at the machine. Once you’ve signed into your TV account, the program will walk you through the steps. These include setting TV to run at startup Make Windows Start Faster: 10 Non-Essential Startup Items You Can Safely Remove Make Windows Start Faster: 10 Non-Essential Startup Items You Can Safely Remove So your computer has been booting slowly lately? You probably have too many programs and services trying to start up all at once. Are you wondering how they got there and how to remove them? Read More and assigning the machine as your own. If you have friends who struggle to use computers 7 Ways to Ensure Your Loved Ones' PC Will Never Need Fixing 7 Ways to Ensure Your Loved Ones' PC Will Never Need Fixing Are you tech support for your family or friends? Do you receive frantic calls because they've installed malware or somehow managed to break their computer and they need you to fix it? This can be... Read More , setting up unattended access ensures that they don’t even have to give you a code to connect.

To see all of your computers, visit the Management Console from the web, where you can connect to any computer that’s online. If you want to get really crazy, you can even use Wake On LAN 5 Ways To Remote Control Your PC With Power Or Wake On LAN 5 Ways To Remote Control Your PC With Power Or Wake On LAN Ever wish you could turn your computer on or off remotely or on a schedule or other triggers? Imagine how much time and energy you could save! Time to get familiar with Wake On LAN! Read More to have your PC turn on when you need it.

TeamViewer also offers mobile apps. Whether you use Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, or even BlackBerry, you can use TeamViewer to connect to a PC in a pinch. Navigating a desktop using your phone isn’t ideal, but it could prove useful someday. There are also apps for connecting to support mobile devices, but TeamViewer only allows this for premium subscribers.

Finally, TeamViewer also has a Meetings feature, completely separate from remote access. You can run a screen-sharing presentation Screen Sharing 101: Share What's On Your Desktop Using Native Windows Tools Screen Sharing 101: Share What's On Your Desktop Using Native Windows Tools Windows has many hidden features for power users. This guide will explain how you can share exactly what’s on your screen. Find out how to screenshot, screencast and screenshare using Windows tools. Read More , video call, or audio only. Like the other aspects of TV, starting a meeting is as simple as clicking a button and sharing the meeting code with your friends.

There are plenty of other meeting tools 9 Free Video Conferencing Web Apps -- No Registration Required 9 Free Video Conferencing Web Apps -- No Registration Required Who has the time to go through hoops? Quick collaboration is the name of the game. These nine video conference tools bring ease of use to help with your productivity. Read More out there, and for video or phone calls your friends will probably want to use FaceTime or Google Hangouts 15 Creative Ways to Get The Most Out of Google Hangouts 15 Creative Ways to Get The Most Out of Google Hangouts These creative ideas for Google Hangouts can be used to enrich your life in all spheres – whether you're working, relaxing, communicating with family, or trying to pick up a new skill. Read More . Thus the Meetings feature isn’t as useful as remote access, but is still a nice option if you have to hold a formal business meeting over the web.

New in TeamViewer 12

TeamViewer 12, currently in beta What Does "Beta Software" Really Mean? What Does "Beta Software" Really Mean? What does it mean for a project to be in beta and should you care? Read More , doesn’t make any major changes to the interface, but has added lots of new features. If you’re running an older version of TeamViewer, click Help > Check for new version to update to version 12.

TeamViewer 12 performs better overall thanks to its faster connections and automatic quality selection. Amazingly for a remote session, it supports up to 60 frames per second video. This means that you won’t have to deal with jumpy connections How to Fix a Slow or Unstable Wi-Fi Connection How to Fix a Slow or Unstable Wi-Fi Connection One simple trick could speed up your Wi-Fi connection. We explain the issue, how to analyze Wi-Fi networks around you, and how to use the information to speed up your Wi-Fi connection. Read More and can work on the remote machine as if it was your own.

Chances are, when you’re working remotely, you’ll need to transfer some files 5 Ways to Transfer Files From One Computer to Another 5 Ways to Transfer Files From One Computer to Another When you buy a new computer, you'll want to transfer files from your old PC. We'll show you how to do that quickly and easily, either using hardware, software, or your internet. Read More . TeamViewer 12 is ready for this. The new version transfers files at up to 200 MB/s — perfect for grabbing large files off a remote machine. It also integrates with OneDrive. This allows you to quickly share and collaborate on files right through the TeamViewer interface.

Though it’s designed for business users, the ability to leave sticky notes on the user’s screen Post-It To Your Screen - 6 Sticky Note Apps For Windows Post-It To Your Screen - 6 Sticky Note Apps For Windows Post-its on your desktop or Start Screen can be extremely helpful for remembering small but important amounts of information. Stop cluttering up your desk and go digital with these fantastic sticky note apps. Read More in TV 12 is useful for home, as well. If you’re working on someone’s computer remotely and want to remind them of something important, or just let them know that you’ve finished, you can leave them a note.

There are several other new features, such as device reports, but many of them are only available for enterprise users. Since home users wouldn’t make much use of them anyway, it’s no great loss.

Will You Get Connected?

If you’ve never enjoyed remote access before, TeamViewer is a perfect way to get started. It’s easier than troubleshooting issues over the phone with a family member, and having access to your computer from anywhere is awesome. TeamViewer makes it easy, and the new version is the best yet. Give it a try!

A word of caution: TeamViewer suffered a big hacking attack earlier this year TeamViewer Hack: Everything You Need To Know TeamViewer Hack: Everything You Need To Know "Protecting your personal data is at the very core of everything we do" says hacked remote desktop service TeamViewer -- but are they protecting themselves before the customer? Let's examine what we know. Read More . They have made the necessary security changes, but know that it was a recent problem.

No matter how you use remote access, check our tips on making sure you’ve secured it properly and are working efficiently How to Use Remote Access Efficiently, Safely & Securely How to Use Remote Access Efficiently, Safely & Securely Read More !

How do you use TeamViewer? Share your creative uses for the tool down in the comments!

  1. Deezy
    November 16, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    I use TMV everyday with great joy, and the new version 12 looks pretty darned good! Its got a few very, very minor issues, but I can certainly live with those!

    I want to thank the folks at... LogMeIn... for convincing me to move to TMV! A year or so ago, LogMeIn cancelled all of its free versions, forcing me to look around for an alternative. I've discovered TMV, and now run it on every single machine our company owns. Thanks LogMeIn, great marketing decision!

  2. Scott Mac Donald
    November 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    I regurlarly use TV and have for about 5 years. I think it's certainly one of the easiest solutions for remote support. Even the Android app is extremely useful. Ideal navigation? Not really, but when you're on the road and a customer is in a bind, it works and it works pretty well.

    • Ben Stegner
      November 15, 2016 at 3:19 pm

      I agree, and ease of use is one of the most important features of remote access. I've only used the Android app once or twice, but it's surprisingly workable when it's your only option!

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