How to resolve a technical problem through Microsoft's Get Help app

You can kick off a support request with Microsoft through a built-in Windows 10 app. Here is how to use the Microsoft app Get Help.

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Image: iStock

When you need technical help with a Microsoft product or service, you may not have a support agreement through your company, so you'll need to contact Microsoft yourself.

One handy option built into Windows 10 is the Get Help app. Through this app, you start off by describing the problem. The virtual support agent suggests possible solutions, which you can try. You can view conversations on the Microsoft community or post your own question. If you're still having trouble, you can chat with or talk to a live Microsoft support rep. Let's go through the steps for using Get Help.

SEE: Software usage policy (Tech Pro Research)

You can launch the Get Help app a couple of ways. Click the Start button and select the shortcut for Get Help, or type help in the search field and select the result for Get Help. The Get Help window appears with the virtual agent asking you to briefly describe your issue. Type a description of the problem you're experiencing and send it (Figure A).

Figure A

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Based on your description, the virtual agent tries to guess the nature of the problem and asks you if it's correct. If the suggestion is accurate, answer Yes; if not, answer No. It may offer a Microsoft article, forum thread, or support page that might help you resolve or at least troubleshoot the problem. If you think the suggestion proposed is valid, you can try it. If it fixes the issue, great; if not, tell the assistant that it didn't solve your problem (Figure B).

Figure B

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If the problem persists, the agent may propose other forum threads or articles with steps to try. If you're still having trouble, continue the process. At some point, the agent will ask if you want to pose a different question in which case you can rephrase the original question, or you can opt to talk to someone. If you're not able to resolve the issue via the virtual agent, choose the option to talk to a person (Figure C).

Figure C

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Before you talk to or chat with a real person, Get Help offers a couple of other options. You can ask the community, in which case you can search for related issues from Microsoft's Community forum or post your own question. If your device is still under warranty, you could contact the manufacturer for assistance. Let's try the Community forum, so click the link to Ask The Community (Figure D).

Figure D

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At the Community forum, you can browse among the featured threads. You can narrow the list by choosing a specific Windows version topic. To pull up more relevant results, search for your issue (Figure E).

Figure E

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From the related message threads, try any suggested solutions that you think may resolve the problem. Or, you can ask and submit your own question and wait for a response (Figure F).

Figure F

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Otherwise, it may be time to talk to a Microsoft support rep. Return to the Get Help app and tap the option to Call Me Back, Schedule A Call, or Chat, whichever works best for you (Figure G).

Figure G

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The support technician may request remote access to your computer to troubleshoot and try to fix the problem. However the rep tries to help, hopefully that person will be able to resolve your issue (Figure H).

Figure H

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Also see

By Lance Whitney

Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books—one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.