Windows Remote Assistance

Today: October 28, 2021

Windows XP has a built in windows remote assistance software that allows IT techies to assist any user as long they both are running Windows XP as their OS. With Windows Remote Assistance (see Windows XP Remote Assistance for an introduction), a user who requires help normally sends first an invitation to the IT support member or sometimes generally called the administrator. This feature is intended for security reasons obviously so that no one could just get into your computer and offer un-invited windows remote assistance. This need for the non-techie user to send an invitation however has its down side in that the procedure for sending the invitation is usually something the user himself is unfamiliar with.

There is a configuration that is needed to be set in the users' computers first to make windows remote assistance even more convenient for both user and administrator. The result of this configuration setting is that the user need not initiate the user-administrator connection first. Instead, after contacting the administrator for help, the user need only confirm, with one singe click, the adminitrator's connection and voila, the windows remote assistance session is on. Note that the administrator can never connect or control the user's computer without the user's confirmation.

The configuration procedure is as follows:

  1. Start > Run
  2. On the Run window's textbox, type gpedit.msc
  3. On the resulting window (sometimes with caption 'Group Policy'), navigate to Local Computer Policy>Computer Configuration>AdministrativeTemplates>System>Remote Assistance
  4. Click on 'Offer Remote Assistance'. A bar will appear to the left ow where you clicked.
  5. Click on the 'Properties' link ('Display Properties'). An 'Offer Remote Assistance Properties' box will pop up.
  6. Check the 'Enabled' radio button. This will 'un-grey' some controls at the bottom part.
  7. From the now live dropdown combo box, select 'Allow helpers to remotely control the computer'.
  8. Click on the 'Show' button. The 'Show Contents' window will now pop up.
  9. Click the 'Add...' button in order to add the administrator's username (or the IT support techie's username) to the 'Helpers' list.
  10. Click 'OK'.
  11. Close the Group Policy window.

The user's computer is set now so that the administrator can now offer windows remote assistance to the user anytime with the user needing only to click ok to allow the administrator to take control of the user's computer, provided that the administrator and the user are in the same domain, or at least the user in a trusted domain.

The administrator now needs only to click on Help and Support from the 'Start' menu and click on 'Use Tools' to view computer information and diagnose problems and select 'Offer Remote Assistance'. The user, as said before, needs only to either 'confirm' or 'deny' the offer.

You may go to this Microsoft Support page for more details about windows remote assistance.

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