How to share my desktop with my mom?

I need to teach my mom about windows 10. We live in different cities. What software can I use so that I can share her desktop so that I can teach her windows 10? GoTo meeting is $24 per month for their lowest plan. Is there something free out there to use?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
What about LogMeIn or GoToMyPC?  

I think you can also do it with TightVNC but I have not used this. It is free for personal use and you would have to install it on your Mom's computer.
@brgdotnet - Another option is TeamViewer which is free for personal use. The product has been around over 10 years.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
LogMeIn and GoToMyPC are not free - they may offer a trial, but that's it.

VNC variants require firewall ports be opened.  Less than ideal.

I would suggest you look at TeamViewer - it's free for personal use:
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I would go with Team Viewer as it is not only free for personal use, you can also use to to support her in the event that she makes a mistake during any practicing while you're not available.  I use it for my parents who live in Florida when ever I have to teach them something or fix one of their mistakes.
The link is

Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
Just a note about TeamViewer: YOU should install the complete version but your MOM should install the For the instant customer: TeamViewer QuickSupport version. Send her this link, have her click on it and have her save it directly to her desktop: NO installation required!
crystal (strive4peace) - Microsoft MVP, AccessRemote Training and ProgrammingCommented:
a nice thing about TeamViewer is that it is fast!! You can also transfer files if she installs it too.  Installation is very easy.  I would recommend, however, NOT using its VOIP, which means you need to mute mic and speakers on both sides.  Why? you might ask.  When TeamViewer goes out, Skype still stays connected, and we are still talking ... so if you aren't using phone, then use Skype for voice and TeamViewer to share the desktop ~

On the side that is sharing, the controls are on a tab that comes out from the right near the bottom -- exactly where it interferes with the bottom arrow on a scroll bar of a maximized window.  On the side that is looking, there is a tab on the top with a menu.

When your mom opens TeamViewer, if she does the installation as opposed to a support link, have her tell you the 9-digit code from "Your ID" on the Remote Control tab.  Then, once you type that in, have her tell you the "Password" so you can type that in too.  Very quickly, you are connected to her.

The ID stays the same but the password changes.
You don't really need anything 3rd party to do this, Windows has it built-in...

Right click "This PC", select "Properties", and then the "Remote" tab. At the top of the Window make sure you have enabled "Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer".

After that you or your mother can send remote assistance invitations to each other (this usually goes via email), they then click on the provided link and get connected to the remote PC. To send out an invitation enter "Remote Assistance" into Windows search. Then select "Invite someone to connect to your PC, or offer to help someone else". After that the window opens and you can follow it's instructions.

But of course Teamviewer is more easy to use.
if you don't want your mom to install anything, this is your choice  you download and run the .exe then you get a url, give it to your mom and she can see your desktop from the browser.
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
@rindi - in order to use Remote Assistance connections, the computer you want to connect to requires Windows 10 pro or better! Windows 10 Home cannot be reached by Remote Assistance connections, but you can reach a Windows 10 pro from ANY version of Windows!
I don't think that is correct. Remote Assistance is included with Windows 10 Home too. It is Remote Desktop that is only available on Windows 10 Pro and above. This has been so from XP to Windows 8.1 at least, and I don't think it has changed with Windows 10 (but I currently don't have a 10 home system available to verify this). Those are two different tools. While remote assistance allows you to see what the user at the other end is doing and vice versa, remote desktop allows you to use a PC remotely, but the local display gets locked and only you see what you are doing.
Paul SauvéRetiredCommented:
I have had no luck getting remote assistance Windows 10 home to work.

The only thing I get when I run Windows Remote Assistance (run as administrator) is "A problem occurred that might prevent Remote Assistance from working. Try again, or contact your system administrator." The Use Easy Connect doesn't work and the Send this invitation as a file and  Use email to send an invitation options both give me the above error!
it works well on my windows 10 pro. as i can see from your screenshot, it is actually also available in windows 10 home. if it doesn't work on your system that must have been caused by something else, maybe a problem with your os setup. maybe a sfc /scannow from an elevated cmd prompt can help.
As already mentioned above.
TeamViewer works very well and is free for personal use.

I would consider to download and install the "TeamViewer Host" version and set a good password.
In this way you can always connect to the remote computer.

To connect to the remote PC.
Instead of installing the full version you can also use "TeamViewer Portable".
Just download the zip file, unpack it in a directory and run it from there.

The current version 10 should work fine with Windows 10.
You could also consider the newer version 11 which is build for Windows 10 but this version is still in beta.
crystal (strive4peace) - Microsoft MVP, AccessRemote Training and ProgrammingCommented:
I am still using TeamViewer 8 (the version I have a license for) and it runs fine on Windows 10.
Hi brgdotnet

In the title of your question you ask how to share YOUR desktop with your Mom, but in your question you say "What software can I use so that I can share HER desktop".

Does she already have Windows 10 installed, and you want to connect with her PC to guide her through it, or are you trying to show her YOUR Windows 10 desktop to try and get her acquainted with it before she updates to it?

Assuming she has Windows 10 and you want to guide her through how to use her computer effectively, I would go along with Crystal's suggestion of talking to her through Skype whilst using one of the variants of VNC to view er desktop and show her how to use it.  For what it's worth I pay two yearly subscriptions ($50 US) to use and update RealVNC Personal Edition ( on two peoples' computers so that I can log in and fix issues, run updates, etc and I talk with them on Skype whilst doing so.

