How to Connect to a Friend's Computer for Remote Help

By Bennett Gavrish

Remote Desktop makes it easier to help friends with computer issues.
i computer image by Ewe Degiampietro from

When trying to troubleshoot a computer issue for a friend over the phone, you will realize that helping the person would be much easier if you were physically in front of the computer. The Remote Desktop feature of the Windows operating system makes this possible, as you can connect to a friend's computer over the Internet and see their desktop in a virtual environment. This way, you can see the problem yourself and better help your friend fix it.

Make sure the Remote Desktop service is enabled on your friend's computer. To check, have your friend right-click on the "My Computer" icon and choose "Properties." Then have him go to the "Remote" tab and ensure that the "Allow users to connect remotely to this computer" option is turned on.

Open the Start menu on your computer and expand the "All Programs" list.

Go into the "Accessories" and "Communication" sub-menus and select "Remote Desktop Connection."

Enter the IP address or host name of your friend's computer in the "Computer" field.

Press the "Connect" button to begin a Remote Desktop session with your friend's computer.

Log in with a valid user name or password when prompted. Your friend's desktop will then appear in a virtual environment, and you will be able to troubleshoot the problem directly.