Want to Help People Use Windows 7: Offer Remote Assistance
written by: Tricia Goss•edited by: Brian Nelson•updated: 8/28/2010
Whether you work in a help desk setting or you simply want to lend a hand to a friend or loved one, learn how to offer Remote Assistance using Windows 7.
slide 1 of 3
What Is Remote Assistance?
Remote Assistance allows one user to access another user's computer remotely. When you offer remote assistance to someone, you can see just what that person sees on his computer screen. In addition, he can allow you to share control of the computer during the session, which means that you will be able to use the mouse. This can be extremely helpful if your friend, relative or a customer needs help installing a program or troubleshooting a problem.
slide 2 of 3
How to Offer Remote Assistance
There are a few ways to offer remote assistance using Windows 7. The option you use will depend on the Windows version the other user is working with. The first time you offer assistance, the person who requires help must send you an invitation for either of these methods. The other user can send you an invitation by starting Remote Assistance, selecting Invite Someone You Trust to Help You and following the steps in the wizard.
Once you have been invited to offer remote assistance, it is easy to access on Windows 7. Click Start and type assistance into the search field at the bottom of the Start Menu. Select Remote Assistance under Programs in the list of results. A wizard opens asking what you would like to do. Select Help Someone Who Has Invited You.
The next option allows you to choose a way to connect to the other person's computer. If the other user is also on Windows 7, offer remote assistance by clicking Use Easy Connect. If you have helped this person previously, you will be able to select them at this point. The first time, however, you must enter the password that is provided to the other person when they invite you to assist them. After you type in the password, click OK to connect to the other person's computer and offer remote assistance.
If the other person is using an earlier version of Windows or otherwise chose to invite you to help, you will receive an email with the invitation as an attached file. Save the invitation file where it is easy to access, such as on your Desktop. Start Remote Assistance by clicking Start and typing assistance into the search field. Select Remote Assistance from the list of results. Click on Help Someone Who Has Invited You and then select Use an Invitation File. Browse to the file that you saved and click Open. When the other person accepts your offer for assistance, you will be able to see and access his desktop.
Another option is to click the Advanced Connection Option for Help Desk link. You can use this option to offer remote assistance to users within your network. After clicking this link, simply type in the computer name or IP address, or you can choose someone to whom you have previously offered assistance.
slide 3 of 3
Create a Desktop Shortcut
If you want an option that allows you to offer remote assistance quickly to users within your network, you can create a desktop shortcut. Right-click any unused area of your desktop, point to New and select Shortcut. Type or copy and paste %windir%\system32\msra.exe /offerra into the Type the Location of the Item box and click Next. Type in a name for the shortcut, such as Remote Assistance, and click Finish.
When you click on this shortcut, the Advanced Connection Option for Help Desk window opens.