Helper Application

What Does Helper Application Mean?

A helper application is any application that handles files received by a Web browser. It is non-native and unviewable by the browser. A browser invokes a helper application through a prebuilt component in the browser’s stored list of applications.

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Techopedia Explains Helper Application

A helper application is a separate, standalone application designed to operate a particular file. Typically, most browsers have a built-in list of helper applications that may be directly invoked by the browser.

For example, a standard browser is unable to directly play a MP3 file. If a browser receives or downloads a MP3 file, it will access its list of helper applications to locate a compatible MP3 application, such as Windows Media Player. If there is no related application, the browser may recommend finding a match by searching the computer and/or the Internet.

Moreover, a user may manually customize a browser’s list of helper applications, either to swap an existing helper application or add a newer helper application for different file extensions.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…