What is HControl.exe?

The genuine HControl.exe file is a software component of ATK Hotkey Utility by ASUS.
ATK Hotkey Utility is a program that lets users modify the behaviour of keyboard function keys. HControl.exe runs processes necessary for the optimal functioning of the ASUS ATK Hotkey Utility. This is not an essential Windows process and can be disabled if known to create problems. The ATK Hotkey Utility comes preinstalled on certain laptops manufactured by ASUS. The program enables users to change the behaviour of the keyboard's function (FN) keys, and even allows a combination of keypresses to trigger certain actions. This program usually runs as a background service and is run at system startup. ASUS is a Chinese personal computer vendor that manufactures everything from desktops and laptops to mobile phones, monitors, optical storage devices, and graphics cards. In 2013, it was the world's fifth largest computer seller, in terms of sales. The company began launching graphics cards in 2005 with their initial PhysX accelerator card. ASUS was founded in Taipei in 1989 by T.H. Tung, Ted Hsu, Wayne Hsieh and M.T. Liao, all previously employed by Acer. The company is currently headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan.

HControl stands for Hardware Control

The .exe extension on a filename indicates an executable file. Executable files may, in some cases, harm your computer. Therefore, please read below to decide for yourself whether the HControl.exe on your computer is a Trojan that you should remove, or whether it is a file belonging to the Windows operating system or to a trusted application.

Click to Run a Free Scan for HControl.exe related errors

HControl.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with HControl
HControl.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process belongs to software ATK0100 or ATK Package or ATK Hotkey or ASUS HControl by ASUSTek Computer ( or ATK0100 or ASUS ( or ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC (

Description: HControl.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. HControl.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 225,280 bytes (52% of all occurrences), 303,928 bytes and 14 more variants. 
The program is not visible. It is not a Windows core file. Therefore the technical security rating is 38% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you have any problems with HControl.exe, you may want to remove the entire program Asus HControl or ATK Hotkey using Windows Control Panel, turn to the software developer, Asus, for advice or update to a possibly bug-fixed version.

Recommended: Identify HControl.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as HControl.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the HControl.exe process on your PC to see if it is a threat. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. This was one of the Top Download Picks of The Washington Post and PC World.


User Comments

It came installed with my sony vaio Laptop... it's supposed to enable additional keys
It's a Software That Enables Hotkey Commands (Programmable) Linked in Additional Keys Often External From Keyboards. Used on Notebooks
It's Also Used for OSD Commands
came also with some Samsung Notebooks... just for the Hotkeys
  Coalminer   (further information)
After 7 months using my new Sony VAIO, something changed on my system (don't know what) and now Hcontrol.exe causes Outlook Express to open every time Windows starts up. Not harmful, but irritating nevertheless. When hcontrol.exe is disabled my hotkeys still work, as far as I can tell...
Empfohlen bei Asus Notebook
Installed on Asus Laptops, provides short-cut keys (Function Key + Function Numbers) to useful features such as turning wireless on/off etc.
  Marcus Smith  
I can't launch the Internet Explorer anymore - other ATK driver installed but that didn't help.
might be a hotkey driver problem...
nix gefährliches
Sony Laptop. After upgrade to SP2 Outlook Express started automatically; now the same thing happens after adding Microsoft updates. I will disable it and see if the problem is cured.
  Robin M.  
I have an Asus Notebook, and somehow hcontrol.exe at times uses 100% of my CPU speed, which is irritating...
I had the same problem with, and result of fix suggested for, my Sony Vaio as Chris did. It started immediately after installing XP Service Pack 2. Running msconfig startup and enabling items one at a time revealed the problem.
  Frank McD  
not essential...unless you want the button to turn wireless on/off to work
CPU spikes to 100% under certain conditions, but unsure how to replicate conditions
  Sir Lulz  
I have it on my Asus Laptop. Sometimes it hangs and uses 100% of CPU. I keep a backup and replace it once in a while, this solves the problem for a few months.
Alot, enough to know it's 100% trustworthy, because the Company: ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC ( or ATK.Hcontrol.exe is a Windows file created by ASUSTek Computer.
  Jindra vd Paverd   (further information)
Asus laptop utility for hotkeys
ATK Hotkey
It enables secondary use of keys on laptops.
  Lo que sabe   (further information)
Comes on some laptops to handle fn+fx keys, on screen controls, and external device controls like usb keyboards
Came with my Asus laptop. Just sits there in the background, doing nothing but consume a meagre amount of RAM (0.6 MB).

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of HControl.exe: based on 28 votes with 23 user comments. 13 users think HControl.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 3 users think it's probably harmless. 11 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user thinks HControl.exe is dangerous and recommends removing it. 6 users don't grade HControl.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving HControl issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with HControl. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using 1cleanmgr and 2sfc /scannow, 3uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using 4msconfig) and enabling Windows' 5Automatic Update. Always remember to perform periodic backups, or at least to set restore points.

Should you experience an actual problem, try to recall the last thing you did, or the last thing you installed before the problem appeared for the first time. Use the 6resmon command to identify the processes that are causing your problem. Even for serious problems, rather than reinstalling Windows, you are better off repairing of your installation or, for Windows 8 and later versions, executing the 7DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the HControl.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: ASecurity Task Manager displays all running Windows tasks, including embedded hidden processes, such as keyboard and browser monitoring or Autostart entries. A unique security risk rating indicates the likelihood of the process being potential spyware, malware or a Trojan. BMalwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

HControl.exe [all]