Tag Archives: helpfile

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

Okay, this is completely lame:

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. Also, third-party programs that include .hlp files are prohibited from redistributing the Windows Help program together with their products. 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. It will be available in time for the consumer release of Windows Vista scheduled for early 2007.

Yeah, well… I guess I’ll have to wait four more days before I can view a .HLP file that will likely never get updated. I’m thinking this is going to turn into a tech support nightmare for everyone. The decision will ultimately be reversed – and WinHlp32.exe will be pushed out through Windows Update within a year, if it doesn’t first get included within Vista SP1.