Is there free remote control software for Windows?

Quick Assist on Windows 10

Yes. Quick Assist is the free remote control software built into the Windows 10 operating system. It’s simple to use and makes it very easy to control another Windows 10 PC.

How to launch Quick Assist

The easiest way to launch the app is to type ‘Quick’ into the Windows 10 search box. Alternatively, scroll down the Start menu until you hit the ‘W’ section and look for the Windows Accessories folder. Quick Assist is inside. It may sound obvious but you and the person you’re trying to connect with will need to launch the app.

How to find Quick Assist on Windows 10
How to find Quick Assist on Windows 10

Establishing a remote connection

Once the app loads, there are two options – to Get Assistance or to Give Assistance. We’re going to follow the path of a ‘Giver’ helping the ‘Getter’ so we’re selecting ‘Give Assistance’.

Choose to Get Assistance or Give Assistance in Quick Assist

Press the blue button labelled ‘Assist another person’ and then enter your Microsoft account details. This are the same credentials you may use to login to Windows , Office 365 or (Hotmail in old money). Failing that, there is an option to create a new account.

Quick Assist will generate a six digit code which you’ll need to convey to the other person within ten minutes. You can email the code directly from Quick Assist but the clock is ticking. It’s probably easier to tell them the code over the phone. Ask them to input it into the box on their screen labelled ‘Code from Assistant’. Then choose ‘Share Screen’.

After a few seconds of whirring, two options will appear. The first is ‘Take Full Control; and the second is ‘View Screen’. Select the first option and wait for the other person to click ‘Allow’.

Choose to Take full control or View screen in Quick Assist
Choose ‘Take Full Control’

You will now see the other screen and be able to control it as if you were sitting in front of the other person’s PC.

The Quick Assist toolbar when connected to a client.
You’re now in control….

Handy tools built into Quick Assist

Quick Assist has some useful features in its toolbar including monitor selection (handy if you’re remotely controlling a machine with multiple screens), in-app messaging, zoom tool, Task Manager short cut (as there isn’t a way to CTRL-ALT-DELETE) and a highlighter, allowing you to scribble onto the remote screen. There are also buttons to pause, resume and stop the remote support session.

Quick Assist transmitting the message Big Tech Question to the client.
Quick Assist allows you to send messages to the remote PC

Hands off the mouse!

One feature that Quick Assist does lack over its commercial rivals is the ability to terminate the input controls of the other user. Quick Assist gives both users control of the mouse and this can cause issues if they move their pointer at the same time that you’re trying to. It’s a good idea to politely ask the other user to refrain from using their mouse whilst you’re working on their machine.

Quick Assist can bypass TalkTalk block

A benefit to using Quick Assist is that it bypasses the Scam Protection implemented by the ISP TalkTalk. By default, TalkTalk blocks Teamviewer, LogMeIn and most other remote control apps unless the Scam Protection (part of the Homesafe settings) is disabled. Unfortunately, there are cases where Scam Protection has been disabled but the remote control block remains, so if you need to control the computer of a TalkTalk customer, try Quick Assist.

Quick Assist notifies both users that the session has ended.
Session over…

Quick Assist is free, simple to setup and will help you lend a hand to relatives and friends who really need some PC assistance.

About the author

Lee Grant

I can normally be found attacking things with screwdrivers in my small computer repair business or writing a column for PC Pro magazine.

I am also trying to solve a mystery involving David Bowie.

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  • Thank you. This article arrived just as my 96 year-old father needed help with his computer during Covid19 lockdown. Quick Assist simply did what it says on the tin