WINDOWS  REMOTE  ASSISTANCE  -  CONNECT  TO  ANOTHER  COMPUTER

In this section I will show you how to set up and use Windows 10 Remote Desktop Connection, a Windows 10 program that allows you to remotely control another Windows 10 computer and therefore help someone with their computer problems remotely. It also allows the other way around. Someone else can help you, if they are the helper and you are the one with the computer problems.


To begin using Windows 10 Remote Desktop Connection, click on the START Menu button and then on the SETTINGS menu-item to bring up the SETTINGS control panel window whereby you then need to start typing the word REMOTE.

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Fig 1.0 - Click on the START Menu button and then on the SETTINGS menu-item to continue

As you begin typing the edit box will automatically become active with the letter R and so on already inside it, so there is no need to click inside the edit box first. Once the word REMOTE has been entered into the edit box click on the button/link called INVITE SOMEONE TO CONNECT TO YOUR PC AND HELP YOU, OR OFFER TO HELP SOMEONE ELSE (Fig 1.1 below) to open the Windows Remote Assistance wizard (Fig 1.2).

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Fig 1.1 - Type REMOTE inside the SEARCH edit box and then click on the button/link called INVITE SOMEONE.....

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Fig 1.2 - The Windows Remote Assistance wizard guides you through the available options

When the Windows Remote Assistance wizard (window) appears (above), click on its INVITE SOMEONE YOU TRUST TO HELP YOU button. Doing so should then give you invitations options (see paragraph below). In this example there is only one invitation options available - The option to save an invitation file, which you then e-mail to the person who is going to help you fix your computer problems (your helper) via a remote connection; once set up. Ignore the technicals and just click on the SAVE THIS INVITATION AS A FILE button to continue.

NOTE: If the invitation options are not available whereby you receive an error message - This computer is not set up to send invitations - it is normally due to Windows 10 settings, firewall settings and/or other internet security settings/software blocking remote connections. If this is your scenario, click on the REPAIR button to diagnose problems (not shown here). If problems are found, click on the TRY THESE REPAIRS AS AN ADMINISTRATOR button to resolve those problems (again, not shown here). This described scenario normally happens on a newly installed Windows 10 operating system. It just means remote connections were not set up by default, as not everyone requires this service.

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Fig 1.3 - Click on the SAVE THIS INVITATION AS A FILE button to continue

An invitation is an encrypted "Connection File", in the format of a .msrcIncident file, that basically contains the necessary credentials about the computer and user account needing the help (i.e. your computer and its credentials). It is needed by the helper's computer (the computer of the person helping you). If you have a compatible e-mail client installed, such as Microsoft Outlook or Windows Live Mail (no longer supported/updated by Microsoft), the invitation file would not need saving and then e-mailing, as in this example, because it would be attached to a newly created e-mail when you click on the USE EMAIL TO SEND INFORMATION invitation option. Again, ignore the technicals. All you need to do here is specify the method (option) in which the "Connection File" will be sent to your helper.

SAVE THIS INVITATION AS A FILE - This invitation option, which I am showing an example of, allows you to send (attach) the invitation file ("Connection File") using a web-based e-mail account such as an Outlook, Yahoo or GMail e-mail account. You will need to login to that e-mail account in order to send the invitation file ("Connection File") as an attachment.

USE E-MAIL TO SEND AN INVITATION - The same as above, but this option uses an already installed e-mail client (e-mail program) such as Windows Live Mail 2012 to create the attachment automatically.

EASY CONNECT - This option is for those with an Easy Connect compatible router and Windows 10. It allows you to connect two computers without the need to send an invitation file ("Connection File"). The beauty of this method is that after the initial connection, which requires a password, any subsequent connections do not need a password. You just click on the helper's contact name to establish a connection.

As said: In this example I am going to manually send the invitation file ("Connection File") as an e-mail attachment, to a helper called Laszlo, using the Windows Live Mail app; which is not compatible with the USE E-MAIL TO SEND AN INVITATION invitation option for some reason. Outlook 2016 is compatible though. Anyway, I first need to save the invitation file onto my computer using the SAVE AS file requester.

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Fig 1.4 - Use the SAVE AS file requester to navigate to a folder where the invitation file will be saved

When the invitation file (named Invitation.msrcIncident, by default) has been saved (and subsequently sent to your helper), the Windows Remote Assistance window will appear with a password on it; ready for the remote connection between the two computers to take place. This invitation password is only good for up to six hours, so it is important that the helper gets your invitation file e-mail. Normally you would give them a quick phone call and tell them about the invitation e-mail, as well as give/send them the invitation (Easy Connect) password, or you would of prearranged this meeting (invitation) and do everything live (do everything now, at this moment).

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Fig 1.5 - Tell your helper this Easy Connect password

At this point, assuming the helper has the invitation e-mail and invitation password, they would then open their Remote Desktop Connection program and follow the steps needed to help you (see "Help Someone Else" below).


