HLP (Windows Help File) is a Windows help file that contains information regarding programs and their usage. Help files are used as documentation for user on how to use Windows and system programs. Help files can be generated using Microsoft Help Workshop and viewed with Microsoft Help Viewer. Help files are not compatible across different versions of Windows operating system, especially those of the older versions of Windows.
Windows help system is comprised of multiple RTF files that offer basic text formatting and font colors, supports images and hyperlinks. RTF files do not support animations or any interactive elements. HLP format had its debut along with Windows 3.0 released in 1990.
The following list contains programs grouped by 3 operating systems that support HLP files. Files with HLP suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.
There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening HLP files on given system. Fortunately, most common problems with HLP files can be solved without in-depth IT knowledge, and most importantly, in a matter of minutes. The following is a list of guidelines that will help you identify and solve file-related problems.
The main and most frequent cause precluding users form opening HLP files is that no program that can handle HLP files is installed on user’s system. This issue can be addressed by downloading and installing Adobe RoboHelp or different compatible program, such as Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Help, Help Explorer Viewer. Above you will find a complete listing of programs that support HLP files, classified according to system platforms for which they are available. One of the most risk-free method of downloading software is using links provided by official distributors. Visit Adobe RoboHelp website and download the installer.
You still cannot access HLP files although Adobe RoboHelp is installed on your system? Make sure that the software is up to date. Sometimes software developers introduce new formats in place of that already supports along with newer versions of their applications. If you have an older version of Adobe RoboHelp installed, it may not support HLP format. The most recent version of Adobe RoboHelp is backward compatible and can handle file formats supported by older versions of the software.
After installing Adobe RoboHelp (the most recent version) make sure that it is set as the default application to open HLP files. The method is quite simple and varies little across operating systems.
Change the default application in Windows
Change the default application in Mac OS
You closely followed the steps listed in points 1-3, but the problem is still present? You should check whether the file is a proper HLP file. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.
Should it happed that the HLP is infected with a virus, this may be that cause that prevents you from accessing it. Immediately scan the file using an antivirus tool or scan the whole system to ensure the whole system is safe. If the scanner detected that the HLP file is unsafe, proceed as instructed by the antivirus program to neutralize the threat.
If you obtained the problematic HLP file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. It is possible that the file has not been properly copied to a data storage and is incomplete and therefore cannot be opened. It could happen the the download process of file with HLP extension was interrupted and the file data is defective. Download the file again from the same source.
Some files require elevated access rights to open them. Switch to an account that has required privileges and try opening the Windows Help Format file again.
If the systems has insufficient resources to open HLP files, try closing all currently running applications and try again.
Up-to-date system and drivers not only makes your computer more secure, but also may solve problems with Windows Help Format file. It is possible that one of the available system or driver updates may solve the problems with HLP files affecting older versions of given software.
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