Remote Assistance

Remote Assistance

Windows Remote Assistance is a feature of Windows XP and later that allows a user to temporarily view or control a remote Windows computer over a network or the Internet to resolve issues without directly touching the unit. It is based on the Remote Desktop Protocol.

Sometimes the best way to fix a problem is to have someone show you how. Windows Remote Assistance is a convenient way for someone you trust, such as a friend or technical support person, to connect to your computer and walk you through a solution—even if that person isn't nearby. To help ensure that only people you invite can connect to your computer using Windows Remote Assistance, all sessions are encrypted and password protected.

Remote Assistance: How it Works

Remote assistance uses Terminal Services technology, allowing a helper to assist you via a remote Terminal Services session. As shown in Figure 1 below, Remote Assistance uses a simple, secure process in establishing a connection between you and a helper. The request is encrypted in a public key and sent using XML.

Remote Assistance: How it Works

  • Step 1: Type “assistance” into the search bar of your start menu, then click on theWindows Remote Assistance program link to launch Remote Assistance.
  • Step 2: You will be asked whether you would like to ask for or offer help. To ask for help, select Invite someone you trust to help you.
  • Step 3: Now you will be offered the option to save this invitation as a file and attach it to an email (if the other user does not have access to Easy Connect, such as using an older version of Windows), use e-mail to send an invitation (provided you have a compatible email program), or use easy connect. Select Use Easy Connect as shown below.
  • Step 4: The new window shown below will pop up. This is your unique password that your helper will need to access your computer. Keep track of it so that you can provide it when your helper needs to input it in his or her own PC.
  • Accepting an Invitation

    Now let’s say you are on the other side of this scenario and taking time out of your busy day to help out a friend in need. Here is what you should do!

  • Step 1: Type “assistance” into the search bar of your start menu, then click on theWindows Remote Assistance program link to launch Remote Assistance.
  • Step 2: This time you would select the Help someone who has invited you option.
  • Step 3: Once again, you would choose to Use Easy Connect. Alternately, if you were sent a file as an invitation, you would select the other option.
  • Step 4: You are then asked to enter the password that was provided to the receiving participant. Once you enter the password you will be granted access to their desktop.