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Remote Desk Top, Windows10 and Mom's computer.

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I just drove 5 hours one way to help Mon get her broken computer working again. I wanted to set up Remote Desk Top so I can fix the problems in less than a 10 hour drive 2 day trip.
But: RDT does not work on Win10-home. It costs $99 to upgrade. Must upgrade both computers. ($198)
There are sever "down load free" programs that might work but they also might not work and we all know they are not free. One charges $10/month/computer. "Free"

What should I do. There is one computer repair person in her small town. $50/hour and he is much of the problem. Mom is 90 which is the other half of the problem.

Every time Windows updates it looks different and she panics.
She has lost the Start Button. She has lost the Tool Bar. She has moved the tool Bar from the bottom to the left. She some times looses all the icons, even lost the desk top.
I did not know there are several modes for the explorer. (different look) I watched her jump from one look to another and I don't know how she did it.

I just put "Word" and "Mail" in the startup so she will not have to remember how to start them.

Willing to listen to any advice. Thanks RonS.
I have limited experience with the headaches of Win 10, but I am sure they are in my future. I would just throw this out as a things to think about or look into.

A remote desk top would seem to be the right answer, but you know that.

What about, a remote login (VPN) access of some kind? That might give you enough priviledges? What about giving her a limited account - enough to get what she wants done but not enough to accidently do unwanted things. Some of this stuff is a Windows Server, but some may be accomplished with Win10, although maybe 'professional or some such thing - is it worth upgrading to that? Finally, If you know the level of security that is needed on the machine, maybe you can just turn of updating (will it let you) and do that when you are there. Just some thoughts. I hate to use the "L" I will not.

Any of these (e.g., worth it?
Edit: Anydesk starts at $10.99/month. And you already mentioned the Win 10 Pro upgrade.
Everything is toward the monthly nut?! Remember when you only had to buy software once?
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Teamviewer allows easy/smooth access to others' PCs.

The BF of my youngest did solved problems in my laptop when I was in the South, working. Seamless.

Maybe the problem would be asking her to give you access. There is a password that she has to read and pass to you so you can access
I stumbled upon this post by accident. I am having the same problem with my Mum and her computer. I will try Teamviewer, so thanks for the advice. The only other option I could come up with is skype. You can then get her to share her screen and you get her to navigate her own computer. At least you can see what she is doing, even if you cannot control her PC directly.

OK, you then have to get her to navigate Skype which could be problematic. As a teckie, I still struggle with the UI on Skype since Microsoft bought them. It used to be soo easy... Now it isn't

I will try Teamviewer....

I almost always use VNC, (Ultravnc to be specific). That's completely free but it does need a port forward set up on the remote computer for direct access, so needs setting up on site by someone familiar with router configuration.
And it must have a strong password.

Another is Ammyy Admin - free, works very well, a user can be instructed over the phone to install it - but so often used by fake Microsoft etc. scammers to take control of victims computers that some antivirus programs block it...
If you do want to setup remote desktop make sure yer mams internet provider doesnt block the port required, here in the Uk port 3389 is a common one, if its blocked its not gonna work.
I am interested in hearing what [if anything] you end up doing.
Me to!
I have not visited Mom again.
The IT man said you need to have both computers together to make it work. OR You need to have a experienced person at each computer. That is hard for me now.
I think with Win10 pro it would be easy but with Win10 home it is not going to work using MS products.
I should have done this two years ago. I think now it is too late. Mom's ability to use the computer is headed down hill. My ability to use the computer is …….

If you also are fighting with "Mom's computer" there are several versions of this:
WOW "A Simple to Use Computer Designed Especially for Seniors!"
Some day it will be me.
Upgrade WIN 10 Home to PRO for US$99 (I think it is going to $119 or already has).

I looked at that WOW advert - yeah sounds ok, but at US$1100 I can't help but think they basically set up a shell on a $600 box - I don't know that at all, I am just suspecting. What's more, maybe it is worth every cent, if it is done right and support is maintained.

The fact that the industry has ignored is that many people who were not born into existing computerization is that they do not WNAT WANT all the crap. There are a few things that they do want but we have made it almost impossible to pick and choose.

I should have done this two years ago. I think now it is too late. Mom's ability to use the computer is headed down hill. My ability to use the computer is …….