As LeeW states, the VNC variants must be set up so that the ports used by the application are allowed in the router and firewall.  This is obviously something that you would need to set up yourself, and would only really be possible on your next visit to your Mom.

VNC has two different components: the "server" (installed on your Mom's PC) and the "viewer" (installed on your PC).  You would have to install the Server components on her PC and configure all the user options including a mandatory password that you would need to supply in order to connect.  You can lead somebody through the setup and configuration over the phone if you have your own screenshots of the interface as a guide, but it can be frustrating if the other person is a "newbie".

The Server can be started in "user mode" or left running in "server mode".  Connection can be initiated by the viewer (you) or by the server (your Mom), but in both cases the computer that starts the connection needs to know the external IP Address of the other computer that it is connecting with.  If your Mom's Internet service dynamically assigns a new IP address with each new session, it is easy enough to get the IP Address from various "IP" related websites like and she could tell you this over the phone.  I have used a fairly simple batch file on the supported computers that finds the current IP Address and launches RealVNC Server component in User Mode ready for me to initiate a Viewer connection and supply the IP Address and Password.  Your Mom would then just have to accept the connection request by clicking a popup window.  It sounds complicated, but could be made easy for your Mum if you were able to physically set things up on her PC.  If you can't, then you would obviously have to use other suggestions.

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brgdotnetcontractorAuthor Commented:
Hi Experts, thank you for the many fine recommendations. I am actually configuring my mothers Windows 10 laptop I recently bought, and will give it to her at ThanksGiving.

Years ago I used Team viewer, however it seemed to be loaded with adds, or something annoying. I really can't remember why I turned away from it. FREE software is nice, however I don't want any type of malware or spyware installed. advertising is fine, as long as the software I will used does not provide a back door for a Trojan horse or some other malicious piece of code or spyware.

So can anyone of you vogue for the products you have recommended as far as not being very obtrusive if it is FREE?
As far as I know TeamViewer is free from any malware or spyware.
Only the software has the annoying thing that after you disconnect from a remote session the other computer will get a messagebox with some advertisement for TeamViewer.
You have to press OK to get the messagebox closed which can be confusing for some users.
If possible I like to pay for their software, just to get rid of this messagebox but their model is only aimed at business and the license prices are too high for a normal consumer.

I have also used TightVNC like John already mentioned and it works well but is much slower and has less functionality.
And as stated above, you also have to open a port on your router (NAT) and firewall.

Another alternative might be NetSupport Manager.
or Chrome Remote Desktop.
I'm afraid that I cannot vouch for any of the free remote connection applications simply because I have never used any and have always used the paid-for RealVNC.  From the other experts' comments above it is clear that many favour TeamViewer, and the "free for personal use" aspect is certainly a strong inducement.

Unfortunately TeamViewer is viewed with suspicion by some people because of its association with fake Microsoft Support and similar scam phone calls, but the stigma is very unfair because scammers also use other methods, and you can't blame the software for scum who use it for unlawful purposes (

It is important to realise one of the main differences between TeamViewer and variants of VNC (RealVNC, UltraVNC, TightVNC, etc).  The emphasis with TeamViewer is ease of use for the person who needs the support, so they have decided to make it use Port 80 for the connection because this is the same one used by peoples' web browsers.  The idea is that if they can browse the web, then they can use the TeamViewer connection and the connection is therefore simplified.  RealVNC uses different ports and therefore usually requires advanced firewall and router/modem configuration to work.  Some would say that using the common Port 80 is leaving your computer wide open for hackers, but one port is not necessarily safer than another when it comes to a potential hacker maliciously scanning for open ports as a way into peoples' computers.  The default ports used by VNC variants are widely known anyway, but with VNC variants you can usually change to another unused port if you feel that it removes that perceived security aspect.

Here are some useful FAQs from the TeamViewer page:

In my opinion RealVNC (and probably the other VNC variants also) is no harder for a supported user to start up and accept a remote connection than TeamViewer is to use, but only after VNC has been configured for the user in advance.

I am not pushing RealVNC over the free TeamViewer.  My choice is simply a preference and I don't mind spending the money for software that I have always found to be stable and well featured.
I have just setup a Windows 10 Home PC and tried Remote assistance to it, and this works fine. So paulsauve's problem must be due to some corruption in his installation.

So as I mentioned, you don't really need anything 3rd party. You could also just add a shortcut to C:\Windows\Syszem32\msra.exe so you don't always have to search for the program.
Thomas Zucker-ScharffSolution GuideCommented:
It has already been said - but to reiterate - Teamviewer is your friend.  I put together a short video for my users to show them hoe to get the one time client running on their computers.

The video is 2 minutes and 17 seconds long and has clickable links to download the software and documentation on MAC or PC.
crystal (strive4peace) - Microsoft MVP, AccessRemote Training and ProgrammingCommented:
nice video Thomas even though the intro was a bit long
Thomas Zucker-ScharffSolution GuideCommented:
Thanks - I thought the intro was a little long too.  I am in the process of reworking it to cut the intro down to 10 seconds instead of 30.  BTW, it was created using Camtasia Studio 8.x on a win 7 x64 pro box.
brgdotnetcontractorAuthor Commented:
Thanks all for the great advice. I was being forced to give a minimum of 50 points for answers. I ran out of points, so those who did not get points, I apologize. I hope to reward you in the future. Thanks so much.
Thank you brgdotnet
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