Invite Another User to Troubleshoot Your Windows 7 Machine with Remote Assistance

By Brian Burgess on August 13th, 2009

During your excitement to try out Windows 7 you might get stuck and need the help of a friend or colleague.  Here we will take a look at using Windows Remote Assistance to allow someone you trust to connect to your computer and help troubleshoot the problem.

Windows Remote Assistance has actually been around since Windows XP and was included in the Help and Support section but starting in Vista it became a standalone app.  Here we will show you how to use it using the new Easy Connect feature in Windows 7. 

Request Help

To request support on your Windows 7 machine type “troubleshooting” (no quotes) into the search box and hit Enter to bring up the Control Panel view and click on “Get Help From A Friend”. 

friend

Then click on Invite someone to help you.

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Now you can save an invitation file as an attachment or automatically send it with your default email program.  If the other computer is a Windows 7 machine the simplest method is to Use Easy Connect then the other user just needs the generated password.

new

Remote Assistance opens up with the Password you will need to give to the person you’re requesting help from so they can connect to your PC. 

pw 

Accept Invitation to Help

The helper computer just needs to access Remote Assistance and click the link to offer assistance.  download the Invitation attachment and double click to launch Remote Assistance. 

helper

If an invitation was sent just double click on it to start Remote Assistance.

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Remote Assistance opens up and you will be prompted to enter in the password given by the machine that needs help.

enterpw

Now you will have a remote view of their machine an you can begin diagnosing the trouble.  The controls at the top allow you to change view settings, gain control of the computer, and chat with the user.

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You can still access XP machines for support as well but they will need to send an invite to the Windows 7 machine.

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Other Info

Another way to get to Remote Assistance is Start \ All Programs \ Maintenance \ Windows Remote Assistance which works on Vista too.

start

To begin establishing a session you will need to approve the helper’s connection.

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When the person helping you requests to take control of your machine you will get a confirmation to approve control.  You will also notice the graphics settings will switch to lower quality making it easier on system and network resources.

get control

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During the Remote Assistance session you can chat with each other which certainly comes in handy if talking on the phone isn’t possible.

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As the person getting help you can change different sharing settings.

settings 

A list of computers you have done a remotes session with is stored for easier future access.

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This should help get you started with doing Remote Assistance sessions to help out your friends and family.  While this is aimed at the home user it can certainly be used in a small business setting. 

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 08/13/09
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