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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 January 2004  


Fix Windows Help Crashing
                  (Windows XP / 2000 / 2003)



Windows Help keeps crashing with an Application Error, or no longer starts. You may get  a dialog box like this one:

HelpCtr.exe - Application Error

Help and Support Center: HelpCtr.exe - Application Error
The instruction at "0x63df325d" referenced memory at "0x00000000". The memory could not be "written".

You most likely have corrupt help cache files.



You need to delete the help cache files in your user profile directory.

  • Start Windows Explorer

  • The files are in a hidden directory, so you will need to allow viewing of hidden files. Do this in Windows Explorer by selecting the following menus:
       Tools -> Folder Options -> View
       Advanced settings: Hidden files and folders:
       Select Show hidden files and folders
    click OK

  • You will have to go into your user profile's help cache location. This is normally at the following location:
       c:\Documents and Settings\<USERNAME>\Application Data\Microsoft\HTML Help\
         Where <USERNAME> is your windows login name.

  • Delete all the files you find in the above folder. You may wish to make a backup first. Simply copy the folder to another location.

  • Done!


If something goes wrong while following these instructions, you may find your computer system will not longer boot, or otherwise function incorrectly. This can create a very time consuming repair process. Even though I try to make these instructions foolproof and reversible, computers are computers and strange things can happen.

Use  at your own risk!!


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