Help Viewer issues solved in Mac OS X 10.6.5

Several issues can arise when attempting to access the Help Viewer in Mac OS X 10.6.5. Changed language, no information showing, or access errors are some of the problems that can be fixed by resetting a few files.

Several issues can arise when attempting to access the Help Viewer in Mac OS X 10.6.5. Changed language, no information showing, or access errors are some of the problems that can be fixed by resetting a few files or simply waiting it out.

Apple Support Discussions user Pilif Nudd writes about an issue where documented knowledge base articles are not appearing in Help Viewer:

"Have recently installed 10.6.5 (Combo) and am now getting strange behaviour with Help Viewer. Entering a search term lists standard help items and support articles, as normal. However, clicking on any item under Support Articles yields an error: 'The requested resource (/kb//apps/helpviewer/index) is not available.'"

This is the "wait it out" scenario. When Apple updates its servers, specifically the ones that contain its knowledge base articles (the ones that Help Viewer refers users to when researching help topics), you may find that these articles are offline. The error message occurs without much direction for recourse, but waiting for Apple to update is often the best remedy.

Recent outages may have been due to Apple turning on its new North Carolina data farm. Other issues in Help Viewer can be caused by corrupt preference files. ASD user Yoshipop describes a situation where all the articles in Help Viewer are being displayed in Chinese:

"When I use "HELP" (as found in menu bar) in some applications, I get help text in another language (Chinese). Actually it turns out all help are in Chinese unless unavailable in English. My system was installed in English language. Though I admit that I have switched the language to Chinese for some application launches. I've since changed back to English (and re-logged in)."

Another issue brought up in a recent knowledge base article describes when the Apple Help menu displays a blank page or error message stating that JavaScript is disabled. Both situations can be solved by trashing (effectively resetting) a couple preference files.

Navigate to Macintosh HD > Home > Library > Preferences and find the following files:

  • com.apple.help.plist
  • com.apple.helpviewer.plist

Delete those files and restart your machine. Try to access Help Viewer again. Also try navigating to Macintosh HD > Home > Library > Caches and deleting the "com.apple.helpui" folder. As always, be sure to have a stable backup of all your data before deleting files from your system.


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About the author

    Joe is a seasoned Mac veteran with years of experience on the platform. He reports on Macs, iPods, iPhones and anything else Apple sells. He even has worked in Apple retail stores. He's also a creative professional who knows how to use a Mac to get the job done.

     

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