Are you tired of stepping through computer problems over the phone?

Windows Problem Steps Recorder helps users capture their steps and bundle them up.

Note: Problem Steps Recorder is a Windows Only application

How many times have you been on a phone call with a parent or grandparent and they are trying to explain a problem on their computer? Or how many times have you tried to explain a problem to tech support or someone trying to help you out, but they just aren’t understanding you?

I learned about this trick today and just had to share.

If your parent or grandparent uses Windows 7 or 8, there is a tool that is called the Problem Steps Recorder. It does just what it sounds like.

The next time you are having a problem or stepping someone through reproducing the problem over the phone, have them try this from the Windows computer having the problem:

1.Click Start, Type ‘psr’ (without the single quotes) and click on the psr.exe Program

Launching the Problem Steps Recorder tool

2.The Problem Steps Record should open up and you should be able to see the PSR Toolbar

The Problem Steps Recorder is a great way to capture step in Windows

3.Click on Start Record

4. The person having the problem can now record any the steps for recreating the problem or process and PSR will be capturing screenshots, mouse clicks, typing.

5. In addition, you can add comments along the way.

Example of Highlight and Comment in PSR

6.Once done, you can click Stop Record and a dialog will open asking for you to save the captured steps as a compressed archive (zip file).

The zip file actually will contain one file which is of type MIME HTML.

7. The grandparent, aunt, or otherwise non-techie can then send the zip file over to the nerd, geek, techie who can then review the steps in a nicely formatted document.

The file that is produced is view-able via Internet Explorer or Word. Unfortunately, most other browsers are not supported without a 3rd party plugin (see here for a list of supported browsers / plugins)

Opening the file with Internet Explorer we see the following:

Sample of Problem Steps Recorder Output

The file can also be opened with Word for post-recording manipulation (ie, Documenting a Business Process, Installation Steps, etc.)

Give it a try the next time you or a friend or relative is having trouble documenting steps in Windows.

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