How to set up Windows Remote Assistance in Windows 7

You are in a deadline or doing something interesting, and the next thing you know... Something goes wrong with the computer, you don't know what's going on. So, you try to contact somebody for help. Now you are in the phone, the helper is using very technical words that you may not understand. In the meantime, because of the miscommunication, each step takes a very long time and nothing gets fixed. Really frustrated, right?

Windows 7 Remote Control

You are in a deadline or doing something interesting, and the next thing you know… Something goes wrong with the computer, you don’t know what’s going on. So, you try to contact somebody for help. Now you are in the phone, the helper is using very technical words that you may not understand. In the meantime, because of the miscommunication, each step takes a very long time and nothing gets fixed. Really frustrated, right?

To put an end to all this frustration, Windows has created a feature called Windows Remote Assistance, which allows to anyone, with your permission of course, connect remotely to a computer via a local network or the internet. Once the helper connects to the computer, he/she will be able to see the screen, run programs, install new programs, troubleshoot and fix problems in most cases.

You may be asking yourself about security. So to start, you are the one that initiates the process by creating a remote assistance invite and sending it to the helper. The invitation has a due time, meaning that if someone does not respond to the invite within 6 hours (by default, but you can adjust to any time), it will expire and it will become unusable. No one can take control of the computer unless you grant such permission. And last, if you see something that you are not comfortable with, just hit the Stop sharing button to disconnect the computer from Windows Remote Assistance.

How to set up Windows Remote Assistance in Windows 7

Instructions for the user with the problem:

  1. Go to Start , type “Windows Remote Assistance” and press enter.
  2. Windows Remote Assistance Do you want to ask for or offer help? page will launch.
  3. Click the option Invite someone you trust to help you.

Windows Remote Assistance

If you get the message This computer is not set up to send invitations, click Repair and that may fix the problem. Also, your router could be a problem, if this is the case check this website from Microsoft to troubleshoot.

 

wra-repair

4 Now you have 3 options, the best choice is Save this invitation as a file — With this option you do have a couple more steps, but it is less headache for beginners –,  and save the invite (Invitation.msrcIncident) to your desktop.

wra-options

The options Use e-mail to send an invitation will be available, in the case you have installed a remote assistance capable email program and Use Easy Connect will be available if you were helped before, meaning that you wont need to create a new invitation. Just contact the helper and generate a new password (only on Windows 7 to Windows 7).

6 Next, login to your email account, attach the Invitation.msrcIncident file and send it to the helper. Remember to include the password that Windows Remote Assistance provided you in the email message or give it to your helper by phone.

wra-password
7. If everything works well, you will see the message: Would you like to allow name to connect to your computer? and click Yes. Now let someone else fix the problem!

To communicate, Windows Remote Assistances has incorporated a chat feature, and there is also a Pause button that will temporarily hide your screen from the helper without disconnecting your remote session — very useful –. If you click Settings you can control additional options.

Remote assistance, stop sharing, pause button, chat, settings

 

remote assistance - settings: ESC key to stop sharing control, save log of this session, exchange contact information when using easy connect, bandwidth usage

In the case you need to cancel the invitation before expires, just close the Windows Remote Assistance session.

 

Instructions for the helper:

There is a really good change that the helper knows Windows well. But just in case, in order to connect to the computer with the problem, this person need to:

  1. Download the invitation file.
  2. Go to Start , type “Windows Remote Assistance” and press enter.
  3. Windows Remote Assistance Do you want to ask for or offer help? page will launch.
  4. Click the option Help someone who has invited you.
  5. Then click the option Use an invitation file, look for the file Invitation.msrcIncident and click Open.
  6. Type the password and click OK to connect.
  7. Once connected, to operate the remote computer, click Request control and wait for the other side to accept the request.

Or download and double-click the invitation file to start Windows Remote Assistance. Then follow steps 6 & 7 mentioned before.

Note that you can still remote into Windows XP computers, but they need to send the invite to a Windows 7 computer.

 

Request Control - Windows Remote Assistance

 

How to adjust the expiration time for the invites

  1. Go to Start, type “Allow remote access to your computer” and press enter.
  2. In Remote Assistance section click Advanced…
  3. Next, in the Invitations section adjust the time, see if you need to change other settings and click OK, then click Apply and OK again.

 

To wrap up Windows Remote Assistance is a very useful tool that you may not even know you have, it is free and you don’t have to install anything, just configure a few steps and you also may be able to help family and friends;  it can save you time, money and frustrations. Remember that you are not limited to use Windows Remote Assistance when you have a computer problem, you can also use it when you need help learning, or someone wants to show you something, etc.

I hope this tutorial has been helpful for you. Please let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below!