Installing WinHelp on Windows 7 or Vista

September 16, 2010 (4)

in Articles and Tips on Windows and Windows software

In case you don’t know what WinHelp is, it is the old format Windows Help file with the file extension .HLP. This was supported till Windows XP SP2. You could simply double-click on such a file in Windows Explorer and see the help articles in it. 

Why you might still need WinHelp on Windows 7 or Vista?
You might still be using some old programs which have not been updated for Windows 7/Vista. They might be having their Help menu documentation in WinHelp (.HLP) format. When you click on Help menu of such a program on Windows 7/Vista, you will see this message, “Why can’t I get Help from this program? The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which was used in previous versions of Windows and it is not supported in Windows 7/Vista. For more information, see Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) is no longer included with Windows on the Microsoft support website.”

Here is a sample screen from Windows Vista giving this message.
WinHelp missing message on Windows Vista

Solution: Download and install WinHelp from Microsoft web site
After Windows 7 release, Microsoft is now maintaining a page where you can learn more on WinHelp and get the appropriate download link depending on which version of Windows you have. Please use the following link:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917607