I would venture to guess that Microsoft’s “Remote Assistance” feature is rather underutilized; first, because it’s a pain to actually find, and walking a client or user through the request process is cumbersome too. Remote Assistance actually works fairly well and alleviates the introduction of which ever flavor of VNC you choose.
We are in the beginning stages of rolling out a new ERP system that no longer uses Citrix, shadow sessions are out of the question now and deploying VNC wasn’t an option. Enter “Offer Remote Assistance”. By enabling a GPO settings, tech’s can now initiate the Remote Assistance session and the users just needs to accept it.
The setup is rather easy:
- Open Group Policy Management and create a new policy or edit an existing one
- Expand Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System and click on Remote Assistance
- Double click “Offer Remote Assistance” and choose enabled
- In the “Permit remote control of this computer” section, choose “Allow helpers to remotely control this computer”
- Click the “Show” button and add the users or groups that will be allowed to remotely connect. You must use the domain\user or domain\group format.
- Close all the windows
The group policy is now setup. Because getting to the “Offer Remote Assistance” section in Help and Support is also a pain, create a new shortcut on your desktop and give it the following path:
Now when a user needs support, just double click on the shortcut and type their IP or computer name. The user will be prompted asking for permission.
NOTE: This is really only good for users within your network.