What is winhlp32.exe?

The genuine winhlp32.exe file is a software component of Microsoft Windows Operating System by Microsoft.
The user interface for Microsoft Windows Help, this application is required to view any 32 bit help file that has the .hlp file extension. Windows Help provides the user with information and helpful tips on most aspects of Windows, including user programs. Winhlp32.exe is even required on 64 bit machines to view 32 bit .hlp files. Founded in 1975 in New Mexico, Microsoft is now one of the largest software corporations in the world. Currently headquartered in Washington, the flagship Windows operation system is the most utilized OS in the world.

WinHlp32 stands for Windows Help 32 bit

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the winhlp32.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

Click to Run a Free Scan for winhlp32.exe related errors

Winhlp32.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with winhlp32
Winhlp32.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Microsoft® Help or Windows Winhlp32 Stub belongs to software Microsoft Windows Operating System by Microsoft (

Description: The original winhlp32.exe is an important part of Windows and rarely causes problems. Winhlp32.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 283,648 bytes (55% of all occurrences), 288,768 bytes and 6 more variants. 
It is a Windows system file. Winhlp32.exe is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Winhlp32.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 1% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify winhlp32.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware disguises itself as winhlp32.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows folder. Therefore, you should check the winhlp32.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

Microsoft's Windows Help system
Microsoft's wanna' be help....NOT NEEDED. Quarantine and create a restore point.
ist beschädigt
  esther bosshard  
im Systemverzeichnis ist beschädigt
  Esther Bosshard  
windows 7 winhlp32.exe is 10K. it is a stub file. Before vista: Program used to view .hlp files.
  Some Guy   (further information)
WinHlp32.exe is required to display 32-bit Help files that have the ".hlp" file name extension. To view .hlp files on Windows Vista, you need to install this application.
  Mike   (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of winhlp32.exe: based on 9 votes with 6 user comments. 6 users think winhlp32.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. One user suspects danger. One user thinks winhlp32.exe is dangerous and recommends removing it.

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Best practices for resolving winhlp32 issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with winhlp32. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the winhlp32.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: Security Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

winhlp32.exe [all]