How to open older *.hlp files in Win 10 (x64)

  1. Posts : 127
    windows 10 64-bit "home"

    How to open older *.hlp files in Win 10 (x64)

    While being aware this problem has been discussed before, none of the proposed solutions seem to work - at least not since the very latest major Win 10 update: before that the proposed tweaks, either here or on the Net, presented no problems.

    The phenomenon is known: while trying to open a *.hlp file in an older program or app, the user gets redirected to a rather unhelpful Microsoft page, which is indeed no longer relevant to Win 10 (as said, it used to be relevant to some extent, but since then Microsoft, in its infinite wisdom, has "corrected" this - as many other smaller and larger "problems").

    So, a simple question: is there still a way to get these help files to function nonetheless?

    Thanks for finding a real solution.


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  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 20,114
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Microsoft removed winhlp32.exe because of security vulnerabilities that couldn't easily be overcome. It was simpler to define a new compiled HTMLHelp format (CHM). I mentioned that here...
    Can't read older *.hlp files on Windows-10

    ...along with a way to decompile .hlp files and recompile them as .chm. This won't help older software that will still try to link to the .hlp file from within the app, but at least I can now separately open and read the Help for my ancient PSP7.
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  3. Posts : 127
    windows 10 64-bit "home"
    Thread Starter

    Thanks. Tried that workaround before. But that doesn't solve the problem: how to open those hlp files when linked to older software. Can't imagine that something that was possible before the latest major Win 10 update, should not allow for another tweak now.


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  4. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 8,694
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H1 Build 19043.1110

    This third-party utility might be what you need {I imagine there are others} - Help Explorer Viewer - CNET Download

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