This study investigated the online help‐seeking behaviors of computer science students with a focus on the effect of achievement goals. The online help‐seeking behaviors investigated were online searching, asking teachers online for help, and asking peers or unknown people online for help. One hundred and sixty‐five students studying computer science from a large research university in the south‐eastern United States participated in the study. It was found that students searched online significantly more frequently than they asked people online for help. Contrary to prior findings on face‐to‐face help seeking, no achievement goals were found to be significant in predicting the tendencies of students to seek help online. These findings provide evidence to support the role of online searching as an integral part of online help seeking and demonstrate that research findings on face‐to‐face help seeking should not be assumed to be naturally extendable to online help seeking. Copyright © 2016 British Educational Research Association.