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. However, the Windows Help program has not had a major update for many releases and no longer meets Microsoft's standards.
Therefore, starting with the release of Windows Vista and continuing in Windows 7, the Windows Help program will not ship as a feature of Windows. If you want to view 32-bit .hlp files, you must download and install the program (WinHlp32.exe) from the Microsoft Download Center.
This is very old news, and won't affect you as much as you think. Most programs don't use .hlp files any more, but instead use the .chm format which was introduced with Windows 98. These still work fine on Windows Vista & 7.
In almost three years since our Vista deployment, I've only come across one program that used a .hlp file, and the 'help' it offered turned out to be rubbish anyway.
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