Get Help With Remote Assistance and Windows 7

By Joseph Moran

February 19, 2010

Windows 7 has made Remote Assistance simpler than before, which means you'll have an easier time helping friends and family members with their computers, or tapping your local guru for some help with your own.

Windows 7 has made Remote Assistance simpler than before, which means you'll have an easier time helping friends and family members with their computers, or tapping your local guru for some help with your own.


Most of us have someone--usually a close friend or family member--to turn to for help when a computer problem has us stumped. Of course, that person often isn't available to look at your system live and in person, and troubleshooting problems over the phone can be an imprecise and frustrating affair.

Since Windows XP, Remote Assistance has provided a handy way to get or give a helping hand from a distance. But some tweaks to Remote Assistance in Windows 7 can make getting help--or giving it--easier and more convenient.

In previous versions of Windows, the primary way to initiate a Remote Assistance connection was by creating an "invitation" file with info on how to find and connect to your system, and sending it to your helper via e-mail. You can still use invitation files in Windows 7, and if your helper is running Vista or XP, you'll have to. However, if both parties have Windows 7 in common, a new feature called Easy Connect can speed up and simplify the connection process considerably by eliminating e-mail as a conduit.

To request remote assistance in Windows 7, search for "assistance" from the Start menu, then run Windows Remote Assistance. (If you prefer a no-keyboard method, click Help and Support, Ask, and then Windows Remote Assistance.) After you click Invite someone you trust to help you, you'll see Easy Connect along with the two e-mail-based invitation options. Choose Easy Connect, and within a few seconds you should be looking at a Windows Remote Assistance window displaying the 12-character password needed for access to your system.

Read "Get Help (or Give It) with Windows 7 Remote Assistance" at Practically Networked



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