Help Someone to Help You by Recording Your Steps

When you’re trying to perform a task or when you are encountering difficulties with your computer it can be hard to explain to someone exactly what the problem is. The Windows Problem Steps Recorder in Windows 7 & 8 can help you show someone what you are doing so they can help you.

This tool records your steps as you perform them and it stores them in a document together with pictures of the screen and any comments you want to include. You can then send the document to someone so they can see clearly what you are doing and so they can help you solve your problem.

To record your steps, first launch the program you are having trouble with. Then click the Windows Start button, type Record Steps and click the Record Steps to Reproduce a Problem link. The Problem Steps Recorder toolbar will appear on the screen.

Click Start Record. If you see a Warning indicating that there are windows on your desktop that are running as administrator, click Ok and click the shield icon which appears on the recording bar. Click Yes to discard the current recording and click Yes to allow the program to make changes to the computer. Click the Start Record button again.

Step through the process that is causing you problems. As you work you will see a small flash appear as you select each option. If you want to make a comment, click Add Comment button and drag over the area of the screen to comment about. Type a comment and click Ok. Continue to record any other steps.

When you are done, click Stop Record. When the Save As dialog appears, type a filename in the File name box and click Save to save the recorded steps to a file on your Desktop. Click the close button to close the Problem Steps Recorder. You can now attach the file on your desktop to an email message by right clicking it and choose Send to > Mail Recipient. Send it to a friend or family member who can help you resolve your problem. When they receive the file they can extract the contents from the zip file and then double click the file to open and view it. The file contains information, pictures of your screen, and your comments (if any). It should be sufficient information for that person to be able to understand the problem so they can help you resolve it.