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Windows 7: Help (.hlp) Files - Cannot Open in Windows Fix



Help (.hlp) Files - Cannot Open in Windows Fix

How to Open 32-bit Help (.hlp) Files that Require WinHlp32.exe in Windows
Published by Brink
29 Jan 2011
Default Help (.hlp) Files - Cannot Open in Windows Fix

How to Open 32-bit Help (.hlp) Files that Require WinHlp32.exe in Windows

information   Information
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. However, the Windows Help program has not had a major update for many releases and no longer meets Microsoft's standards. Therefore, starting with the release of Windows Vista and continuing in Windows 7, the Windows Help program will not ship as a feature of Windows 7 and newer. If you want to view 32-bit .hlp files, you must download and install the program (WinHlp32.exe) from the Microsoft Download Center below.

This tutorial will show you how to install and uninstall WinHlp32.exe (KB917607) for 32-bit .hlp files in Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1.

Note   Note
This is for when you try open an .hlp file in Windows, and you receive one of the following error messages in the Windows Help and Support window:

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn’t included in this version of Windows. However, you can download a program that will allow you to view Help created in the Windows Help format.

OR

Feature not included

OR

Help not supported






OPTION ONE
To Install WinHlp32.exe to be able to open .hlp Files in Windows
1. Click on the link below to go the Microsoft site. At the Microsoft site, click/tap on the link for the Windows you have installed.
Error opening Help in Windows-based programs: "Feature not included" or "Help not supported"


Name:  WinHlp32_Download.jpg
Views: 2760
Size:  42.9 KB
2. If Validation is Required before Allowed to Download
A) If you see a "Validation Required" message when you open the download page, then click/tap on the Continue button, and follow the on-screen instructions to validate your Windows. (see screenshot below)
Name:  Validate.jpg
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Size:  27.7 KB
3. Select the language of your Windows, and click/tap on the Download button. (see screenshot below)
Help (.hlp) Files - Cannot Open in Windows Fix-winhlp32_download-1.jpg
4. Check the Windows#-KB917607-x64.msu or Windows#-KB917607-x86.msu box that is the same as your installed 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) Windows, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
Help (.hlp) Files - Cannot Open in Windows Fix-winhlp32_download-2.jpg
5. Save the Windows#-KB917607-x64.msu or Windows#-KB917607-x86.msu file to your desktop.

6. Install the downloaded Windows#-KB917607-x64.msu or Windows#-KB917607-x86.msu file.

7. You should now be able to open 32-bit .hlp files using Windows Help and Support.




OPTION TWO
To Uninstall WinHlp32.exe (KB917607) from Windows
1. Open Installed Updates in Programs and Features.

2. Click on KB917607 to uninstall WinHlp32.exe. (see screenshot below)
Help (.hlp) Files - Cannot Open in Windows Fix-uninstall.jpg
3. When it's finished, you can close the Installed Updates window.
That's it,
Shawn







Published by
18 Jun 2012   #1
adj

7 ultimate
 
 
Problem using WinHlp32.exe - asks to copy file to new drive

Hi Brink, O wonderworking sage.

Running W7Ultimate with basically everything on the D drive, (apart from some old data on C). I downloaded and installed WinHlp32.exe but when I right-click on the file I want to open and say Open with WinHlp32.exe, I get the response "Cannot display this help file. try opening the help file again, and if you still get this message, copy the help file to a different drive, and try again." I copied the .hlp file to a USB key and tried again and it worked, opening the file correctly. OK, but why ? It seems an unnecessary bit of flummery.
More seriously, WinHlp32 does not itself allow one to save the opened file (one might want to re-read it - indeed with this one, which is about analysis of a large academic database, it will be essential), so by right-clicking on it, I saved it back from the USB key to the desktop. Is this really necessary ? Even after reading the description on Wikipedia of how .hlp files are organized, I cannot see the purpose of all this.



My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2012   #2
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello adj,

It may be a issue with you having everything on D instead of C and when you ran the WinHlp32.exe file to install it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2014   #3
NoN

Windows 7 Professional SP1 - x64 [Non-UEFI Boot]
 
 

Great to put that here...just to mention that registry settings had to be made:


"The following list shows the known functionality regressions from previous releases of WinHlp32.exe. The following known issues apply only to the version of WinHlp32.exe that is discussed in this article."

Quote:
By default, the following macros are disabled in Windows Help:
  • ExecFile
  • RegisterRoutine
  • ShellExecute
  • ShortCut
  • Generate
  • Test
  • ExecProgram
However, all other macros in .hlp files will function as they did in past releases. Therefore, if an .hlp file that depends on these macros is opened after you install Windows Help for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2, some functionality of the file may not work correctly.

Quote:
  1. On 32-bit editions of Windows, locate and then select the following registry subkey:
  2. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft

  3. On 64-bit editions of Windows, locate and then select the following registry subkey:
  4. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft
  5. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.
  6. Type WinHelp, and then press Enter.
  7. Click the WinHelp key.
  8. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  9. Type AllowProgrammaticMacros, and then press Enter.
  10. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  11. In the Value data box, type 1, click Hexadecimal in the Base area, and then click OK.
  12. Exit Registry Editor.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917607/en-us
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


23 Apr 2014   #4
Keithuk

Windows 7 Professional 32bit SP1
 
 

I've always used Error opening Help in Windows-based programs: "Feature not included" or "Help not supported" which worked on Vista x86 and Windows 7 x86 but it wouldn't work on my Windows 8 x64, it said not compatible with my system even though I downloaded Windows 8 x64.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2014   #5
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Keith,

If you have not already, you might see if using the manual method below from the same link in step 1 may help.

Quote:
Manually enable macros on a single computer

To enable macros on a single computer after you install WinHelp32.exe, follow these steps:
  1. Log on by using an administrator account.
  2. Press the Windows logo key + R, type regedit, and then click OK.

    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
  3. On 32-bit editions of Windows, locate and then select the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft

    On 64-bit editions of Windows, locate and then select the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft
  4. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.
  5. Type WinHelp, and then press Enter.
  6. Click the WinHelp key.
  7. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click DWORD (32-bit) Value.
  8. Type AllowProgrammaticMacros, and then press Enter.
  9. On the Edit menu, click Modify.
  10. In the Value data box, type 1, click Hexadecimal in the Base area, and then click OK.
  11. Exit Registry Editor.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2014   #6
Keithuk

Windows 7 Professional 32bit SP1
 
 

Thanks Brink but I'm very happy with Windows 7 now. I've actually gone away from making the old *.hlp files I use WinCHM Pro v4.41 and make *.chm help files.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Apr 2014   #7
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Great news.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Days Ago   #8
aqcedward

Windows 7 Professional x64
 
 

When trying to install the Windows8-RT-KB917607-x64.msu in my machine, it prompts an error "The update is not applicable to your computer". Can someone help me?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Days Ago   #9
Brink
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by aqcedward View Post
When trying to install the Windows8-RT-KB917607-x64.msu in my machine, it prompts an error "The update is not applicable to your computer". Can someone help me?
Hello Edward, and welcome to Eight Forums.

If you currently have Windows 7 installed as per your specs, you would need to download the update for Windows 7 instead of Windows 8.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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