Getting started with Remote help for Windows devices

This week is all about getting started with Remote help for Windows devices. Remote help is recently introduced as a new feature in Microsoft Intune that can be used for providing remote assistance to users on Windows devices. It looks a lot like the existing Quick Assist app on Windows, but it has a few big advantages. It integrates with Microsoft Endpoint Manager for providing remote assistance to managed devices, it integrates with Azure Active Directory for providing authentication and compliance information, and it provides a better administrator experience. There are communication options with the user and there is the ability to work with elevated permissions. This post will go through the steps for configuring Remote help in the tenant and through the steps for deploying Remote help to managed devices. This post will end by showing the experience.

Important: At the moment of writing Remote help is still in preview. Once Remote help becomes generally available, it will be additional cost to the licensing options that include Microsoft Endpoint Manager or Intune.

Configuring Remote help

Before using Remote help, it must be enabled for the tenant. After it’s enabled for the tenant, it can be used for providing remote assistance. The following two steps walk through the process of enabling Remote help for the tenant.

  1. Open the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center portal and navigate to Tenant admin > Connectors and tokens > Remote help
  2. On the Connectors and tokens | Remote help page,  click Settings configure the following settings and click Save
  • Enable remote help: Select Enabled to enable the Remote help functionality within the tenant
  • Allow remote help to unenrolled devices: Select Not allowed to prevent Remote help on unenrolled devices

Deploying the Remote help app

The Remote help app – that is required for providing remote assistance – is available for download here. The best method to deploy that app, by using Microsoft Intune, is as a Win32 app. That enables the IT administrator to create a flexible installation method for making the Remote help app available for users. Before creating the app within Microsoft Intune, the IT administrator has to use the Microsoft Intune Win32 App Packaging Tool to wrap the installation file (remotehelpinstaller.exe) in an .intunewin file. The following twelve steps walk through the process of adding the Win32 app and focusses on the program and detection configurations that are specific to the Remote help app.

  1. Open the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center portal and navigate to Apps Windows > Windows apps
  2. On the Windows | Windows apps page, click Add > Windows app (Win32) and click Select
  3. On the App information page, select the just created .intunewin file and click Next
  4. On the expanded App information page, specify at least a Name, Description and Publisher and click Next
  5. On the Program page, specify at least the following information and click Next
  • Install command: Specify remotehelpinstaller.exe /install /quiet acceptTerms=Yes as the installation command
  • Uninstall command: Specify remotehelpinstaller.exe /uninstall /quiet acceptTerms=Yes as the installation command

Important: The acceptTerms parameter is case sensitive.

Tip: Configure the restart behavior that corresponds with the deployment process of the app and the device.

  1. On the Requirements, specify at least an Operating system architecture and Minimum operating system and click Next
  2. On the Detection rules page, select Manually configure detection rules, specify the following rules and click Next
  • Rule type: Select File as the rule type
  • Path: Specify C:\Program Files\Remote help as the path to detect the correct installation
  • File or folder: Specify RemoteHelp.exe as the file to detect the correct installation
  • Detection method: Select String (version) as the method to detect the correct installation
  • Operator: Select Greather than or equal to as the operator to detect the correct installation
  • Version: Specify the version of the Remote help app that is being installed to detect the correct installation
  • Associated with a 32-bit app on 64-bit clients: Select No
  1. On the Dependencies page, click Next
  2. On the Supersedence page, click Next
  3. On the Scope tages page, click Next
  4. On the Assignments page, configure the assignment to deploy the Remote help app and click Next
  5. On the Review + create page, verify the provided configuration and click Create

Experiencing Remote help

Once Remote help is enabled in the tenant and the Remote help app is installed on the devices of the users, it’s time to have a good look at the experience. To either get remote assistance, or to provide remote assistance, the user must always first start the Remote help app and sign-in. After that, the user can either get help or give help. To get help, the user must recieve a code from a user that will give help. Once that’s settled, the user giving help will have to choose to either just view or take control of the session and the user getting help has to allow the session. For the user giving help, that will provide a view as shown below Figure 2. That provides an overview of the permissions in the sessions (on the top left) and the different interaction options (on the top right). That includes options to select monitor, to annotate, to set actual size, to toggle instruction channel, to start task manager, and to pauze, resume and stop the session.

Important: When providing remote assistance, having the Elevation permission set to Yes and using Full control, the user that recieves the remote assistance, will be automatically signed out of the device once the sessions ends.

There is also some nice reporting available for Remote help. That provides a clear overview of the usage of the functionality and can also provide insights into the users are providing or receiving remote assistance.

Note: For a user to be able to provide remote assitance, role-based access control can be used. The different capabilities can be provided via the permissions (Take full control, Elevation, View screen) in the Remote help app category.

More information

For more information about Remote help, refer to the following docs.

4 thoughts on “Getting started with Remote help for Windows devices”

  1. Nice writeup.

    You should perhaps make it clear that Remote Help is available for no additional cost right now, while it is in preview, but that (amazingly) Microsoft are intending to require additional licensing for this feature. Given that it is a rehash of Quick Assist, and on-prem remote support was always included in CM, this seems unjustified.

    It’s also light on features. Remote support sessions that require reboots/reconnects are painful, and require repeated actions from the end user at each stage to allow the reconnect. No unattended mode offered, which is poor. The feature should exist, whether or not you happen to think it’s a good idea – there are valid use cases for it. For now, I will have to continue with Team Viewer, which makes me very sad.

    Reply
  2. Hello,

    What are the benefits of remote help since it does pretty much what quick assist does but will cost money and you need to deploy it when quick assit is already there ?
    When will MS release a real remote assistance product that you can use from the endpoint manager console directly without the need for the user to connect and enter a code ?

    I love your website though, always interesting stuff there.

    Regards,

    Hugo

    Reply

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