Ever since Windows 3.1, Microsoft included the Windows Help program or WinHlp32.exe with new releases. WinHlp32.exe is used to view 32-bit Help files that have the .hlp file name extension.
Open Windows Help .hlp files
Starting with the release of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, Microsoft has decided to no longer include in WinHlp32.exe as a component of the Windows operating system. Microsoft made this decision because WinHlp32.exe has not had a major update for many years, and it felt that it did not meet their standards for all new Microsoft programs.
When you try to read such help files, with Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) program, you may receive the following message:
The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which was used in previous versions of Windows, and it is not supported.
The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn’t included in this version of Windows. However, you can download a program that will allow you to view Help created in the Windows Help format.
The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn’t included in this version of Windows. For more information, go to the Microsoft Help and Support website.
Microsoft realizes that this may cause some problems for customers who still rely on 32-bit .hlp files. Therefore, Microsoft made WinHlp32.exe available as a stand-alone download.
Like in Windows Vista, Windows 8.1, Windows 8 and Windows 7 too do not include the Windows Help program 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.
Download Windows Help Program or WinHlp32.exe
See this post if you face problems when you download and open WinHlp32.exe update.