Microsoft has dropped support for legacy Windows Help files, which ends with .hlp file extension starting from Windows Vista. The non-support of .hlp legacy Help files continues in Windows 7, where users who attempt to open a Help file will get dialog box asking which program to be used to open it instead.

There are still a lot of application software and legacy programs which provide help file in .hlp format. To provide backward compatibility, Microsoft made available Windows Help program for Windows Vista users and Windows Help for Windows Server 2008, as detailed in KB917607. So do for Windows 7. Microsoft has released a version of Windows Help Program (WinHlp32.exe) for Windows 7 to open and view 32-bit .hlp files.

The WinHlp32.exe program can be downloaded from Microsoft Download Center. Download can be initiated after passing a genuine Windows validation, or users can download using the following direct download links (choose the one the fits operating system architecture by determine if installed Windows is 32-bit or 64-bit) to bypass WGA validation.

32-bit (x86): Windows6.1-KB917607-x86.msu
64-bit (x64): Windows6.1-KB917607-x64.msu

The provided WinHlp32.exe can runs on all editions of Windows 7.

Other versions of Windows is also available:

Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) for Windows 7
Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) for Windows 8
Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) for Windows 8.1
Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) for Windows Server 2008
Windows Help program (WinHlp32.exe) for Windows Server 2008 R2

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