Sign up
Loading

The best screen sharing software in 2022

How to share your screen using the best available apps

By Kiera Abbamonte · March 16, 2022
Hero image with logos of the best screen sharing software

When done right, screen sharing makes it easy to remotely collaborate on documents, co-browse, demo products, onboard new customers, and more. When done poorly, screen sharing can give you a huge headache and send nightmare incantations of "Can you see my screen yet?" ricocheting through your brain.

Use automation to support brainstorming, delegation, and communication

That's why choosing the best screen sharing software matters. I've worked remotely for more than six years and have used all sorts of screen sharing tools in that time to collaborate with team members and clients. I've seen the good, the bad, and the very annoying of screen sharing apps.

To help you avoid the annoying, I looked at dozens of apps designed for screen sharing—extensively testing almost 40 of them—to find the best of the best. Below, I'll share the top six: the best screen sharing software for a variety of use cases.

The 6 best screen sharing apps

  • Zoom for everyday screen sharing

  • Slack for collaborative internal meetings

  • Google Meet for Google ecosystem users

  • Surfly for co-browsing your app with leads and customers

  • Drovio for free creative collaboration

  • Demodesk for sales calls and presentations

What makes great screen sharing software?

How we evaluate and test apps

All of our best apps roundups are written by humans who've spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing apps, using each app as it's intended to be used and evaluating it against the criteria we set for the category. We're never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the categories and apps we review. For more details on our process, read the full rundown of how we select apps to feature on the Zapier blog.

Screen sharing software can be used for anything from webinar presentations, to sales calls, to a quick gut check on a design with a colleague. At its most basic, it's software that allows users to share their screens with other people online. But the best software offers more—so I weighed a number of factors when making my picks:

  • Ease of access for participants. The best software includes no-install web access and can be used across devices.

  • Collaboration features. I looked for features like presenter-switching, joint annotation, co-browsing, and collaborative document editing.

  • Mobile user experience. Whether in-app or in-browser, the top screen sharing software offers a mobile experience on par with being on desktop.

  • Integrations. Being able to automate tasks like scheduling sessions and uploading recordings makes the whole process simpler.

  • Affordability. The best screen sharing tools shouldn't bust the budget in exchange for reasonable time limits, features, and participants.

While many remote access tools are also capable screen sharing apps, I've omitted any software that's built primarily for remote access, like TeamViewer and Windows Quick Assist. I also haven't tested every single video conferencing app out there (that's a different article!), so if you already use a video conferencing tool that isn't on this list, it's worth looking into the screen sharing functionality it offers.

During my testing, I made sure to do each of the following:

  • Review the signup and onboarding processes

  • Host a screen sharing session on desktop (both in-browser and via desktop app, when available)

  • Invite participants to join the session via email, link, and SMS

  • Participate in a screen sharing session on mobile (an iPhone 13 running iOS 15)

  • Vice versa: start a session on mobile (both in-browser and via mobile app, when available) and join from desktop

  • Monitor load time and lag on both ends of the session

After the first round of testing, I narrowed my list further and spent more time with the top contenders. I tested out collaboration features (like annotation, whiteboarding, remote control, multi-screen sharing, and co-browsing) and tried sharing different parts of the screen (e.g., a particular browser tab, window, or app).

The selections below are the result of all that testing: the top six screen sharing apps on the market.

Best screen sharing software for everyday use

Zoom (Web, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android)

Zoom, our pick for the best screen sharing software for everyday use

Zoom is considered one of the best video conferencing apps for handling team meetings, sales demos, and webinars. As long-time users, the folks at Zapier can personally vouch for its reliability.

Even over choppy networks, Zoom manages to maintain a video connection by adjusting quality depending on bandwidth. This is especially useful for screen sharing, which is something Zoom makes easy, no matter the circumstances.

Zoom provides a lightweight installer for practically every operating system, Linux distribution, and mobile OS, so hosting a screen sharing session for a non-Zoom user isn't likely to cause compatibility issues or awkward waiting periods.

Zoom users can host screen sharing meetings from apps for desktop or mobile. On the mobile apps, participants can take control of the presentation tools to share documents or co-annotate.

Since Zoom is a sophisticated video conferencing tool with screen sharing built in, the calling and meeting features are enough to support businesses of any size: 50 people can join a room on the free plan, and paid plans allow up to 500 participants. This is great for putting on a webinar with multiple hosts who each need to access the same presentation screen to annotate.

You can automate your screen share sessions for an even more seamless process by connecting Zoom with Zapier, which allows you to do things like automatically email Zoom links for new bookings. You can also automatically upload Zoom recordings to Google Drive or another cloud storage platform, so even people who couldn't make the meeting can see your screen.

Create Zoom meetings for new Calendly events

Create Zoom meetings for new Calendly events
  • Calendly logo
  • Zoom logo
Calendly + Zoom

Zoom pricing: Free with a 40-minute limit on group meetings; from $14.99/user/month for up to 30 hours of meeting time.

Webex is a great Zoom alternative for screen sharing—especially for large-format sessions—but I didn't include it in this year's list because I found the UX a little less easy to use compared to Zoom.

Best screen sharing software for collaborative internal meetings

Slack (Web, Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android)

Slack, our pick for the best screen sharing software for collaborative internal meetings

Slack is probably where you and your team already hang out. With so many integrations with the other apps you use at work, it's like a dashboard and universal activity feed. Since so much is already going on inside Slack, why not use the same tool to host and record your meetings?

For internal collaboration, there's no need to pay for another screen sharing tool if you're already paying for Slack. Sessions can be held privately or kept open for the members of a channel to hop in and out of. Each session is recorded and kept archived in the channel—and it's searchable, like the rest of your communication logs.

