Help and Support Center

Help and Support Center
Component of Microsoft Windows
WinHelpSupport logo.png
WinHelpSupport 8Home.png.png
Help and Support Center in Windows 8
Introduced inWindows 3.0 (Windows Help)
Windows Me build 2358 (Help and Support Center)
Last included inWindows 10 build 10056 (fbl_impressive)

Help and Support Center is an application for getting online/offline help about Windows basics and tutorials about certain functionalities, applications and services included with Windows.

History[edit | edit source]

In Windows, the Help application debuted as Windows Help (WinHelp.exe) in Windows 3.0. A 32-bit variant (winhlp32.exe) shipped with Windows NT 3.1 up to Windows NT 4.0 and was also ported to Windows 95. WinHelp was enhanced with HTML capability in Windows 98 and was consequently renamed HTML Help (hh.exe). It's successor, the Help and Support Center (HelpCtr.exe) debuted in Windows Me build 2358 under the name Help Center as part of the Activity Centers, while the old Help application was kept for compatibility purposes. All help applications include tutorials to help the user get started with using the computer. The app would receive an overhaul in Windows Vista (HelpPane.exe) and be discontinued with Windows 10's release, with it's executable being reworked to open the Microsoft Support website. However, the way this is implemented still causes a Help and Support window to open, albeit invisible and with the navigation controls being hidden as well. With the use of third-party tools, such as WinExplorer or Window Detective, one can reveal the window itself as well as the missing controls, and then click on the help type, and choose a help type from the drop-down menu to get the browser control to load content. Up until Windows 10 version 1703, the help content was included, however, in Windows 10 version 1709, it was removed, along with the online help functionality getting broken, causing every page apart from search to say that the topic could not be found.

Location[edit | edit source]

In Windows 3.0 and Windows 3.1, it is located in the Help menu of Program Manager.

In Windows 95 to Windows 7, it is located in the start menu.

In Windows 8 and 8.1, the user can find it by using Search by typing Help and Support or by navigating to the all apps section of the start screen and clicking on "Windows Help & Support".

In Windows Vista to Windows 11 (with the new command bar disabled), open up an Explorer window and click on the question mark symbol.

The user can press F1 in most cases, but sometimes it takes the user to the application's help itself.

Index[edit | edit source]

All versions of Help and Support Center have a search index in which the user can use to find a topic they are looking for.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

WinHelp / HTML Help[edit | edit source]

Windows Me[edit | edit source]

Windows XP[edit | edit source]

Windows Server 2003[edit | edit source]

Windows Vista[edit | edit source]

Windows Server 2008[edit | edit source]

Windows 7[edit | edit source]

Windows Server 2008 R2[edit | edit source]

Windows 8[edit | edit source]

Windows Server 2012[edit | edit source]

Windows 8.1[edit | edit source]

Windows Server 2012 R2[edit | edit source]

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]