Sunday, 10 March 2013

Windows 8 Winhlp32.exe

It seems Microsoft just can’t get this one right.

Installing some old legacy apps that use Winhlp32 for their help leads you on an out of the box install of Windows 8 to this page:Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) for Windows 8, which is KB917607

Unfortunately, installing this update doesn’t actually help on a 64 bit system.

When you do try to launch the installed winhelp, you get a partial title bar describing the problem.


Digging out Spy++ reveals that the actual title continues:

“located in the System directory.”

Moving the file there unfortunately, doesn’t actually help.

So, for the moment, I’m uninstalling by running the downloaded msu file from the update from an elevated command prompt like this:

windows8-RT-kb917607-x64.msu /uninstall

Attempting to install the Windows8-RT-KB917607-x86.msu on either a 32 bit or a 64 bit system claims that “this update isn’t applicable to your computer”


  1. Apparently it needs the US English language pack.

  2. I tried downloading the language pack, and setting it as my default, but it still didn't resolve the problem. What steps did you take?

  3. I couldn't get the official patch to work. I renamed the stub that is already in place in Win8 and rebooted but Win8 refused to install the new version as it inisisted that it was already installed. So I copied the Winhlp32.exe from a Windows XP computer to the Win32 account. It works for the main Help file (press F1) but I have to do something with a registry setting for Windows Macros to get the context sensitive help (stuff that pops up when a user makes an error) to work. I haven't done that yet.