Offering Remote Assistance on Windows 7

In Windows Vista and later, you can use msra.exe to initiate an offer of remote assistance to other users. This requires that you enable a group policy setting called Offer Remote Assistance on the computers you want to offer remote assistance to. Obviously Vista is an operating system that is not widely used in enterprises, therefore we will concentrate on Windows 7, but the group policy setting, and the command line syntax are the same in Vista and 7.

1. Enable the Group Policy Setting

1.1 In a GPO, browse to the following location

Computer Configuration →  Policies →  Administrative Templates → System →  Remote Assistance

Here you will find various settings related to Remote Assistance

1.2 Enable Offer Remote Assistance

1.3 Choose whether helpers can only view the remote computer, or control it as well

1.4 Click on the Show button

1.5 Choose which users and groups you would like to be able to offer Remote Assistance to others

1.6 Then click OK, and close the Group Policy Management Editor
1.7 Link the GPO to the OU where your Windows 7 computers reside

2. Allow Remote Assistance connections to the computers

2.1 Obviously this setting will have to be enabled on the computers you want to remote view/control, otherwise you can not connect to those computers through Windows Remote Assistance

2.2 If you click the Advanced button, you can see different Remote Assistance related settings on the computer

2.3 If you want to set this setting for more than one computer through a GPO, you can browse to the same location as earlier

Computer Configuration →  Policies →  Administrative Templates → System →  Remote Assistance

2.4 Then enable Solicited Remote Assistance setting

2.5  Make any additional configuration changes for the setting if you like

3. Offer Remote Assistance

3.1 From your Windows 7 workstation, run the following command msra /offerra
3.2 Type Computer name or IP address of the computer you want to remotely assist, and then click Next

3.3 Click Next again
3.4 The user will now receive a message which prompts for the user’s consent to let the remote assistant connect to the user’s computer.
This will only give the remote assistant permission to view the user’s desktop


3.5 If you want to control the remote computer, you will have to ask for the user’s consent for that as well


Additional Resources:
Technet: Initiate Remote Assistance from a Command Line or a Script

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