What is hh.exe?

The genuine hh.exe file is a software component of HTML Help by Microsoft Corporation.
Microsoft's "hh.exe" file in "C:\Windows" is their HTML Help Executable Program, a legitimate Windows core file. It runs when a "compiled help file" (type .chm) is opened by clicking on the file or a linked menu item. By calling the HTML Help ActiveX control, it causes the help file to open inside the Help Viewer. The Microsoft HTML Help product and other third-party authoring software allow developers to compile their own ".chm" file(s) with expanding tables of contents, shortcuts, keyword search, and pop-up topics. Malware also uses this filename to cloak itself, sometimes in other locations, (such as "C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming"), or as a target for overwriting. Microsoft, founded in 1975 to develop a BASIC interpreter by Paul Allen and by Bill Gates, whose father was a lawyer, negotiated a powerfully profitable contract with IBM for the MS-DOS operating system, which launched its growth to its present size.

HH stands for Microsoft HTML Help Executable

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the hh.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

Click to Run a Free Scan for hh.exe related errors

Hh.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with hh
Hh.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Microsoft® HTML Help Executable belongs to software HTML Help by Microsoft (

Description: The original hh.exe from Microsoft is an important part of Windows, but often causes problems. The file hh.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 16,896 bytes (50% of all occurrences), 10,752 bytes or 15,360 bytes. 
The file is a trustworthy file from Microsoft. Therefore the technical security rating is 0% dangerous; but you should also compare this rating with the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify hh.exe related errors

Viruses with the same file name

Is hh.exe a virus? No, it is not. The true hh.exe file is a safe Microsoft Windows system process, called "Microsoft HTML Help Executable". However, writers of malware programs, such as viruses, worms, and Trojans deliberately give their processes the same file name to escape detection. Viruses with the same file name are for instance Trojan.Gen.2 (detected by Symantec), and BKDR_CYCBOT.SME3 or TROJ_GEN.R03AC0CCA15 (detected by TrendMicro).
To ensure that no rogue hh.exe is running on your PC, click here to run a Free Malware Scan.

How to recognize suspicious variants?

Important: Some malware disguises itself as hh.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows folder. Therefore, you should check the hh.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

safehouse exployer help file uses this application to contact some web site but tested other help files including F-1 MS help and they did not, the size is right so it's probable the help file; interesting the hh file reproduces and cannot be deleted
  Just Wondering   (further information)
hh.exe is a Microsoft Windows Help utility which assists you when the help button is pressed.
Windows HELP
This hh.exe in a C:\Windows\hh.exe has another size as hh.exe win a C:\Window\SysWow64\hh.exe Chm help file is running hhe.exe from C:\Windows\hh.exe doing wrong display .chm file . In a C:\Windows\hh.exe has size 16896 Bajt . In a C:\Window\SysWow64\hh.exe has size 15360 Bajt and this size is correct . When I run from DOS command hh.exe from C:\Window\SysWow64\hh.exe than display help is corect
hh.exe is for windows showing help documents.
What is hh.exe size for Windows 10 64? On my computer it is 18,432 bytes (20,480 bytes on disk).
  George Sr  

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of hh.exe: based on 7 votes with 6 user comments. 4 users think hh.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. 2 users think hh.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 2 users don't grade hh.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving hh issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with hh. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the 6resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the hh.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

hh.exe [all]