Updating multiple VS 2010 installations’ Help content with a single download

A question that we've begun to see come up from folk that have generally low-bandwidth is whether there is a way to download updates once for one machine and to then use that content for other machines as well.

One customer puts it this way:

"Also, while the updating feature is great, the downloads appear quite large and if you have a number of machines to update then this can be a slow and bandwidth consuming task, is there any way to download and share the help system updates between multiple installations?"

We do not currently support a way to do this seemlessly through our Help Library Manager dialog, but there is a way you can work around this if you are a network admin for example, and the machines you are administering are pretty much all configured the same way with the same general drive designations. e.g. For all systems, you have chosen to create your Local Store for VS 2010 Help content to be at the same path location.

My friend and Library Experience teammate, Charles Christian, has written some excellent comments about a related issue on some of our developer forums, which I'll alter slightly and summarize here: 

  1. On a single machine, launch Help Library Manager from the Visual Studio 2010 IDE using Help | Manage Help Settings
  2. Install and update any content that you wish to be available on all other machines using Help Library Manager.
  3. Open the settings screen from Help Library Manager, by clicking on the Settings link on the upper right. Note the path of the Local Store that should appear grayed out in the lower half of the dialog. The default path if you did not change anything during setup would be: %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Microsoft\HelpLibrary. In Windows 7 this will probably translate to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\HelpLibrary.
  4. On any other machine that you wish to update with the same changes
  1. Ensure that the Help system is closed down - close any browser that may currently be displaying local help. Ensure that you are not running Help Library Manager and that the Help Library Agent is also closed down (right click on the Help Library Agent tray application and select Exit).
  2. Copy the entire Help Library folder from the first machine over to the same location on the machine you wish to update.

Please note that this is not a supported scenario. We recommend taking a backup before proceeding with these steps! Please note also that you will need to have Admin privileges on any machine that you wish to perform this operation.

Comments (2)

  1. TechniaOne says:


    Thanks for this solution!


  2. bornlibra23 says:

    Hello The Help Guy

    I need to convert the MSDN library in the said format to plain vanilla HTML which can be then accessed by developers over intranet. Local installation of the MSDN library on every workstation is very difficult.

    Please help me out.


    Ashutosh Warikoo

Skip to main content