What is hkss.exe?

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 hkss.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.

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Hkss.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with hkss
Hkss.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Hot Key Support Software Loader belongs to software Compaq HotKey Support Software or Hot Key Support Software by Compaq Computer (

Description: Hkss.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. The file hkss.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". The file size on Windows 10/8/7/XP is 192,512 bytes. 
The program is not visible. Hkss.exe is able to record keyboard inputs. The file is not a Windows system file. The process is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). Therefore the technical security rating is 100% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: You can also uninstall Compaq HotKey Support Software software via Windows Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Programs and Features (Windows 10/8/7).

Recommended: Identify hkss.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as hkss.exe. Therefore, you should check the hkss.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

compaq hotkey support for notebooks
is installed for keyboard "Hotkeys" by compaq
This program is for your laptop, it's the use your hot keys on your keyboard. If you have installed a fresh version of windows xp then you need this program to activate the hotkeys for sound, standby, locking your screensaver etc...
  Alex the Great  
Used for Compaq hot keys

Summary: Average user rating of hkss.exe: based on 7 votes with 4 user comments. 7 users think hkss.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application.

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Best practices for resolving hkss issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with hkss. This means running a scan for malware, cleaning your hard drive using cleanmgr and sfc /scannow, uninstalling programs that you no longer need, checking for Autostart programs (using msconfig) and enabling Windows' Automatic 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 resmon 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 DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command. This allows you to repair the operating system without losing data.

To help you analyze the hkss.exe process on your computer, the following programs have proven to be helpful: Security 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. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware detects and removes sleeping spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, malware and trackers from your hard drive.

Other processes

hkss.exe [all]