Ability or willingness to suffer the frustration of not knowing exactly what to do? - face it, the model used to "learn" to use computers is pathetic and truly exploits are our inability to understand how people learn - especially people who have been learning for all of their lengthy lives. The model is basically - here is 1000 pieces of junk to learn so that you can do 3 things that you want to do.

That is my beef with the direction of the culture - and maybe the WOW does, in fact, address the point.

For example, maybe 20 years ago, I went to visit my Uncle. When I arrived, he greeted me and casually pointed to a bunch of boxes, stating that he had purchased a computer and that I "had" to set it up....and set it up I did.

I taught him how to do a couple of things only - things that he wanted to do and it was basically to read certain Newspapers. He loved it and still uses it for that almost every morning. There were a few other things that I showed him - YouTube videos about select topics of interest [e.g., the master way to shell a blue crab for maximum meat production].

He maintains those functions today and very little else (he has children and nephews if something else needs to get done - and that only happens occasionally). Email is of no interest to him because of the burden of keeping up with all the nonsensical crap. If I want to send him a picture, it goes to his wife's phone - or I make a print and send it to him in the mail (which he loves). As for his cell...he has had one for many years...and he has never answered a call (it is kept powered off until he wants to use it). It is for outgoing calls only....when he wants to make a is a portable phone he learned to use them. The rest of it does not matter to him. It is not worth the headache.

I maintain it is a headache because *they* have been learning in a certain manner all of their lives and culturally, we have tossed those processes out the window and that leads to a lot of frustration. Combine that with tiny buttons, low volumes and tiny screens and they are smart to dump the whole mess. I admire him, he is very intelligent and very successful and has no interest in spending countless hours to learn things that he does no need to know.

I once strongly considered writing software designed to operate a TV....a dedicated android tablet. Simple to use, large screen...scroll to the picture of the channel, touch the screen and go to the channel. Bells and whistles limited (topic headings, favorites, a few of those). Internet connectable so that I could change the programming remotely when the cable channels or other equipment changed. I never did it and I always feared that it would not be used - especially after the first time it did not do "what it was supposed to do" - that, in addition to the challenge of the task.

Now the high end cable options include voice activated remotes. We are getting there, slowly and expensively and with no privacy and a ton of intrusive advertisements.


Some day it will be me.

If you're lucky.
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If you're lucky.
Unlucky. Mon has lived longer than her plan. Now it is just unlucky.

Another thing I hate about Windows and Ubuntu etc. I made a paper for Mom. Email; push the red button, bottom left, that looks like this picture. Next week the computer updates and it is a blue button at the top that looks very different.
----different idea-----
Some one I know, got a video conference box for his mon. (gave up on the computer) The box has a LED screen and a microphone. Very simple. It worked several times. One day he called Mom. He could hear here but could not see her. Mom, who lives alone very quietly, heard strange voices in her apartment. She took a roiling pin to the box. Then through it outside. There are projects that are just not fixable.
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The IT man said you need to have both computers together to make it work.

For such as VNC, you can install a client on a phone or tablet (or laptop via a phone hotspot for things that can't work on a tablet) and use it over 3G/4G so it's an "outside" connection as far as the local internet setup & PC are concerned.

That means you can check the port forward, IP settings, dynamic DNS & passwords etc. all work over a few reboots before you leave the place. It can save a lot of hassle discovering a typo or some other bug after you get home!
make sure to use strong passwords... VNC ports visible on the internet are easy to find, and easily broken open if weak passwords are used.
My though on this. I just recently bought a new cheap laptop for my own use. Imediately installed something else than Windows, and I choose Fedora 31 Desktop with Gnome as default desktop.
Thing is - in my experience, it's pretty hard to mess up Gnome desktop, so if I was to install Linux to somebody that's not tech savy, then I'd probably selected something that runs Gnome.

Other desktops can also be considered, but are more customizable - and thereby there is possible to move elements by failure.

But you need to consider if your mom is capable to learn to use some other mail client (than Outlook, my guess).

And as a final adjustment, I'd recommend you disable virtual desktops (or set the number to one).
[edit] - You need Gnome Tweak tool for that, Gnome 3 use something called Dynamic workspaces.
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I don't know about anyone else, but it seems worth it (and probably save some trips to mom's house) to invest in upgrading to WIN10 Pro.
I had a similar situation with a relative of mine. Thanks goodness for remote desktop and remote assistance tools (they lived across country).

However, best to configure the firewall at moms house to only allow an RDP connection from her sons computer.

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