The helium ion microscope (HIM) has emerged as an instrument of choice for patterning, imaging and, more recently, analytics at the nanoscale. Here, we review secondary electron imaging on the HIM and the various methodologies and hardware components that have been developed to confer analytical capabilities to the HIM. Secondary electron–based imaging can be performed at resolutions down to 0.5 nm with high contrast, with high depth of field, and directly on insulating samples. Analytical methods include secondary electron hyperspectral imaging (SEHI), scanning transmission ion microscopy (STIM), backscattering spectrometry and, in particular, secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS). The SIMS system that was specifically designed for the HIM allows the detection of all elements, the differentiation between isotopes, and the detection of trace elements. It provides mass spectra, depth profiles, and 2D or 3D images with lateral resolutions down to 10 nm.