How to use the “Offer Remote Assistance” policy setting

April 14, 2008

How to use the “Offer Remote Assistance” policy setting

This article describes how to offer Remote Assistance.


You can configure Remote Assistance so that administrators, support personnel, or any user, can offer assistance to other users without requiring them to initiate the Remote Assistance session. This capability is called “Unsolicited Remote Assistance,” and is designed for use in Enterprise corporations that are using domains. By default, this feature is turned off, and it can only be turned on through the Unattend.txt file, or by using group policies.

Requirements for using the Offer Remote Assistance policy setting

Both the novice and expert computers must be running Windows XP.
The novice and expert users are members of the same domain, or are members of trusting domains.
Both the novice and expert computers must be connected to the Internet, or the same LAN or WAN.
For more information about how to set up a computer so that it can receive Remote Assistance offers, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
301527 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/301527/) How to configure a computer to receive Remote Assistance offers in Windows Server 2003 and in Windows XP
After you set up the novice’s computer:
1. On the expert computer, click Start, click Help and Support, and then click Use Tools to view your computer information and diagnose problems.
2. On the Tools menu, click Offer Remote Assistance.
3. On the Offer Remote Assistance page, type the computer name or the IP address of the computer to which you are trying to offer remote assistance, and then click Connect. You will be prompted to choose which user you want to assist from a drop down menu. After you choose the user you want to assist, click Start Remote Assistance.
When the user to be helped receives the Remote Assistance offer and clicks Yes, the Remote Assistance session starts. If needed, an administrator can then request control of the novice’s computer.
For more information about Remote Assistance, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
300546 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300546/) Overview of Remote Assistance in Windows XP
306496 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306496/) How to configure or disable Solicited Remote Assistance in Windows XP
Note The Offer Remote Assistance feature is not a viable option for most home-based networks, and it is not available on Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition.

Note Remote Assistance uses DCOM. In Windows XP, the DCOM reg path is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftOle with a String value of EnableDCOM = Y. If this value is set to ‘N’ or is missing, remote assistance will not work.


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