HOW TO: Provide Remote Assistance In Response to Windows Messenger Invitation 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 Q306800
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
This step-by step article describes how to provide help by using the Remote Assistance feature in Windows XP in response to a Windows Messenger invitation. Remote Assistance enables you to establish a connection to a remote computer through the Internet. This connection can be used to view the computer screen, participate in real-time chat, and remotely control that computer (when you have permission to do so).

back to the top

How to Provide Help by Using Remote Assistance

The following requirements must be met before you can use Remote Assistance:
  • 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 you use Remote Assistance.
To provide help by using Remote Assistance:
  1. Log on to Windows Messenger. When you have been requested to provide remote assistance, you receive the following Windows Messenger invitation, where User_name is the alias of the person requesting remote assistance:
    User_name is inviting you to start using Remote Assistance. Do you want to Accept (ALT+T) or Decline (ALT+D) the invitation?
  2. Click Accept, or press ALT+T. You receive the following Windows Messenger message:
    You have accepted the invitation from User_name to start using Remote Assistance.
The remote user is prompted to accept your connection to the computer. When the remote user accepts this connection, the remote session is established.

back to the top

How to Use Remote Assistance

In the Remote Assistance window that is displayed, the remote desktop is displayed in the right pane. You can view the remote computer screen and chat with the user in real time. If you receive permission, you can take control of the remote computer.

NOTE: It is recommended that the remote user does not use the mouse while you control the computer.

The following Remote Assistance features are available to enable you to provide remote assistance:
  • The Status line:
    This line indicates your connection status with the remote computer, for example:
    • Connected to remote user name.

    • Disconnected from remote user name.
  • The Take Control button:
    When you click this button, the remote user is prompted to allow you to take control of the remote computer.

    NOTE: Remote Control must be enabled on the remote computer. Permission must also be granted by the remote user during the session before remote control is allowed.
  • The Send a File button:
    Click this button to initiate file transfers between the local and remote computers.
  • The Start Talking button:
    Click this button to initiate voice chat with the remote user.
  • 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 consult Remote Assistance help.
  • The Message Entry box:
    Use this box to type messages to the remote user in real time. Click the Send button, or press ENTER to send each message.
  • The Chat History window:
    This window records the text messages typed between you and the remote user as well as the connection status, for example, Screen View Only.
back to the top


  • Issue: The ability to control the remote computer is disabled by default.
    When you attempt to take control of the computer, the following message appears:
    Remote Control of this computer is not allowed.
    To configure the remote computer for remote control, follow these steps:

    NOTE: You must be a member of the local Administrators group to use 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 Advanced.
    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.
  • Issue: The computer appears to stop responding.
    When you use Remote Assistance over a dial-up connection, the computer may appear 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.
back to the top
For additional information about providing Remote Assistance, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
306791 How to Provide Remote Assistance in Response to an E-mail Invitation
back to the top


Article ID: 306800 - Last Review: 12/06/2015 05:08:45 - 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 KB306800