Windows Help program removed from Windows

And therefore all the files with .hlp extension will not be able to open in Windows Vista. WinHlp32.exe is the exe file which is required to display the help content files that have the “.hlp” extension.



The reason given for removing the support is that it had no major updates for many releases and no longer meets Microsoft standards (does that mean Microsoft standards change with releases and those ones not updated with releases, run out of meeting the standards?). The the program is able for download from Microsoft Download Center.


Therefore all those app providers who include .hlp files will need to add one more module in their applications to detect if this program exist otherwise prompt users to download this program.


Here is the article from Microsoft website –


Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) is no longer included with Windows


Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) is a help program that has been included with Microsoft Windows versions starting with the Microsoft Windows 3.1 operating system. WinHlp32.exe is required to display 32-bit help content files that have the “.hlp” file name extension.

However, the Windows Help program has not had a major update for many releases and no longer meets Microsoft standards. Therefore, starting with the Microsoft Windows Vista and the Microsoft Windows Server Code Name “Longhorn” operating system releases, the Windows Help program will not ship as a component of Windows. Users who want to view 32-bit .hlp files must download the program from the Microsoft Download Center, and then install it on their computers. The download for Windows Help is still in development.

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