If you’re the unofficial “tech support” for your family, a new feature hidden deep within Windows 10’s Anniversary Update should be welcome news. It’s called Quick Assist.
Anyone who works in the computer industry, or has a reputation for being technologically savvy, knows the sinking feeling that accompanies these words: “So I bought a new computer.” Those six words inevitably mean you’re going to end up on a long telephone call trying to explain something like how to save a web document as a PDF, with each participant becoming more frustrated by the minute.
For years, Microsoft added a feature called Remote Desktop to the Professional versions of Windows, and you could use either it, or a number of other third-party apps, to remotely control your PC. (Remote Desktop Connection is still part of Windows 10 Professional.) Windows Remote Assistance, which is what Quick Assist is based upon, has also appeared in previous versions of Windows.
Quick Assist can be slightly hard to find.With Quick Assist, you’re not controlling your own PC from afar, but asking permission from another person to control their PC (or vice versa), and with the understanding that either party can disconnect the connection at any time. It can’t solve any hardware problems, like a mouse that’s out of batteries; however, it does allow a remote user to check if the mouse’s Bluetooth settings are properly configured and the drivers are up to date.