DoubleClicks.info About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

October 22, 2013

Get Help, Windows Remote Assistance

After the column last week about "Problem Steps Recorder" Andy emailed from Waynesboro, VA and asked an interesting question. 

He was wondering if there is a program that allows him to give a "fix it" person access to his computer to repair it from long-distance.  He had heard of large computer manufacturers logging into home computers to fix problems on computers they had sold.  Could he allow one of his more knowledgeable friends to log onto his computer to do the same thing?

Remote AssistanceWell sure, Andy, you can.  There are maybe two million ways of doing so.  I have a couple I recommend over the others.  Here are my favorites.  

The first one, already built into your computer by Microsoft, is known as, "Windows Remote Assistance."  This works very well and may bring your search to a close.  But read on. 

Easy ConnectFor WRA if both of you are using Windows 7 you can use, "Easy Connect."  To get there click your Windows start button, then type "Remote Assistance."  Now click on, "Invite someone you trust" then finally, "Use Easy Connect."  After it checks your network to make sure you have enough speed to share your screen it will give you a password.  The other person starts up Remote Assistance on their computer and clicks on, "Help someone who has invited you."  After it starts on their side give them the password.  Usually at this point you are on the phone with them so you can read it.  Do not fret, after you close this session of Easy Connect on your computer a new password would be needed to log on.  So you are immediately protected once you close the program.  

They will now be able to see your computer and guide you through your troubles.  You can also allow them to run your computer from their location by clicking, "Would you like to allow PERSON’S NAME to share control of your desktop?" 

Make sure they can see what you want them to see.  Remember they can see your windows screens so close other apps if you do not want them to see them.  If you suspect them of doing something evil (like looking for passwords, etc.) you can shut them down.  Chose, "Stop Sharing" or just close the applications window.

If you and the "helper" are using different versions of Windows you only need to do a couple of things differently.  So try this.

Use the same sequence you did originally by going to Start, Remote Assistance, Windows Remote Assistance but this time chose either, "Invite someone to help you" or "Save this invitation as a file."  I recommend the first over the second just for ease of use.  Finally click, "Use email to send an invitation."  Fill in their email address and send that info to them.  When they receive the email it explains what to do with a link to click.  Once the link is clicked they follow the instructions in the file and gain access to your system.

Next, week I will give you my absolute favorite way to connect.  The reason I value it is that you can help Mac, Windows or even Linux computer users – regardless of versions.

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