How to use the Contact Support app from Windows 10 to get help from Microsoft
Microsoft has included a brand new app dedicated t o helping its customers get fast tech support when they encounter problems. It's a new universal app that works both in Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. The app is named Contact Support and acts as a portal for reaching the appropriate support service for the specific problem that you are having. As you will see in this guide, it helps you get to the right place faster and more easily, depending on your need. Let's see how the Contact Support app works:
How to launch the Contact Support app in Windows 10
The app comes pre-installed as part of Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. On PC, the easiest way to launch is to use the search box on the taskbar and type the word "support". Then, click or tap the Contact Support search result.
You can also find the app by going to the Start Menu -> All Apps -> Contact Support.
The access is similar for Windows 10 Mobile. You need to access the All apps screen (slide the main screen to the left) and then use the search box to type the word "support". Then, tap the Contact Support search result.
Obviously, the Contact Support shortcut is also found in the All apps screen, in the list of apps that start with the letter C.
6 Things you can do using the Contact Support app
The app follows Microsoft's guidelines for the development of universal apps. Therefore, it looks the same on both the PC and the smartphone version. The app has an additional option on Windows 10 though:
Activating the three bar menu, you get the "Share screen with agent" option.
On Windows 10 Mobile, the main options are identical. However, the access to screen sharing is missing.
Here are the options that you get when using the Contact Support app:
- Windows 10 upgrade. This launches the web page dedicated to the Windows 10 upgrade. Here you have access to a detailed library that tackles questions about the upgrade process and what is new in Windows 10. It includes direct access to the support team through the "Ask Microsoft Answer Desk" option, found at the bottom of the web page.
- Accounts & billing. Here you can manage your general account with Microsoft or a specific account for one of its products like Xbox, Office or Skype.
- Device, phone, or Xbox. This is the access for support on Microsoft hardware products. The list starts with the traditional Windows devices (desktop, laptop, or tablet). Surface has its own line. Windows Phone and Xbox are next. Microsoft Band, the fitness tracker, is in the list. It concludes with Microsoft accessories: mouse and keyboard.
- Service & apps. Here you find the access for support on Microsoft software, communications and cloud services. The list starts with Windows. The second option covers the web browsers from Microsoft: Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. Microsoft Office is split in two. The first option covers the classic Windows version together with the cloud option: Office 365. The second one includes all Microsoft Office flavours developed for non-Microsoft platforms: Mac, iOS, and Android. The Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage service is next. Skype concludes the main list. For other Microsoft services and apps there is a "See more" option. In this second screen you will find listed alphabetically: Access, Bing Rewards, Excel, Games for PC, Groove Music, HealthVault, Movies & TV, OneNote, Outlook, Outlook.com, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, Security Essentials and Visio.
- Microsoft Store. This opens the web page dedicated to the purchase transactions from Microsoft's online store. The page is titled "Sales and support" and it includes information on how to request a return or re-download a product. For direct support there is a phone directory. It will also help you find the stores nearest to your location.
- Business, IT & developer. This opens the web page dedicated for support of Microsoft's commercial relations. The page "For business" has sections for Premier Support Customers, Microsoft partners, small businesses, developers, IT professionals, volume licensing, and Microsoft Learning Programs. There are links to Microsoft communities: Microsoft Community forums, Technet forums, MSDN forums, and Dynamics forums. You will also find links to the Microsoft support sites: Solution Center index, Microsoft Partner Network, TechNet, MSDN and Dynamics.
How the Contact Support app helps you get support from Microsoft
The Contact Support app from Windows 10 guides you through its menus and, when it has identified the right support option, it will complete your request in one of the following ways:
- Launch a web page. An example is the "Windows 10 upgrade" option. When you choose such an option, the default web browser is launched and the appropriate web page is opened for you.
- Offer a telephone support number that you can call. Below is the example when you choose support for "Mouse, keyboard":
- Engage directly with the support team. In this case you can open a chat window or have the support team call you. The call can be requested immediately or scheduled for a later time:
- The "Ask the community" option opens in a web browser the appropriate forum that is related to your support need , in answers.microsoft.com.
Microsoft has taken a brave step by offering the Contact Support universal app to all its Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile consumers. Although the app exposes the complexity of Microsoft's support structure, it does offer easier access to their support services and it will allow many people to get support faster and better than before. We should expect changes in this app, as Microsoft services evolve together with their support resources. The current version is only a few days old at the time when I write this article and it has introduced many changes since the first version of this app. After all this is said and done, I consider that the Contact Support app is a first step in the right direction. What do you think?