If you have Windows 7 or Windows 8, you have the option of using a feature called Remote Assistance when you really find yourself in a bind. What this feature does is allow you to get assistance from a friend or even a professional technician without leaving your home. What happens is that the person gets full access to your computer over the Internet. The connection that is used for this is secure, so you don’t have to worry about people spying on you while you are exchanging this information. The process is actually quite easy, so be sure to read these instructions before you get discouraged thinking that you cannot use this valuable feature. Easy Connect Easy Connect is, just as the name would lead you to believe, the easiest way to connect someone and get remote assistance. This is a four-step process, with these instructions coming right from Microsoft. Open up your Remote Assistance from the start menu. To do this, go into the Start menu, enter Remote Assistance in the Search Box and then select Windows Remote Assistance. The next screen will give you an option to “Invite someone you trust to help you”, which is exactly what you want to do. Click on the Use Easy Connect button and you’ll be given the instructions to go ahead and make the connection. Follow them step-by-step and that’s all there is to it. Invitation You can also use an invitation to get someone to help you with your computer using remote assistance. This is very easy to do, as well. Click on the Start button and search for Remote Assistance again. Click on Windows Remote Assistance when you get the option. After you click on the “Invite someone to help you” link, click on “Save this invitation as a file”. Here’s something to keep in mind. There’s another option that comes up that reads Use email to send an invitation. That will open up whatever email program you use on your computer, but not that many people actually use an email program on their computer anymore. Most people use Gmail or another online email service. If you save the invitation as a file – save it to your desktop, it’s the easiest place to find it – you can attach it to an email from your local email client or from your online email service. Chances are that the person you’re sending the invitation to has enough computer skills to understand what to do when they get it. You will have to set a password. Here is another thing to consider regarding the password issue. You’re only going to use this password one time and the invitation will expire, so the password won’t give anyone access to your machine. To get access to your machine, whomever is trying to get it also needs access to the original invitation. Set the password to something that is reasonable – such as a word with a punctuation mark added to it, a number or something along those lines – but you don’t have to run out and use a random password generator for this process. Unless you have serious security concerns, you should be fine using a simple password for your Remote Assistance invitation. What Happens? Once you send your remote assistance invitation, the person who receives it will click on it, enter the password and, at that point, you will get a pop-up letting you know that they’re trying to connect and asking whether you want to turn over control of the computer to them. Once they do take over your computer, they will be able to access your desktop just as you would, open up the settings on your control panel and so forth. This makes it very easy for them to render technical assistance. Instead of having to guess at what you’re looking at on the screen, they can actually see it right in front of them. If you’re not that computer savvy and you want some assistance with something that’s causing trouble, consider using the Remote Assistance feature. It really is one of the best things built into the Windows operating systems and is a safe and effective way to get help when you need it.