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Screen Sharing in iChat

written by: Donny Yankellow•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 7/4/2011

I have a lot of family members that constantly call me with problems on their Macs. Luckily we all have Leopard and can use iChat’s screen sharing feature. Here's how it's done.

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    How it is done

    What is screen sharing? Screen sharing allows one person to see another person’s computer screen and control it via iChat. It is very useful, and very easy to do.

    In order for this to work both users must have Macs with Leopard installed, and both users must have a high speed internet connection. The faster the connection the better this works, but it does not matter if one end is DSL and the other is cable. However, dial-up on either end will not cut it. This will work in the same house or across the globe,

    Both users also have to have an account that will work in iChat. This can be an AIM account or a MobileMe account. To save time you also want to have the other person in your buddy list.

    Once all of the requirements are set, both users need to login to iChat.

    To connect to the other computer click the name in your buddy list of the person you are helping. Once clicked the icon for screen sharing will become bold on the bottom of the buddy list window. This looks like two rectangles overlapping. Click this icon and hold. (Figure 1.)

    You will now have two options. You can request permission to controls your friend’s computer or you can grant them permission to control yours. Since you are helping your friend out you want permission to control his/her computer. (Figure 2.)

    Once that choice is made the other computer will ring and a dialog box will appear letting the user know that you would like permission to take over the computer. That person will click "OK" in that window and grant you permission.

    Your screen will now shrink to the corner of your monitor as your friends screen fills your monitor. You can now control the other computer as if it was your own. Just remember the speed of the internet connection will determine how smooth this works. Assuming both computers have microphones you will be able to talk through the connection as well.

    When you are finished, click the little box with your computer in it, so you will be back in control of your own computer. There will be a little “x” in the corner of the box with the other computer that you can click to close the connection.

    If none of this works and you have the requirements, make sure screen sharing is enabled in the View menu.

    If one, or both, of the computers does not have Leopard you can use a free internet based service called LogMeIn (). I have used it several times, and it works great!

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    Images

    Figure 1Figure 2