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Visual Studio 2017 Installer problem installing Help Viewer

    Question

  • I had to uninstall the Visual Studio Help Viewer after installing it from Visual Studio 2017 Installer. After checking the appropriate box for it, I got "-6.43GB" above the Modify button at the lower-right. Then I unchecked the box and I got "6.43GB". At this point, Help Viewer has been uninstalled, though the Help content files I have downloaded in the past In Help Viewer are still present on my machine.

    I'm reluctant to click the Modify button, as it may render Visual Studio 2017 unusable and require a full reinstall. In an attempt to avoid that, is there another way to download and install Help Viewer without using Visual Studio Installer? Better yet, is there an alternative to Help Viewer that would be less trouble?

    Monday, January 1, 2018 10:10 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Welcome to MSDN forum.

    >>I'm reluctant to click the Modify button, as it may render Visual Studio 2017 unusable and require a full reinstall. In an attempt to avoid that, is there another way to download and install Help Viewer without using Visual Studio Installer?

    Help Viewer is an optional installation component of Visual Studio, there is no standalone installer for it. If you don't want to click modify button, please try to modify visual studio through command line. The component ID for Help viewer is Microsoft.Component.HelpViewer.

    The example to install help viewer via command line(It still install it through visual studio installer, but you don't need to click "modify button"):

    >>Better yet, is there an alternative to Help Viewer that would be less trouble?

    You can directly place the cursor on code and press F1 which will open documentation via browser.

    Best regards,

    Joyce


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    Tuesday, January 2, 2018 7:12 AM
  • Thank you for your quick reply, Joyce. The command line idea didn't quite work. When I press F1 I get the volume setting for my PC. Do I need to press a combination that includes the Ctrl, Alt, Shift or Windows key along with F1? Also, is there a VSIX version of the Help Viewer installer that I can download?
    Wednesday, January 3, 2018 9:00 PM
  • Hi,

    Another way to easily install Microsoft Help Viewer is via the Quick Launch box:

    1. Type or enter help viewer in the Quick Launch box on the Visual Studio title bar.
    2.  Choose the Install result called Help Viewer (Indiviual Component).
    3. In the dialog box that opens, choose the Install button

    refer:

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/visualstudio/ide/microsoft-help-viewer-installation

    Joyce


    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Friday, January 5, 2018 2:34 AM
  • Thanks for writing, Joyce. Unfortunately, this runs Visual Studio Installer and it tries to do the same thing, which is to uninstall something that's already unintstalled.

    Are the Visual Studio help files available for download in, say, pdf format? I'd be just as happy viewing them in a pdf reader app. As long as I have them and I can read them offline, I'm all set.

    Saturday, January 6, 2018 8:40 PM
  • Hi,

    >>Are the Visual Studio help files available for download in, say, pdf format? I'd be just as happy viewing them in a pdf reader app. As long as I have them and I can read them offline, I'm all set.

    visual studio offline books need to be downloaded from help viewer, and you can find them in %ProgramData%\Microsoft\HelpLibrary2\Catalogs\VisualStudio15 and I don’t think it can be opened in a pdf reader app.

    >>Unfortunately, this runs Visual Studio Installer and it tries to do the same thing, which is to uninstall something that's already unintstalled.

    Since the release of Visual Studio 2017, Help Viewer is an optional installation component of Visual Studio. You need to install it via Visual Studio installer, whether it is through clicking "Modify" button or is through command line.  In command line, you can install help viewer accurately without selecting it in visual studio installer.

    Best regards,

    Joyce


    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if not. This can be beneficial to other community members reading this thread. If you have any compliments or complaints to MSDN Support, feel free to contact MSDNFSF@microsoft.com.

    Monday, January 8, 2018 9:48 AM