The Easiest Way to Control a Friend’s PC in Windows 10

Ben Stegner 01-08-2017

Connecting to a PC across the room or across the world is trivial thanks to screen-sharing software The 13 Best Screen Sharing and Remote Access Software Sharing your Windows screen has many benefits. Use these free tools to share screens or gain remote access to another computer. Read More  and remote desktop tools like TeamViewer How to Remotely Connect to a Windows Desktop PC With TeamViewer TeamViewer is the gold standard in remote desktop tools. It's cross-platform and free for personal use. The latest version includes new features for remote assistance. Here's how to get started with TeamViewer 12. Read More .


However, did you know that there’s a native Windows 10 feature that can do this? It’s been around since the Anniversary Update, and it’s called Quick Assist. You can open it by searching for Quick Assist in the Start Menu.

Once opened, you’ll see two options: Get assistance and Give assistance. If you’re the one providing help, you’ll obviously want to click Give assistance. Then, sign in with your Microsoft account and you’ll see a short security code. This lasts for 10 minutes, and you’ll need to call, email, or otherwise message the code to the person you’re trying to help.

Have them click Get Assistance in the Quick Assist menu, and enter the code you’ve provided. Then they’ll have to accept the notice, allowing you to control their PC. After this, you can control the remote computer completely. You aren’t restricted from making system changes as long as the account you’re controlling is an administrator.

Check the top-right corner of the interface to open a toolbar. This lets you draw on the screen, pop open the Task Manager, or end the connection. Annotating the screen helps the other person see what you’re pointing out. If the person receiving help decides to end the connection, they can always do so by closing the window.

Overall, Quick Assist is a great native tool for remote control. It’s not designed as an always-on access option, though, as the other person must be sitting at their computer to input the code. Remember that tech support scammers can use this Anatomy of a Scam: The "Windows Tech Support" Con Examined They're constantly on the prowl: cold calling scammers claiming to be from "Windows Tech Support". We were targeted by one of these con artists and here's what happened. Read More and other remote access tools against you, so only allow access for people you trust!


Have you tried this Quick Access utility? Or do you prefer another tool for remote assistance and other tasks? Let us know by leaving a comment!

Image Credit: Ukki Studio via Shutterstock

Related topics: Remote Access, Remote Desktop, Troubleshooting, Windows 10.

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  1. Knight
    August 6, 2017 at 11:42 am

    This seems like a lot of trouble...
    Teamviewer is way easier and simpler

    • Ben Stegner
      August 7, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      TeamViewer is a lot more powerful, but when working with someone who barely knows how to use a computer, having them open a tool already installed on their computer is a lot easier than getting them to download something from a website.

  2. Jamel
    August 1, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I never used Windows 10's version but I attempted to use Windows 7's version with a friend of mine. I had connection issues because of the firewall I was behind. I live in one of those complexes where they provide net access, but they control the ports and I would always have to inquire about opening some. I prefer tools like TeamViewer since it comes with VPN tunneling for just such the situation.