Windows 10: Windows 10 32-bit Help File Compatibility

  1.    27 Sep 2015 #1

    Windows 10 32-bit Help File Compatibility

    Is Microsoft going to issue a fix for viewing Windows 32-bit Help File in Windows 10?
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  2. JohnC's Avatar
    Posts : 3
    Dual Boot 10 Pro v1607 10 Pro rs2 build 14971
       27 Sep 2015 #2

    You might want to ask on Microsoft Support.Support - Windows Help

    You might find an answer and could report back.
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  3. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 2,486
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1803 (April 2018 build 17134.345)
       10 Oct 2015 #3

    Well, I cheated and done it! I renamed the file C:\Windows\winhlp32.exe as a backup and then replaced it with winhlp32.exe from Windows 8.1 (after having installed the fix of course). I then renamed file C:\Windows\en-us\winhlp32.exe.mui and replaced it with winhlp32.exe.mui from Windows 8.1. I opened winhlp32.exe once to associate it with HLP files and that's it! To be able to rename these files you must first take ownership and then add the modify permissions. To do that you right-click on the file and go to Properties, security, advanced. Change the owner from TrustedInstaller to Administrators and press OK. Then go to advanced again and change permissions so that you have full access to the file. Repeat that for the other file. After you rename them (for backup purposes) you can copy-paste the respective files from Windows 8.1 into the same folders. If you have upgraded to Windows 10 from 8.1 you can find these files in C:\Windows.old\Windows and C:\Windows.old\Windows\en-us respectively.

    If you have a system running Windows 8.1 (not sure but I think it should also be 32-bit or 64-bit depending on your Windows 10 system you want to patch), you can download the fix and install it to restore the old Windows Helper application. Then you can copy these two files to your Windows 10 system. It's no use to do it if you haven't install the fix, because it won't work. Remember to take ownership of the files and add modify permission as explained above or you can't replace them.
    It's a step forward to make Windows 10 more like the familiar Windows 7

    Microsoft might eventually release an official Windows 10 version, but since this cheat works why wait for it?
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  4.    29 Mar 2016 #4

    Here is a reference, take at your own risk. There is a link to a water "doing something" software company who fixed this problem for their ancient help program. The advice here suggests downloading their zip program then unzip and run the install.cmd program. I'm as nervous as the next guy when I hear of things like this but I was ready to strangle someone. I downloaded the zip referenced, unzipped it, ran the install.cmd as administrator and now my help files work.$3d2c7a90$
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  5. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 2,486
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1803 (April 2018 build 17134.345)
       30 Mar 2016 #5

    Well I have done it successfully many times, here is how, do that on your own risk.

    You copy the file winhlp32.exe from C:\Windows and the file winhlp32.exe.mui from C:\windows\en-us of a working Windows 8.1 installation (with the relevant hotfix installed to enable classic help support) or from Windows.old folder if your previous OS was Windows 8.1 It has to be the same versions, 32-bit or 64-bit with the version of your Windows 10.

    Browse the Windows folder, locate the winhlp32.exe file, right-click and select Properties. Go to Security tab. Click Advanced and change the owner from TrustedInstaller to Administrators (the group, not the build-in Administrator account). Click OK for the change to take effect and return to the previous window. Now click Edit, highlight the Administrators group and click on the Full control box. This should also check the other boxes. Click OK and then OK. Now you can delete the file winhlp32.exe, do it. Copy-paste the winhlp32.exe file from Windows 8.1.

    Browse to the C:\Windows\en-us folder locate the file winhlp32.exe.mui, change the owner to Administrators and give full access to that group. Delete it and copy-paste the file winhlp32.exe.mui from Windows 8.1

    Return to the C:\Windows folder and double-click the file winhlp32.exe to run it. It should load and associate itself with all *.HLP files. Double-click a *.HLP file to confirm that it opens OK. That's it! Of course Windows Update could replace the files again, but you can repeat that procedure and restore functionality.

    For your convenience I attach the files for both 32-bit and 64-bit version.
    Last edited by spapakons; 30 Mar 2016 at 08:20.
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