Help secure computers remotely
You can use Windows Remote Assistance or Windows Live and the Microsoft Safety Scanner to remotely diagnose and fix everything from viruses to hard-disk fragmentation.
Use Remote Assistance to help someone secure their computer with Windows 7
To use Remote Assistance in Windows 7 or Windows Vista, click the Windows button and type Remote Assistance in the search box. Click Windows Remote Assistance and a window will open. Follow the instructions in the Window. After you connect with the person who needs help you can view that person’s computer and chat about what you both see.
To watch a video with step-by-step instructions for Windows 7, see Using Windows Remote Assistance to get help with your computer.
To use Remote Assistance with Windows XP, read Using Remote Assistance to Get Help When You Need It.
Use Windows Live Messenger and the Windows Live Safety Scanner
Download Windows Live Messenger. It's free and it comes with the Windows Live safety scanner.
How to run a remote scan on another computer
From your Messenger contacts list, select the friend you're helping and open a conversation window.
Click Activities in the top navigation bar (look for a picture of a movie reel and music note), then select Windows Live Safety Scanner. This will automatically send your friend an invitation to start the scanner.
Once your friend accepts the invitation, the scanner pops up near of the conversation window.
Choose the scan you want to run:
Complete Scan. Checks for viruses, wasted disk space, and secure Internet connection. (Recommended)
Quick Scan. Checks for viruses in specific areas of your friend's computer.
Learn more about the differences between a complete and quick scan.
Run the scan. You can use Messenger to communicate while the scan runs.
Note The length of the scan depends on the speed of your friend's computer, the amount of memory it has, and how many issues the scanner finds.
What if I can't fix a computer remotely?
If you can't fix the other person's computer remotely, enter their zip code to find a local Microsoft partner who can help.