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Remote Assistance

Remote Assistance

Do you ever run into a computer problem that you know a family member or a friend could fix? Even after they explain it, you still can’t get it right. Well, all I can tell you is have no fear, remote assistance is here!

Remote Assistance is a feature that was built into Windows XP. It is designed so that if you have a problem, you can contact someone and they can view your screen and even move your mouse and control your computer (with your permission, of course!)

In this tip, I will explain what to do if you have a problem of your own and also, what you can do if someone asks you to help them.

Before we start:

You need to enable the Remote Assistance option. To do so, right click the My Computer icon on your desktop. A menu will appear and you can select Properties from it. Another box will appear. Go ahead and select the Remote tab at the top of the window. Now, make sure the option labeled “Allow Remote Assistance invitations to be sent from this computer” is checked.

If you have the problem:

1. First, go to Start and click on Help and Support.

2. A window will appear. Look around for a link that says, Remote Assistance. Depending on your computer, it might say something like “Get help from someone using Remote Assistance.” Once you find it, click the Remote Assistance link.

3. Your computer should display a screen like this:

Since you want someone else to help you, click “Invite someone to help you.”

4. The next page will ask you how you want to send the invitation for someone to help you. Since you might not have an e-mail service set up, I suggest you click the link at the bottom of the page that says “Save invitation as a file.”

5. The next step will ask you how your name should appear on the invitation and when the invitation will expire.

6. Next, it will ask you to set a password so that the wrong person does not gain access to your computer. This step is optional, but highly recommended. Click “Save Invitation” and choose a place to save your invite.

7. The next page will confirm that your invite has been sent. Now, you should attach the invitation to an e-mail addressed to the person you are asking to help you. Be sure to include the password and describe the problem a little for them, so they can get an idea of what you’re needing help with. For instructions on how to attach a file, click here.

That should be about it for receiving remote help. Now, below, I’ll explain what do do if someone sends you an invite and I’ll also go over what your friend will see after you send them an invitation. So, without further ado.

If someone would like you to help them:

If someone sends you an invite through the same steps as above, here’s what you should do:

1. Download the attachment to your desktop and double click the icon.

2. A dialogue box will appear prompting you for the password.

3. Once the correct password is entered, the two computers will attempt to connect. If the user with the problem presses OK on their computer, the assistant will be able to see their screen. You can then chat with the person using the built in instant messaging feature that the Remote Assistance offers.

4. If the assistant presses the “Take Control” button in the upper left hand corner, it will ask the user with the problem if they will allow them to control the computer. If you give them access to do this, they can try to solve the dilemma on their own. This is more along the lines of a Remote Desktop.

Well, there you have it. You’ve just learned how to use Remote Assistance. Hopefully, you’ll never need to use it, but it’s nice to know it’s there if you ever run into a major problem!

~ Neil Patel