How to Disable Start\Help

This article was previously published under Q182439
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Through the use of policies, much of the desktop can be restricted. However, currently there is no way to disable the Start\Help setting through a system policy. This article will describe some methods to disable the Start\Help utility.
The file opened by Winhlp32.exe when Start\Help is clicked is%SystemRoot%\System32\Windows.hlp. If you rename this file, a dialog boxis displayed when the file cannot be found, a different dialog box will bedisplayed if you copy an invalid file to that location.

Method 1

A better resolution is to include a trivial help file. Such a help file isincluded in the Zero Administration Kit files. It is called Zak.hlp. If this file is renamed to Windows.hlp in the System32 directory, the following text will be displayed when Start\Help is clicked:
Help Topics: Zero Administration Kit Help
The only topic on which you can get help is "ZAK Help." Double-clicking this topic results in the following message:
Zero Administration Kit Message

The standard Windows NT 4.0 online Help has been disabled by your administrator.

Method 2

If the drive the help file is stored on is NTFS, you may also restrict access to the file using permissions.
  1. Select the file (Windows.hlp) in Explorer.
  2. Edit the properties of the file.
  3. Select the security tab.
  4. Select the permissions button.
  5. Set permissions to restrict the users who should not be able to run the help file.
Restricting the help file with permissions may cause user complaints, though. When the restricted file is clicked, nothing happens.
More information, as well as the Zak.hlp file can be obtained fromMicrosoft's Web Site at the following address:

remove start menu

Article ID: 182439 - Last Review: 10/07/2013 21:04:01 - Revision: 1.2

  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
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