There are plenty of times when in-person troubleshooting isn’t possible. Maybe you and the other person live in different cities, or you work in different offices or the world is on lockdown due to a pandemic. Whatever the case may be, a useful Windows 10 feature can help you remotely lend a hand to your tech-illiterate coworkers, friends and family.
It’s called Windows Quick Assist, and you can use it to access another user’s desktop over the internet to walk them through any issues they may be having with their computer. The tool offers several helpful features, including the ability to highlight specific parts of the other user’s screen or even manage their system settings.
How to use Windows Quick Assist
Screenshot: Brendan Hesse
To use Windows Quick Assistant, both people need to have Windows 10 installed on their desktops or laptops, and both devices must be turned on and connected to the internet (they do not have to be on the same network, however). As long as you meet those criteria, you can connect to the other person’s PC with Windows Quick Assist using the following steps:
- Search for “Quick Assist” from the Windows Start menu or Taskbar search field.
- Click “Quick Assist” to run the program.
- Select “Give assistance.”
- Follow the on-screen instructions to sign in to your Microsoft account (or create one if you don’t have one).
- Once you’re signed in, you’ll be given a six-digit access code. Keep this handy for the next section.
Now we’ll jump over to the person you’re trying to help.
- On the other person’s PC, have them search for and run Quick Assist just as we did in the previous section.
- Once Quick Assist is open, have the other person click “Get assistance.”
- Have them type in the six-digit access code you’ll provide them, then click “Submit.”
- Have them click “Allow” once prompted.
If everything went well, you should now have access to the other person’s desktop through Quick Assist. From here, you as the helper can click around the other person’s PC and do what needs to be done. Both users also have a few Quick Assist-specific actions available within the app:
- Annotate: This feature allows you to draw on the other person’s desktop. This is useful for jotting down notes or highlighting parts of the screen you want to bring their attention to. Any annotations you make will be removed when Quick Assist is closed.
- Pause: Temporarily pauses Quick Assist. Click this again to resume.
- Restart: Reboots the other person’s PC, but doesn’t disable Quick Assist. The helper will regain access to the other person’s desktop after their machine reboots.
- Stop: This ends the Quick Assist session. You can also close the Quick Assist window at any time to end Quick Assist.
- Task Manager: Lets the helper open the other person’s Task Manager. This is useful if you need to check what programs they’re running and don’t want to explain what “CTRL+ALT+Delete” means.
When you’re ready to close Windows Quick Assist, simply press “Stop” and/or close the app’s window to end the connection. Note that you’ll need to repeat the above steps if you wish to reconnect in the future.