Use Quick Assist to help users

Quick Assist is a Windows application that enables a person to share their device with another person over a remote connection. Your support staff can use it to remotely connect to a user’s device and then view its display, make annotations, or take full control. In this way, they can troubleshoot, diagnose technological issues, and provide instructions to users directly on their devices.

Before you begin

All that's required to use Quick Assist is suitable network and internet connectivity. No particular roles, permissions, or policies are involved. Neither party needs to be in a domain. The helper must have a Microsoft account. The sharer doesn’t have to authenticate.

Note

In case the helper and sharer use different keyboard layouts or mouse settings, the ones from the sharer are used during the session.

Authentication

The helper can authenticate when they sign in by using a Microsoft Account (MSA) or Azure Active Directory. Local Active Directory authentication is not supported at this time.

Network considerations

Quick Assist communicates over port 443 (https) and connects to the Remote Assistance Service at https://remoteassistance.support.services.microsoft.com by using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). The traffic is encrypted with TLS 1.2.

Both the helper and sharer must be able to reach these endpoints over port 443:

Domain/Name Description
*.support.services.microsoft.com Primary endpoint used for Quick Assist application
*.resources.lync.com Required for the Skype framework used by Quick Assist
*.infra.lync.com Required for the Skype framework used by Quick Assist
*.latest-swx.cdn.skype.com Required for the Skype framework used by Quick Assist
*.login.microsoftonline.com Required for logging in to the application (MSA)
*.channelwebsdks.azureedge.net Used for chat services within Quick Assist
*.aria.microsoft.com Used for accessibility features within the app
*.api.support.microsoft.com API access for Quick Assist
*.vortex.data.microsoft.com Used for diagnostic data
*.channelservices.microsoft.com Required for chat services within Quick Assist

How it works

  1. Both the helper and the sharer start Quick Assist.

  2. The helper selects Assist another person. Quick Assist on the helper's side contacts the Remote Assistance Service to obtain a session code. An RCC chat session is established and the helper's Quick Assist instance joins it. The helper then provides the code to the sharer.

  3. After the sharer enters the code in their Quick Assist app, Quick Assist uses that code to contact the Remote Assistance Service and join that specific session. The sharer's Quick Assist instance joins the RCC chat session.

  4. The helper is prompted to select View Only or Full Control.

  5. The sharer is prompted to confirm allowing the helper to share their desktop with the helper.

  6. Quick Assist starts RDP control and connects to the RDP Relay service.

  7. RDP shares the video to the helper over https (port 443) through the RDP relay service to the helper's RDP control. Input is shared from the helper to the sharer through the RDP relay service.

Schematic flow of connections when a Quick Assist session is established.

Data and privacy

Microsoft logs a small amount of session data to monitor the health of the Quick Assist system. This data includes the following information:

  • Start and end time of the session

  • Errors arising from Quick Assist itself, such as unexpected disconnections

  • Features used inside the app such as view only, annotation, and session pause

No logs are created on either the helper’s or sharer’s device. Microsoft cannot access a session or view any actions or keystrokes that occur in the session.

The sharer sees only an abbreviated version of the helper’s name (first name, last initial) and no other information about them. Microsoft does not store any data about either the sharer or the helper for longer than three days.

In some scenarios, the helper does require the sharer to respond to application permission prompts (User Account Control), but otherwise the helper has the same permissions as the sharer on the device.

Working with Quick Assist

Either the support staff or a user can start a Quick Assist session.

  1. Support staff (“helper”) starts Quick Assist in any of a few ways:

    • Type Quick Assist in the search box and press ENTER.
    • From the Start menu, select Windows Accessories, and then select Quick Assist.
    • Type CTRL+Windows+Q
  2. In the Give assistance section, helper selects Assist another person. The helper might be asked to choose their account or sign in. Quick Assist generates a time-limited security code.

  3. Helper shares the security code with the user over the phone or with a messaging system.

  4. Quick Assist opens on the sharer’s device. The user enters the provided code in the Code from assistant box, and then selects Share screen.

  5. The helper receives a dialog offering the opportunity to take full control of the device or just view its screen. After choosing, the helper selects Continue.

  6. The sharer receives a dialog asking for permission to show their screen or allow access. The sharer gives permission by selecting the Allow button.

If Quick Assist is missing

If for some reason a user doesn't have Quick Assist on their system or it's not working properly, they might need to uninstall and reinstall it.

Uninstall Quick Assist

  1. Start the Settings app, and then select Apps.
  2. Select Optional features.
  3. In the Installed features search bar, type Quick Assist.
  4. Select Microsoft Quick Assist, and then select Uninstall.

Reinstall Quick Assist

  1. Start the Settings app, and then select Apps.
  2. Select Optional features.
  3. Select Add a feature.
  4. In the new dialog that opens, in the Add an optional feature search bar, type Quick Assist.
  5. Select the check box for Microsoft Quick Assist, and then select Install.
  6. Restart the device.

Next steps

If you have any problems, questions, or suggestions for Quick Assist, contact us by using the Feedback Hub app.