With a connection established between your computer and the helper's computer, all the helper will see initially is a black desktop screen representing your desktop. However, also at this point, they will NOT have full access to your computer; by default, for security reasons of course. They will need to ask your permission via the REQUEST CONTROL button located in the top-left corner of their Windows Remote Assistance window (invitation password window) - In the same position where you see the faded out wording: STOP SHARING on your Windows Remote Assistance window (invitation password window).

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Fig 1.6 - The Helper can now see your desktop, but does NOT have full control of it.

The reason for them not having full control of your computer at this point, and by default, is because in this "Limited Mode" of Windows Remote Assistance it is assumed you only want the helper to see your desktop whereby they will then tell you what to do over the phone (or via skype) for example. When the helper clicks on their REQUEST CONTROL button you are sent a message requester (below) whereby you need to click on its YES button in order to give full control of your computer to the helper's computer.

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Fig 1.7 - The helper's computer is requesting full control of your computer

After clicking on the YES button the helper can then actually move your mouse around, click and double click on folders and files, open programs, run system commands and so on, just as though they were sitting in front of your computer; trying to fix its problems.

When the helper has finished, and hopefully fix your computer problems, either you or they can exit (close) this "repair session" by clicking on the Windows Remote Assistance red eXit (close) button. That will terminate the remote connection between the two computers.

HELP  SOMEONE  TO  FIX  THEIR  COMPUTER

Now that you know how to get remote help from someone else, with you being the one with computer problems, in this next example I will show you how things work from the helper's point of view; by showing you how to be the helper.

Begin by starting Windows Remote Assistance (as explained/exampled in Fig 1.0 above), but this time click on the HELP SOMEONE WHO HAS INVITED YOU invitation option (button) when it comes to choosing whether or not to be the helper or the one with the computer problems.

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Fig 2.0 - Click on the HELP SOMEONE WHO HAS INVITED YOU invitation option (button) to be the helper

After clicking on the HELP SOMEONE WHO HAS INVITED YOU invitation option (button) the invitation file (Connection File), that was sent by the person with the computer problems, needs to be opened. The window that follows allows you to choose from two options, although only one of them might be available. The choices are:

USE AN INVITATION FILE - This option allows you to use the invitation file (Connection File) that was sent via e-mail attachment, by the person with the computer problems, in order to make a connection between the two computers.

USE EASY CONNECT - This option might not be available for a number of reasons, with the main reason being your router does not support the EASY CONNECT Protocol. Ignore the technicals. This option will either be available or not (inactive/faded out).

Sticking with the above example; Click on the USE AN INVITATION FILE option (button) to bring up the OPEN file requester (Fig 2.2 below) and then locate and open the .msrcIncident invitation file (Connection File), called Invitation.msrcIncident by default, sent to you via e-mail attachment. You should of saved that e-mail attachment (file) to your DESKTOP or DOWNLOADS folder, for example, beforehand.

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Fig 2.1 - Click on the USE AN INVITATION FILE option (button) to bring up the OPEN file requester

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Fig 2.2 - Locate, select and then open the .msrc invitation file (Connection File) called Invitation.msrcIncident

When you click on the OPEN button, of the OPEN file requester, a Enter Your Password window then appears whereby you need to insert the password given to you by the person with computer problems into the PASSWORD edit box. When you have done that click on the window's OK button to continue.

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Fig 2.3 - Enter the password given to you by the person with computer problems

Once the correct password has been entered, and you have clicked on the OK button, you will then have limited access to the computer with problems (as described earlier, above). To gain full access (full control) you need to click on the REQUEST CONTROL button located in the top-left corner of the Windows Remote Assistance window (below). The user of the problem computer will then have to agree to full control by clicking on the YES button of the message requester that appears (as exampled in Fig 1.7 above).

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Fig 2.4 - Click on the REQUEST CONTROL button to request full control of the problem computer

With full control of the problem computer; you (the helper) can now go about looking for problems, diagnosing problems and hopefully fixing problems. The status bar of the desktop belonging to the computer needing help will change from 'viewing the screen' to 'sharing control of the computer'.

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Fig 2.5 - The helper now has full control of the problem computer

SOME  WINDOWS  REMOTE  ASSISTANCE  SETTINGS

As said at the beginning of this section, Windows Remote Assistance isn't full of features and settings/options. However, that doesn't mean you cannot make things better. For example: If you click on the SETTINGS button, to bring up the settings window, you can improve your experience with the problem computer by using a higher or lower level of broadband bandwidth - Turn off/on the desktop background imagery, disable/enable windows drag and increase/decrease colour depth (colour resolution).

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Fig 3.0 - Move (drag) the slider down to LOW for a faster, more responsive experience

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Fig 3.1 - Move (drag) the slider up to HIGH for a slighter slower, but more visual experience

Look around the Windows Remote Assistance window and investigate things such as the CHAT feature and SETTINGS options. These are pretty bog standard but tweaking the broadband bandwidth settings for example can make a difference in performance.