HOW TO: Obtain Remote Assistance Using Windows Messenger in Windows XP

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q306556
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
This step-by-step article describes how to use Windows Messenger to obtain help using the Remote Assistance feature in Windows XP. Remote Assistance enables you to allow another user to make a remote connection to your computer, which they can use to view your computer screen, participate in real-time chat and, with your permission, remotely control your computer.

back to the top


    • Both the local and the remote computer must be using either Windows Messenger or a Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI)-compliant e-mail program such as Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express.
    • Both computers must be connected to the Internet while using Remote Assistance.

      NOTE: If your computer is behind a firewall, you may need to reconfigure the firewall to allow Remote Assistance. Contact your network administrator before using Remote Assistance.
back to the top

How to Obtain Help Using Remote Assistance

To obtain help using Remote Assistance:
  1. Connect to the Internet, and then sign in to Windows Messenger.
  2. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
  3. Under Ask for assistance, click Invite a friend to connect to your computer with Remote Assistance.
  4. Under Remote Assistance, click Invite someone to help you.
  5. Under Use Windows Messenger, click the contact that you want to invite, and then click Invite this person.

    NOTE: The contact that you want to invite must be online.

    You receive the following message, where Assistant is the name of the assistant that you invited:
    Inviting Assistant to connect to your computer. Please wait for a response...

    Invitation is accepted...
  6. After the remote assistant accepts your invitation, click Yes when you receive the following message:
    Assistant has accepted your Remote Assistance invitation and is ready to
    connect to your computer.

    Do you want to let this person view your screen and chat with you?
  7. If the remote assistant wants to remotely control the computer, click Yes to accept the request when you receive the following message, where Assistant is the name of the remote assistant:
    Assistant would like to share control of your computer to help solve the

    Do you wish to let Assistant share control of your computer?
    The remote assistant can now control your computer remotely. This includes the ability to shut down the computer.

    NOTE: Do not use the mouse while the remote assistant controls the computer.
back to the top

Remote Assistance Features

Use the following features in the Remote Assistance dialog box to participate in the remote assistance session:
  • The Connection Status box, which includes the following information:
    • The name of the assistant.
    • Whether you are connected or disconnected.
    • The assistant's privileges during this session. For example, Screen View Only.
  • The Stop Control (ESC) button:
    Press the ESC key to stop the computer from being remotely controlled. When you press ESC, you receive the following message, where User name is the name of the logged on user, and Assistant is the name of the remote assistant:
    User name or Assistant has stopped remote control
    by pressing the ESC key, or a key sequence or combination
    including the ESC key.
  • The Send a File button:
    Click this button to initiate file transfers between the local and remote computer.
  • The Start Talking button:
    Click this button to initiate voice chat with the remote assistant.
  • The Settings button:
    Click this button to adjust quality settings according to the connection speed that you have.
  • The Disconnect button:
    Click this button to terminate the Remote Assistance session.
  • The Help button:
    Click this button to view Remote Assistance help.
  • The Message Entry box:
    Use this box to type messages to the remote assistant in real time. Click the Send button, or press ENTER to send the message.
  • The Chat History window:
    This window records the text messages typed between you and the remote assistant.
back to the top


  • The ability to control your computer remotely is disabled by default:
    When the remote assistant attempts to remotely control the computer, you receive the following message:
    Remote Control of this computer is not allowed.
    To resolve this issue, configure the computer for remote control.

    NOTE: You must be a member of the local Administrators group to perform this procedure.
    1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
    2. Under Pick a category, click Performance and Maintenance.
    3. Under or pick a Control Panel icon, click System.
    4. Click the Remote tab, and then click to select the Advanced button under Remote Assistance.
    5. Under Remote control, click to select the Allow this computer to be controlled remotely check box, and then click OK.
    6. In the System Properties dialog box, click OK.

      Remote Control is now enabled. Note that you must still expressly permit the remote control of your computer in each Remote Assistance session.
  • The computer seems to stop responding:
    When you use Remote Assistance over a dial-up connection, the computer may seem to stop responding (hang) or may respond slowly. This behavior may be caused by the slow speed of the Internet connection. For best results, use Remote Assistance over a high speed Internet connection.
  • Remote Assistance allows access to sensitive data:
    The remote assistant can see the information on your computer, and, with your permission, gain access to it. For this reason, invite only trusted sources to remotely assist you.
back to the top

For additional information about requesting Remote Assistance, click the a link below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowlege Base:

back to the top


Article ID: 306556 - Last Review: 12/06/2015 05:02:33 - Revision: 1.4

Microsoft Windows XP Professional, Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows Messenger 4.0, Microsoft Windows Messenger 4.5, Microsoft Windows Messenger 4.6

  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbhowto kbhowtomaster KB306556