Sometimes the best way to fix a problem is to have someone show you how. Windows Remote Assistance is a great way for someone you trust, such as a friend or a technical support person, to connect to your PC and walk you through a solution—even if that person isn't nearby. With your permission, your helper can even use their own mouse and keyboard to control your PC and show you how to fix a problem. You can also help someone else the same way.

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What happens when I turn on Windows Remote Assistance?

When you turn on Windows Remote Assistance:

  • You can invite someone you trust to work on your PC and help solve problems, even if they aren't nearby. You can also help someone the same way.

  • Windows Firewall allows Remote Assistance to go through so that it can communicate with your helper's PC.

To turn on Remote Assistance

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search). Change the drop-down option to Settings, enter remote assistance in the search box, and then tap or click Allow remote access to your computer.

  2. Select the Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer check box, and then tap or click OK.

How can I get help?

There are two ways to get help using Windows Remote Assistance. If both you and your helper are running Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, or Windows RT 8.1 on your PCs, you can use Easy Connect. Otherwise, use an invitation file.

Notes

  • Before you allow someone to connect to your PC, it's a good idea to close any open apps or files that you don't want your helper to see. If at any time you feel uncomfortable about what that person is seeing or doing on your PC, you can tap or click Stop sharing or close the app.

  • To help make sure that only people you invite can connect to your PC using Windows Remote Assistance, all sessions are encrypted and password protected. To learn more about privacy and safety concerns, see How does Windows Remote Assistance affect PC privacy and security? .

To get help using Easy Connect

When you use Easy Connect, you’ll get a password that you can give to your helper, which they can then use to connect to your PC. The next time you need help, tap or click your helper’s contact name to allow them to connect to your PC.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search). Change the drop-down option to Settings, enter remote assistance in the search box, and then tap or click Invite someone to connect to your PC and help you, or offer to help someone else.

  2. Tap or click Invite someone you trust to help you.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If you've never used Easy Connect, tap or click Use Easy Connect.

    • If you've used Easy Connect before, select your helper’s contact name. To invite someone who isn't on your contact list, tap or click Invite someone to help you.

  4. Follow the instructions.

To get help using an invitation file

With this option, Windows Remote Assistance creates an invitation file and password that you can send to your helper via email or chat. They use file to connect to your PC

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search). Change the drop-down option to Settings, enter remote assistance in the search box, and then tap or click Invite someone to connect to your PC and help you, or offer to help someone else.

  2. Tap or click Invite someone you trust to help you.

    If you've used Easy Connect before, tap or click Invite someone to help you to see the options for using an invitation file.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If you're using an email app on your PC, tap or click Use email to send an invitation.

    • To save the invitation and send it yourself, tap or click Save this invitation as a file.

  4. Follow the instructions.

How can I help someone else?

To help someone using Windows Remote Assistance, you first need to be invited by the person you want to help. There are two ways to do this. If both you and the person you’re helping are running Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, or Windows RT 8.1 on your PCs, use Easy Connect. Otherwise, use an invitation file.

To help someone using Easy Connect

With Easy Connect, the person you're helping will give you a temporary password. You can then use this password to directly connect to that person's PC.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search). Change the drop-down option to Settings, enter remote assistance in the search box, and then tap or click Invite someone to connect to your PC and help you, or offer to help someone else.

  2. Tap or click Help someone who has invited you.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If you’re using Easy Connect for the first time, tap or click Use Easy Connect.

    • If you’ve used Easy Connect before, select the contact name of the person you want to help. To help someone not on the list, tap or click Help someone new.

  4. Follow the instructions.

To help someone using an invitation file

  1. Check your email inbox to search for the email from the person who asked for your help.

  2. Open it and follow the instructions.

Easy Connect doesn’t seem to work. What do I do?

If Easy Connect isn't working, check the following table for reasons why and solutions.

Possible problems Solutions
Possible problems

One or both of the PCs aren’t running Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, or Windows RT 8.1.

Solutions

Install Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or get a Windows RT or Windows RT 8.1 PC.

Possible problems

There’s a problem on your PC or the other person’s PC.

Solutions

Run the Windows Remote Assistance troubleshooter on both PCs (only available on PCs running Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1). To learn how, see the instructions that follow this table.

Possible problems

There’s a problem with the Internet connection on either PC.

Solutions
Possible problems

The person you’re trying to help is on a corporate network.

Solutions

Have the person talk to their system admin to find out what the problem is and how to resolve it.

Possible problems

Any other problems

Solutions

Ask a question on the Microsoft Community website.

To run the troubleshooter on your PC (if you’re the helper)

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search). Change the drop-down option to Settings, enter remote assistance in the search box, and then tap or click Invite someone to connect to your PC and help you, or offer to help someone else.

  2. Tap or click Help someone who has invited you.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If you’re using Easy Connect for the first time, tap or click Use Easy Connect.

    • If you’ve used Easy Connect before, select the contact name.

  4. If the connection fails, in the Windows Remote Assistance dialog box, tap or click Troubleshoot, and then follow the instructions.

Note

  • The Windows Remote Assistance troubleshooter is only available on PCs running Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.

To run the troubleshooter on the other person’s PC (if they’re asking for help)

Ask the person that you're trying to help to follow these steps:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search). Change the drop-down option to Settings, enter remote assistance in the search box, and then tap or click Invite someone to connect to your PC and help you, or offer to help someone else.

  2. Tap or click Invite someone you trust to help you.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If you've never used Easy Connect, tap or click Use Easy Connect.

    • If you've used Easy Connect before, select your helper’s contact name. To invite someone who isn't on your contact list, tap or click Invite someone to help you.

  4. If the connection fails, tap or click Troubleshoot, and then follow the instructions.

Why can't I connect to a contact that I want to help?

If you want to help someone using Windows Remote Assistance, that person must first invite you. If you’ve used Easy Connect before and the person you want to help appears in the contact list, but you can't connect to their PC, then it’s possible that the person hasn't invited you yet.

If you still can’t connect once you’ve been invited, try using the troubleshooter by tapping or clicking Troubleshoot in the Windows Remote Assistance dialog box. The troubleshooter is only available on PCs running Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows RT 8.1.

If you're still having problems after running the Windows Remote Assistance troubleshooter, ask the person you're trying to help to create a new connection using Easy Connect.

How does Windows Remote Assistance affect PC privacy and security?

You can use Windows Remote Assistance to invite someone to connect to your PC and help you even if they’re not nearby. It’s important that you only allow people you know and trust to be your helper because that person can see your desktop, any open files, and any visible personal info. However, they can't delete files, change settings, or respond to User Account Control prompts (security notifications that appear before changes are made to your PC) without your permission. Once you close Remote Assistance, your helper can no longer see or do anything on your PC.

Warning

  • Before you allow someone to connect to your PC, close any open apps or files that you don't want your helper to see. Watch what your helper is doing. If you feel uncomfortable about what that person is seeing or doing on your PC, tap or click Stop sharing or press Esc on your keyboard to end the session.