Use the Steps Recorder tool to help solve problems remotely

By Ed Bott

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to help someone solve a problem from a distance, especially when the person suffering through the problem is technically unsophisticated. Remote assistance software is an excellent tool, but it’s not always practical for solving intermittent issues.

Instead of listening to vague descriptions of error messages and buttons, introduce your remote contact to the Problem Steps Recorder. To start the program, type PSR in the search box (Windows 10) or in the Run box (Windows 7) and press Enter.

The Steps Recorder has just three buttons: Start Record, Stop Record, and Add Comment. Clicking Start Record captures the exact contents of the screen and adds an annotation each time your remote contact performs an action like clicking a mouse button. Teach them to use the Add Comment button if they want to explain what’s happening in their own words.

Armed with that detailed report, you’re likely to have a much more productive support session next time.

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