Slack's screen sharing includes host switching, collaborative annotation, and the ability for each participant to use their own cursor on the host's screen. The host simply clicks the cursor icon while sharing their screen to allow access.

However, teams that need a solution for mobile and Linux will find these features restricted: screen shares with a video element aren't supported on mobile, and the Linux desktop app doesn't support remote access or others annotating the screen. That said, Slack recently added a video recording feature that makes asynchronous screen sharing super easy.

Slack also integrates with Zapier, meaning you can do things like automatically send approaching calendar events to a Slack channel, so you're ready when it's time to screen share.

Slack pricing: From $6.67/user/month (billed annually) for a plan that includes screen sharing.

Microsoft Teams is an excellent Slack alternative for screen sharing—if you already use Teams, definitely don't switch just for screen sharing purposes. I didn't include it in this year's list because, during testing, I ran into some bugs with the desktop app.

Best screen sharing software for Google ecosystem users

Google Meet (Web)

Google Meet, our pick for the best screen sharing software for Google ecosystem users

Built for business use and living right inside your Gmail inbox, Google Meet marks a huge improvement over its predecessor, Hangouts. It has a robust free plan (unlimited hour-long meetings with up to 100 people), and it's part of the deal if you already pay for Google Workspace.

From your Gmail inbox, it takes just two clicks to start or join a meeting, and only two more clicks from there to start sharing your screen. Follow the same process from the Gmail mobile app to screen share on the go. Plus, the mobile app will remind you to turn Do Not Disturb on as soon as you share your screen.

All participants need to do is click the link provided (either by email or copy/paste) and they're in—no downloads, setup, or sign-in required.

As a Google product, Meet works seamlessly with the rest of the Google suite, including Calendar, Drive, and the rest. That extends to the whiteboarding feature, which enables users to pull in any file from Drive or start a blank Jamboard session. The software also works with other popular calendar and scheduling apps, including Calendly. 

Plus, Google Meet integrates with Zapier, allowing you to do things like automatically send Google Meet links to new leads or create a meeting link from a task, so you're ready to screen share when it's time.

Google Meet pricing: Free plan available; part of Google Workspace starting at $6/user/month.

Best screen sharing software for high-touch customer onboarding

Surfly (Web)

Surfly, our pick for the best screen sharing software for high-touch customer onboarding

Surfly is a co-browsing tool for remote support and sales that can be embedded into a website or SaaS app. It integrates with support widget tools like Intercom, Zendesk, and Olark to offer an easy way for users to connect with support agents.

Once connected, agents can highlight the elements on the page the user should click—and you can use it to video conference too. It's an interactive way to train a customer using screen sharing, and it's lower-friction, too, because you aren't directing your user outside of your website or app. Plus, you can set your screen size to any device a user joins from, so you see what they see.

Screen sharing is enabled browser-to-browser without either party needing to download a tool. Since it's confined to the browser, you can be sure that you're only showing your website or software, instead of your personal photo library, bookmarks, and iMessage notifications.

Surfly pricing: Request a demo or chat with the Surfly team for pricing details

Best screen sharing software for free creative collaboration

Drovio (Mac, Windows, Linux)

Drovio, our pick for the best screen sharing software for free creative collaboration

Drovio (formerly USE Together) is designed with activities like pair programming and designing in mind. All Drovio screen sharing session participants get a cursor they can use to control the host's screen, so multiple users can simultaneously work in different parts of the same screen while on a voice call.

Right now, the Mac, Windows, or Linux desktop app is required to host a screen sharing session or participate with your cursor, but viewers can watch from their web browsers with a secret link the host generates when starting a call. Users can restrict what others can see and do on their screen by sharing just one application instead of the whole desktop, and a host can take back control at any moment, preventing any abuse.

Drovio pricing: Free for two participants, unlimited screen sharing, and 30 minutes/day of remote screen control; paid plans from $15/user/month.

Best screen sharing software for sales calls and presentations

Demodesk (Web)

Demodesk, our pick for the best screen sharing software for sales calls and presentations

Demodesk is the best sales-focused screen sharing tool we've found. When you first sign up and log in, the software prompts you to connect your email (Gmail and Outlook 365 integrations available). Then you can start a screen share from right inside your inbox, directly from a playbook, or from the home dashboard.

Users can also make unique scheduling pages that create templated events, with the default playbook, duration, team members, booking questions, and more already set. For participants, a click of the link is all it takes to join, and the viewing experience is top-notch, even on mobile.

Unlike most screen sharing tools, the presenter's view is almost like being inside a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation, with notes and thumbnails visible while the attendee only sees the slide. Presenters have all the information they need front and center, and there are no random notifications popping in or embarrassing photos peeking out from your desktop.

The app also includes additional sales-focused features like playbooks and battlecards that help reps react in real-time to make the sale. Users can even search their battlecards by keyword from right inside the screen share. Plus, the new Lobby feature allows leads to queue for a demo whenever a sales rep becomes available.

There aren't a ton of integrations available, but the software does connect with Gmail, Outlook, Calendly, and several popular CRMs.

Demodesk pricing: From $25/user/month for unlimited online meetings

Which screen sharing app should I use?

Because screen sharing needs vary so much based on use case, you need to determine your deal breakers and nice-to-haves when it comes time to share your screen. Do you need an in-app support tool? Just a quick solution for sharing your screen with distributed team members? Each of the options above offers a unique angle in the screen sharing category.

This article was originally published in January 2019 by Benajmin Brandall.

Get productivity tips delivered straight to your inbox

We’ll email you 1-3 times per week—and never share your information.

tags
mentioned apps
  • Slack
  • Zoom
  • Google Meet
  • Microsoft Teams

Related articles

Improve your productivity automatically. Use Zapier to get your apps working together.

Sign up