How Do I Disable the Windows Help Pop Up?

By Jason Artman

When files and folders are being browsed in Windows Explorer, the "F1" key can always be used to launch the Windows Help program. If you are busy doing other things on the computer, however, you may find that this window takes an overly long time to appear, which can be an annoyance if you frequently press the "F1" key accidentally. Disable Windows Help from appearing when "F1" is pressed to prevent this from happening.

Step 1

Press the Windows logo and "R" keys simultaneously to make the "Run" dialog box appear. Type "regedit" without quotation marks in the box and press "Enter." The Windows registry editor will load.

Step 2

Click the "+" icons on the left side of the folder tree to browse to "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE," "SOFTWARE," "Microsoft," "Windows," "CurrentVersion" and "App Paths."

Step 3

Right-click the "HELPCTR.EXE" folder under "App Paths" and click "Export." Browse to the desktop, name the file "Help Center Backup" and click "Save." The "Help Center Backup" file created on the desktop can be double-clicked at any time to reverse the change made to your computer as you follow this article. When you return to the registry editor window, the "HELPCTR.EXE" folder should still be highlighted.

Step 4

Double-click the "Default" entry on the right side of the window. The information displayed under "Value Data" in the window that appears should presently be "C:\WINDOWS\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\HelpCtr.exe."

Step 5

Change the file name shown under "Value Data" from "HelpCtr.exe" to anything you like, such as "FakeFile.exe." The file name is unimportant, but it should not be the name of a file that actually exists. Click "OK" and close the registry editor. Pressing the "F1" key accidentally in Windows Explorer will no longer cause the Windows Help window to pop up.