Help and Support is Missing (Restricted) – Start Menu

Windows XP Help and Support menu is missing from the Start Menu and is also missing when you try to customize the Start Menu using the Taskbar and Start Menu applet in the Control Panel. The most likely cause of this is malware utilizing Group Policy Objects which enforces policies for system settings and/or user accounts settings. The Group Policy for Remove Help menu from Start Menu will cause the Help and Support to be restricted/disabled (removed) from Start Menu when enabled.

Group Policies are typically applied at businesses to control access to programs, system properties, and user account settings. For Home users, Help and Support can be removed from the Start Menu by these Group Policies but usually malware is the culprit. If you are a home user and the Help and Support menu is missing from the Start Menu and looks like the pictures below then there is a good chance you are infected with malware.

Help and Support Missing – Start Menu
Help and Support – Start Menu
Help and Support Option Missing – Taskbar and Start Menu Properties
Help and Support Option – Taskbar and Start Menu Properties

NOTE

Ensure your computer is malware free before applying the following solutions.

CAUTION

Before making any changes to the Windows XP Registry, please backup your Windows XP Registry using the direction from "Using ERUNT to back up the Windows XP Registry".

Manual Steps Using Group Policy Editor

NOTE

The Group Policy Editor requires Administrative privileges and is only available for Windows XP Professional Edition. Windows XP Home users can use the Windows XP Registry method to remove the Group Policy restriction.

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type gpedit.msc in the Run dialog box.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. In the Group Policy Editor navigate to:

    User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar

  5. Double-click Remove Help menu from Start Menu.
  6. Select Not Configured.

NOTE

If Help and Support is restricted/disabled (missing) from the Start Menu on a per User account basis then the above method will not work, you will need to use the Registry Editor to remove the Group Policy.

Manual Steps Using Windows XP Registry

  1. Click Start and then Run.
  2. Type regedit.exe in the Run dialog box.
  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. Navigate to:

    HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

  5. Right-click NoSMHelp to select Modify.
  6. Change the value to 0.
  7. Navigate to:

    HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

  8. Right-click NoSMHelp to select Modify.
  9. Change the value to 0.
  10. Quit the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).

NOTE

You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Manual Steps Using REG ADD

  1. Open a Command Window.
  2. Type:

    REG ADD "HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer" /v NoSMHelp
    /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  3. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  4. Type:

    REG ADD "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer" /v NoSMHelp
    /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  5. Press ENTER on your keyboard.
  6. Type EXIT and press ENTER on your keyboard.

NOTE

You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Automated Fix Using an Registration File

  1. Download HlpMn.Allow.reg to a folder on your hard drive.
  2. Right-click HlpMn.Allow.reg to select Merge.
  3. Now the registration entries are added for you.

NOTES

The HlpMn.Allow.reg file is from my web server (lprf.homeserver.com). You also can view the contents of the HlpMn.Allow.reg file by right-clicking the file and selecting Edit. You may need to log off then log on to your user account or restart your computer for the changes to take affect.

Platforms Tested

  • Microsoft Windows XP Editions
Related Articles

Version 1.11
Edited: May 9, 2012

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20 Responses to Help and Support is Missing (Restricted) – Start Menu

  1. Ng says:

    Hello..Bill…I\’m a Windows XP Professional Edition User and lately i\’ve been haven\’t a strange problem.Whenever I open display properties..it works fine…but when i click on the settings tab to change resolutions..the computer hangs and the hourglass appears..then if i try to click on something..it hangs completely…I\’ve no idea what could be causing it…I sincerely hope you could try to help me

  2. BillJr says:

    Hi Ng Zi Xiang,I would suggest to perform a clean boot and see if the problem persists.How to perform advanced clean-boot troubleshooting in Windows XPhttp://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=316434How to perform a clean boot in Windows XPhttp://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=310353If the problem is not occuring after a clean boot then there is a start-up entry causing your problems. Enable one start-up entry at a time using msconfig until the program entry is found.Good Luck

  3. Ng says:

    Hi Bill,After perfoming the clean boot with the guided help,settings in display properties works fine…then it says that a third-person program is responsible for the problem…what kind of programs exactly? This problem happened quite recently but i\’m not sure which program is causing the problem…how should i find which programs causes it?

  4. Ng says:

    If it is a program casusing it…there several programs that i have recently installed …here\’s a list of programs I recently installed1.CCleaner2.Advance SystemCare3.Hamachi4.Keyfinder5.Process Tamer6.Security Task Manager7.Tunngle8.Lancraft (it\’s for playing Warcraft 3 on Lan)9.SpeedFanThere could be others but i\’m not a 100% sure. I hope you could give some advice..

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