Windows: How to Disable F1 Help Center Function in Windows Explorer

Step 1: Create a Dummy File that does nothing
# Dummy-File-Creator.ps1
$output = new-object byte[] 1; (new-object Random).NextBytes($output);
[IO.File]::WriteAllBytes($dummyFile, $output);
if ($output -ne $null) {
Write-Host ("$dummyFile has been successfully created");
"Failed to create $dummyFile";
Step 2: edit the registry to change “helpctr.exe” to “dummy.exe”
# Provide variables
$hive="REGISTRY::HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\HELPCTR.EXE"

# Set registry key
Set-Itemproperty -path $hive -Name $key -value $value

# Verify result
$command="(get-itemproperty '$hive').'$key'"
Invoke-Expression $command;

Step 3: UAT

Navigate to “My Computer” > press F1 > observe that ‘nothing happens’ as intended.


Please be advised that this does not work on Windows 10 as the registry location for the help file has been changed in that newer OS.

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