How to fix error opening help files on Windows 10?

December 29, 2018 |

greater than 5 minutes

We have received reports from a lot of users that they encounter errors when trying to open Help in Windows 10. If we remember correctly, this problem was quite common in Windows 8. Help files provide users with assistance in lots of areas and even let you send reports to Microsoft. If Help is not functioning, this is a concern for both new and experienced users. This issue can occur as a result of hardware failures, system errors, or malware activities.

You should not be very bothered by this because we created this article to show you how to fix errors when opening Help in Windows 10.

Run the DISM tool in Command Prompt

DISM is short for Deployment Imaging and Servicing Management. So, if you’re unable to run error-checking scans, or your system is corrupted, or your system files have been modified to a point where they are corrupted, DISM commands should hopefully be able to resolve the issue.

If you get an error when trying to open Help, this is an indication that your system files are corrupted. Errors with system files can be fixed by using the Command Prompt or PowerShell. We will be going through the Command Prompt because that is what most people are more comfortable with.

So, we’re going to use the following steps:

  • Right-click on the Start or Home button and then click on Command Prompt (admin). This will give you administrator privileges in order to perform the actions you about to do. Click on Yes in the next box to proceed. This will open the Administrator Command Prompt.
  • Once the Command Prompt is up, you have to run the first tool within the DISM package, which would be the check health command. It will help determine if your files are corrupted and whether the corruption can be repaired. This is usually a preliminary scan or check. It is not actually going to fix anything, but it’s a good first step to try. Here is the command: exe /Online /Cleanup-image /CheckHealth
  • Hit Enter on the keyboard to execute the command. This scan should be pretty quick. It will probably be the quickest of the three scans we’re going to run here today.
  • The result of the scan may say, “No components or corruption detected. The operation completed successfully.” That’s usually a good sign.
  • So, at this point, if you are so convinced that there is an error or corruption within your computer, you can run the scan health utility, which will actually scan your system image for component store corruption. So, again this won’t actually fix anything, but it will store the detected issues into the log file. Here is the command: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
  • Press Enter to execute the command. This will take a few moments.
  • The process may be stuck at 20% for a little bit, so you should be patient and should not close the Command Prompt. It will hang for a bit and continue.
  • Once the scan is done, at this point, you are ready to go on and perform a restore health scan. This will actually scan your image for specific store corruption, and it should automatically perform repair operations and record the corruption that it finds into the log file we mentioned earlier. Here is the command: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • Press Enter on your keyboard to execute the command. This will take another 15 to 20 minutes like the previous scan, and it will hang at around 20%. So, just give it some time and let it run.
  • When it is done, you will have to perform the System File Checker scan. To do this, input sfc /scannow into the Command Prompt and press Enter.
  • This process will replace the corrupted files with a cached copy that is found in the %WinDir%System32dllcache directory. This process can also take some time to complete.

Once the scan is complete, you will see one of the following messages:

  1. Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations – This is an indication that the scan was complete and it did not find any anomalies such as missing or corrupted files.
  2. Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation – When you see this message, it is an indication that you need to perform the SFC scan in safe mode. Also, you need to make sure that you delete the PendingDeletes and PendingRenames folders in the %WinDir%WinSxSTemp directory for this operation to be completed.
  3. Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them – This message means that the scan found anomalies and repaired them. You can find the details in the CBS log %WinDir%LogsCBSCBS.log.
  4. Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them – You can find more information about this in the CBS.Log %WinDir%LogsCBSCBS.log, but it won’t be of much help to you since it is for advanced computer users.

You could also explore other options like System Restore. This solution would be helpful if Help files had been working previously and stopped all of a sudden. This process will revert the state of your computer to a point in the past when you could access Help files. Note that this process will not affect your personal files and folders. However, it will make changes to the system files and settings which could be the cause of the error. So, do not worry that you will lose data.

To restore the state of your computer to a previous date, you needed to have existing restore points. If you did not create them, you could still check because Windows creates restore points when important changes want to occur in your system. Here is how to restore your system to a previous date:

  • Click on the Start or Home button and input Recovery into the search box. Select Recovery from the list of results.
  • In the Recovery dialog box, click Open System Restore. This will open the System Restore panel. Click Next to proceed.
  • Now, you will see the list of timestamps you can restore your system to. Select a point before the Windows Help issue began, then click Next.
  • Follow the instructions of the wizard to complete the process.

Furthermore, viruses can be a principal reason why you are experiencing errors when trying to access Help file. This is because they can infect Help, causing it to malfunction, thereby producing the error. To fix this, you need to download and install Auslogics Anti-Malware. This tool will scan your computer and eliminate all viruses. You will be able to browse the internet in a safe environment. Also, you can schedule regular scans of your system to keep it always free from viruses.

We hope that this article has shown you how to fix errors when attempting to open .hlp files. Share it with others who encounter similar problems.

We appreciate your ideas and comments, and we are ready to answer all your questions regarding this topic.

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