How to put a “Request Remote Assistance” icon on users desktop in Windows 8 or 8.1


Currently Windows Intune does not support Remote Assistance Invitations (requests) to be sent on Windows 8 using Windows Intune Center. However, you can achieve a similair solution using the power of Group Policy.

This method will provide end users with a desktop icon which, when clicked, generates a request for asssistance. An e-mail is composed and the the request file is attached.

Note: the computer needs to be domain joined, a solution for Workgroup Windows computers will be explained in a future blog.

Edit or create a GPO targeted against your end-users.

  • Open Group Policy Management to edit or create a policy.


  • Browse to “Computer Configuration”, “Administrative Templates”, “System”, “Remote Assistance”.
  • Edit “Configure Offer Remote Assistance” and select “Enabled”


  • Depending on whether your IT administrators want to view or control end-users sessions, select the desired option accordingly:


  • Select “OK” and return to the Group Policy Management console.

Edit or create a Group Policy Preference targeted against your end-users

  • Either use the previously edited Group Policy or create a new one.
  • Browse to “User Configuration”, “Preferences”, “Windows Settings” and right-click “Shortcuts” followed by “New -> Shortcut”.


  • In the shortcut properties make sure to enter the details as follows:
    • Action: Update
    • Name: Request Remote Assistance (note: can be anything)
    • Target Type: File System Object
    • Location: Desktop
    • Target Path: %windir%\system32\msra.exe
    • Arguments: /email (note: can be changed according to desired behaviour)
    • Start in: %windir%\system32
    • Icon File Path: %windir%\system32\msra.exe


  • Select “OK” and return to the Group Policy Management console.
  • Close the Group Policy Management console.

Test the new Remote Assistance procedure

On a Windows 8/8.1 client PC, open a Command Prompt and type:

  • gpupdate

You should see the policy being applied and a new icon appear on the destop.


Note: If the icon doesn’t appear test whether the policy is being applied using “gpresult /r” or check the eventlog for more detailed information.

If an end user double-clicks the “Request Remote Assistance” icon, the default e-mail client will be opened with a Remote Assistance Invitation attached.

Instruct the end user to send this e-mail to the central helpdesk or a specific user.


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Dylan Austin


Whenever I have a problem, I sing. Then I realize my voice is worse than my problem.

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