How Can I Initialize Remote Assistance Connection to Request Help in Windows 8/Windows 8.1?


Apart from Remote Desktop feature that almost every Microsoft-based operating system has, the operating systems also have another feature named Remote Assistance that works more or less the same way as Remote Desktop does.

The only difference between Remote Desktop and Remote Assistance is that in the Remote Desktop connection, the entire console of the remote PC is displayed on the computer screen, and any currently logged on user on the remote computer automatically gets logged off. Also, the Remote Desktop connection can be initialized using the administrator credentials of the remote computer only.

On the other hand, the Remote Assistance connection requires an invitation file to be generated at the requester computer. Once the file is generated, it is sent to the helper via any medium such as email, LAN transfer, USB stick transfer, etc. The helper, at his/her end must use the invitation file to establish a Remote Assistance connection to the requester PC. One big advantage that the Remote Assistance connection has over the Remote Desktop connection is that when a Remote Assistance connection is established, both the requester and the helper can simultaneously view the activities that either of them perform on the computer. Also, the requester can terminate the Remote Assistance connection any time during the running session by pressing the Esc key on the keyboard. Remote Desktop does not have any such option.

Assuming that the helper is already well-versed with the Windows operating system and its features, you, as a requester, can follow the below instructions to create and send a Remote Assistance invitation file to request help from the helper:

    ■Log on to Windows 8/Windows 8.1 using any account.
    ■Once logged on, click the down arrow icon from the bottom-left corner of the Start screen.

    ■From the Apps window, under the Windows System category, click Command Prompt.

    ■Once the Command prompt window opens up, type the MSRA.EXE command and press Enter.

    ■From the Windows Remote Assistance window, click the Invite someone you trust to help you option.

    ■On the next interface, under How do you want to invite your trusted helper, click the Save this invitation as a file option.

    ■From the Save As window that comes up next, choose a location to save the file and click the Save button.

    ■Once the invitation file is saved, send the file to the helper using any medium. (E.g.: email, LAN transfer, etc.)
    ■Once done, request the helper to open the Command Prompt window on his/her PC, type the MSRA.EXE command, and press Enter.

10. From the Windows Remote Assistance window, tell the helper to click the Help someone who has invited you option.

11. From the next interface, under Choose a way to connect to the other person’s computer, click the Use an invitation file option.

12. Once done, locate and select the received invitation file, and follow the on-screen instructions to establish a successful Remote Assistance connection to the remote PC.

Note: You will be required to provide the password while connecting to the remote computer in case the requester has specified a security password while generating the invitation file.