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How to Disable Windows Remote Assistance

Windows comes with an option to allow someone else on the Internet or a local network to access your computer. It can be done to share files, but primarily the feature exists to let someone somewhere help you fix your PC. The feature is Windows Remote Assistance.

For some reason, the Windows Remote Assistance feature is activated on just about every PC. You may wish to turn it off because it presents a serious security risk.

Here’s how to disable Windows Remote Assistance in Windows 7 and Windows Vista:

  1. Press Win+Break to quickly summon the System window.

  2. From the list of links on the left, choose Remote Settings.

  3. In Windows Vista, type the administrator’s password or click the Continue button.

  4. Remove the check mark by the item Allow Remote Assistance Connection to This Computer.

  5. Choose the Remote Desktop option Don’t Allow Connections to This Computer.

  6. Click OK.

  7. Close the System window.

In Windows XP, follow these steps to disable Remote Assistance:

  1. Conjure forth the System dialog box by pressing the Win+Break key combination.

  2. Click the Remote tab in the System Properties dialog box.

  3. Remove the check mark from the item Allow Remote Assistance Invitations to Be Sent from This Computer.

  4. If available, also remove the check mark from the option Allow Users to Connect Remotely to This Computer.

  5. Click OK.

If you need over-the-Internet help in the future, you can re-enable Remote Assistance: Repeat these steps, but add the check mark in Step 4 for Windows 7 and Windows Vista or in Step 3 for Windows XP. Also in Windows 7 or Windows Vista, you can enable the Remote Desktop settings if you want to allow that feature.

You must respond to a request for assistance to use Windows Remote Assistance. Responding opens up your computer for remote access — but because you responded, the access is permitted through a firewall. In other words, a firewall doesn’t protect you from unwanted “assistance.”

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