How to put a “Request Remote Assistance” icon on users desktop in Windows 8 or 8.1


Currently Windows Intune does not support Remote Assistance Invitations (requests) to be sent on Windows 8 using Windows Intune Center. However, you can achieve a similair solution using the power of Group Policy.

This method will provide end users with a desktop icon which, when clicked, generates a request for asssistance. An e-mail is composed and the the request file is attached.

Note: the computer needs to be domain joined, a solution for Workgroup Windows computers will be explained in a future blog.

Edit or create a GPO targeted against your end-users.

  • Open Group Policy Management to edit or create a policy.

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  • Browse to “Computer Configuration”, “Administrative Templates”, “System”, “Remote Assistance”.
  • Edit “Configure Offer Remote Assistance” and select “Enabled”

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  • Depending on whether your IT administrators want to view or control end-users sessions, select the desired option accordingly:

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  • Select “OK” and return to the Group Policy Management console.

Edit or create a Group Policy Preference targeted against your end-users

  • Either use the previously edited Group Policy or create a new one.
  • Browse to “User Configuration”, “Preferences”, “Windows Settings” and right-click “Shortcuts” followed by “New -> Shortcut”.

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  • In the shortcut properties make sure to enter the details as follows:
    • Action: Update
    • Name: Request Remote Assistance (note: can be anything)
    • Target Type: File System Object
    • Location: Desktop
    • Target Path: %windir%\system32\msra.exe
    • Arguments: /email (note: can be changed according to desired behaviour)
    • Start in: %windir%\system32
    • Icon File Path: %windir%\system32\msra.exe

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  • Select “OK” and return to the Group Policy Management console.
  • Close the Group Policy Management console.

Test the new Remote Assistance procedure

On a Windows 8/8.1 client PC, open a Command Prompt and type:

  • gpupdate

You should see the policy being applied and a new icon appear on the destop.

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Note: If the icon doesn’t appear test whether the policy is being applied using “gpresult /r” or check the eventlog for more detailed information.

If an end user double-clicks the “Request Remote Assistance” icon, the default e-mail client will be opened with a Remote Assistance Invitation attached.

Instruct the end user to send this e-mail to the central helpdesk or a specific user.

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Consider leaving a reply in case this post helped you. Thanks!


Comments (14)

  1. Michi Fees says:

    thanks for this solution.

  2. Anonymous says:

    @Joachim,

    You could create an MSI and push that via "Managed Software" in InTune.

  3. Michi Fees says:

    thanks for this solution.

  4. Durval Ramos says:

    Very good. Nice sample, thanks for sharing

  5. Anonymous says:

    Avec la nouvelle version de Windows Intune et System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2, de nombreuses

  6. Joachim Luengas says:

    Very nice for Domain infraestructures… is there a good news for Workgroups??

  7. tommyh says:

    not having any luck – event log reports an error

  8. Rudi Olivier says:

    Thank You for this. It helps a lot.

    I do have one question PLEASE. If I have to install a program on the users Pc and he is not a local admin the UAC kick in and I get black screen on my side and the user get the admin Authentication screen.

    What must I do to be able to see the screen to enter my admin details and not a black screen on myside.

  9. Pieter says:

    Hi Rudi, probably the best is to start an elevated command prompt using the Run As feature (from within a NON elevated CMD) and fire up the installation from there.

  10. Anonymous says:

    My role has previously primarily focused on Microsoft Intune, nowadays it’s more towards our whole Enterprise

  11. abid says:

    how to change the iconfile

  12. Robert says:

    Hi is the solution for Workgroup Windows computers available?

    Thx

  13. Nathan says:

    works well