Description of .gid Files

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Article ID: 129326 - View products that this article applies to.
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This article describes Windows global index (.gid) files.


Windows creates a .gid file in the following circumstances:
  • When you use a Help file that was not created in the Windows 95/98 or Help format, Windows creates a corresponding .gid file if one does not exist.
  • If Windows finds an outdated .gid file, it re-creates the file. Note that a .gid file is considered to be outdated if the Help file has been updated but has not been opened by Windows since it was updated.
The process of searching for and creating .gid files occurs when you see the "Setting Up Help" message. A .gid file has the same name as its corresponding Help file (but with a .gid extension) and is stored as a hidden file in the same folder as the corresponding Help file. If the Help file is in a folder to which you do not have write privileges (such as on a CD-ROM or network drive), the .gid file is created in the Windows\Help folder.

Windows stores pointers to all the topics and entry points in a Help file in the corresponding .gid file for the following reasons:
  • This information is not stored in the Help file itself in order to minimize the size of the Help file.
  • Windows uses .gid files as status files (for example, the Help window position is stored in this file).
Note that Windows and Windows for Workgroups version 3.1 and later can use .gid files if the following conditions are met:
  • You install Win32s.
  • You install the 32-bit Help compiler and its associated .dll files.


Article ID: 129326 - Last Review: January 19, 2007 - Revision: 1.2
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
kbinfo KB129326

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