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I'm wondering if there's a setting or application in Windows 7 (Enterprise edition with full admin account and permissions) to initiate a screen sharing session?

I was hired to be an IT Admin for a branch office, but the IT department is located in another city. I am the only person in the local branch supporting a mostly illiterate user base, and would like to remote into their machines without booting them out of their user profiles and share their desktops so both of us can see what's happening. I also need to share control of the mouse with them.

Thanks for reading!

I found the solution!

In Windows Remote Assistance, there's an option to remote into a user's computer and share screen + input devices.To view their screen, click on "help someone who has a computer problem", select the "advanced connection option for help desk", type in the computer name or IP address and tell the user to accept the incoming connection. Share control by choosing the "Request Control" option at the top left corner. Tell them to click yes (or okay or whatever). Yay!

  • Please add the solution as an answer and then, please mark it as accepted. That way others will see that your question was answered (by yourself) :) – Alfabravo Nov 8 '18 at 15:19
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Windows Remote Assistance is designed for exactly this scenario. It allows both the local console user and a remote user to share the screen, as well as input devices. It requires that the local user (the person you're supporting) initiate the session by sending an invitation to the remote user (you). See this article for a step-by-step guide from the user's perspective.

  • I wasn't entirely clear when asking my question. I want to initiate from my side without an invitation from the user. They're super computer illiterate, to the point where some of them don't fully grasp the difference between their monitors and workstations. Thank you for taking the time to respond and read my question! – TheTechInYourCloset Mar 18 '15 at 5:21
  • You can't share the screen and mouse using standard RDP initiated remotely (i.e. by you) unless the machine you're connecting to runs a Windows server OS. – dartonw Mar 18 '15 at 5:24
  • Is there maybe a third party application I could try that would allow me to interact with the user while sharing our screens and input devices? – TheTechInYourCloset Mar 18 '15 at 5:29
  • Sure, things like TeamViewer and Citrix products. Why won't remote assistance meet your requirements? It does allow screen and input sharing, it just has to be initiated by the person sitting at the computer you're connecting to. It's easy enough to walk them through sending you an invite in the initial contact. Check the second link. – dartonw Mar 18 '15 at 5:32
  • I'm walking a tight-rope in terms of time; I just started Monday and already am overwhelmed with putting out small fires. I spent half an hour on Monday trying to explain how to configure a dual-monitor set up before giving up and doing it myself (in about 2 minutes). I'm there for only 3 to 4 hours a day and had to dedicate 2 of those hours alone to re-imaging workstations and laptops. They haven't had anyone physically there in 2 months, so there's a massive backlog of things to tackle. – TheTechInYourCloset Mar 18 '15 at 5:55

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