Help Not Working

May 2, 2013
I see several other threads about issues with the help system. My problem seems to be different from those: when I press F1, nothing seems to happen. In Process Explorer I can see tchelp.exe start and it uses about 12.5% CPU as long as I let it run - apparently it maxes out one logical processor on an i7 CPU - but the help window never appears. However, if I use Help from the top menu the window opens and tchelp.exe doesn't use more than about 1% CPU, so there is kind of a work-around but it isn't context-sensitive.

I am running version 20.11.36 x64 on Win 10 x64.
I have the exact same issue here on my home machine. I press F1 and the help window never appears. It's running according to process explorer and is using 12.5% of my CPU.

If I enter "Help Dir" for example, it comes right up.

On the menu bar pressing Help | Content it does not com up...same as F1. Help | Search comes right up. Help | Index does not...same as F1.

It's really odd. kapark, you are not alone and I wonder what's causing this. I don't have this issue on my notebook which uses the same INI and startup files.

TCC 20.11.36 x64 Windows 10 [Version 6.3.14393]
TCC Build 36 Windows 10 Build 14393

I'll need to do a bit more troubleshooting to try to narrow this down.

Hi Rex,

For me, it's TCC inside of TCMD. It is not behind anything.

If I look at the properties in Process Explorer and click "Bring to Front" I get a process explorer warning that says "No visible windows found for this process."

tchelp is running as I mentioned above.

If I go back to TCC (in a TCMD tab) and press F1 again, another tchelp.exe starts. I tested this about 5 times, and one of the times, after about 30 seconds, the help did appear. However, I now have 5 tchelp.exe's running and consuming 12% of CPU and 5G of ram each. There is certainly something least for me.

Any suggestions on how to better troubleshoot this?


May 2, 2013
My experience is the same as Fross' -- TCMD tab window, another process appears each time I press F1, no windows for it on-screen or on the task bar.


Aug 19, 2008
ok, I'll +1 here. Didn't really know what was happening initially. Kept hitting F1, got nothing. Later that day or next I was examining CPU usage and found 3 instances of the help consuming exactly 12% each. This was a TCMD admin tab window.

Just tried again now. F1, get a tchelp.exe process with no window consuming 14%. Killed the process.
Tried Help/Contents from the menu, help appeared right away. Closed that window, no issues.

20.00.25 - guess I'm behind...but I can get help from the menu with this version :-)
Same thing here, TCC 20.11.36.

Clicking on "Inhalt" or "Suchbegriffe": No help window, but an instance of tchelp.exe consuming 12,5 % CPU time.
<see 1.jpg>


Clicking on "Index": help window appears after a long delay (>5 seconds). Tchelp.exe is much bigger.
<see 2.jpg>

Ver 20..11.38:
TCHELP.EXE still starts erraticallyl. I've experimented with the various methods to start help: from the command line via F1, from the menu's 3 buttons.

The first time I start TCHELP there's usually no help window, and only a small stub in Task Manager. If I kill that and start TCHELP by the same method again the help window usually starts within 1 - 2 seconds.
If unkilled stubs remain in memory (Task Manager), each will consume 12,5 % CPU time, and the likelyhood od a successful start of a completed Help window falls quickly.
There were similar issues reported (*) on the Help+Manual forums (H+M is the tool used to build the TCHELP file ànd the engine used to display the .html files).
Help+Manual have issued an updated version to fix these. My (wild; still on 20.0.25) guess is, that Take Command isn't using this updated version.

(*) Read this some time ago; don't have the links anymore.


Aug 19, 2008
Is there another way to open the help outside of TCMD? Then I could just leave it open. I've become spoiled by the quick access to relevant content when I need it. I tried running tchelp.exe but it just starts consuming 12% and does nothing else.

If I beat on it enough, it will eventually appear. Then I just kill any instances at 12% leaving the lone 0% one running. Minimize, resume day.

Rex - you are not seeing this behavior?


Aug 19, 2008
Down side of my workaround - if you invoke help, it starts a new 12% instance. But the help window I already have opened does go to the proper topic.