What is hotkey.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 hotkey.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 hotkey.exe related errors

Hotkey.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with hotkey
Hotkey.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Lenovo Black Silk USB Keyboard or TinianFn or TOSHIBA Hotkey Filter Application or HotKey MFC Application or LG OSD or Launch-n-Go

belongs to software Lenovo Black Silk USB Keyboard or TinianFn or TOSHIBA Hotkey Utility or HotKey MFC Application or Keyword Hotkey or LG OSD or OSD

by Lenovo ( or JME or LG Electronics ( or TOSHIBA ( or Tethys Solutions.

Description: Hotkey.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Hotkey.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 114,688 bytes (25% of all occurrences), 225,280 bytes and 51 more variants. 
The hotkey.exe file is not a Windows core file. The application starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run, MACHINE\User Shell Folders). The program is not visible. Hotkey.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs and monitor applications. Therefore the technical security rating is 48% dangerous; however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you encounter difficulties with hotkey.exe, you can uninstall Hotkey or Toshiba Hotkey Utility software via Windows Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Programs and Features (Windows 10/8/7).

Recommended: Identify hotkey.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as hotkey.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, for example Generic PUA EM (detected by Sophos), and Virus:Win32/Virut.BN (detected by Microsoft). Therefore, you should check the hotkey.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

Enables special keys on Chicony keyboards. Special combinations include Internet, E-mail, vol+, vol-, mute, etc. Only required for extended features
ASUS utility used for mapping special keys on a laptop
want it out of pc
  d. sanchez  
enables keys on flatbed-scanner; Name: PrimaxOne Touch MFC Application; (Path: %windir%\Twain_32\FladBed\HotKey.exe)
It's part of the TWAIN-support drivers for the scanner-drivers (installed as part of camera software, under C:\winnt\twain_32). I removed it, since I don't have a scanner.
  Shalom Craimer  
part of LG Onscreen display software, needed for several shortcut button
TOSHIBA utility used for mapping special keys on a laptop
  Fernando Torres  
TOSHIBA laptop utility for key combinations with the Fn key.
it's a virus according to norton and i want to remove it. it slows the performance of my computer.
It is a Toshiba utility
  Ian B   (further information)
My virus protector keeps blocking this program as "medium risk". Since the icon has been popping up in my taskbar, my pc has been running extremely slow. I will probably delete it since my keyboard does not have the "Fn" button, and I have not been using my scanner. Thanks for the information provided. 4-10-09
info from hotkey.exe is a an application which belongs to the OneTouchHotKey Application by Pmx. Electronics Ltd. "This program is a non-essential process, but should not be terminated unless suspected to be causing problems.
  Teresa 4-10-09 1:38pm   (further information)
not dangerous it freezes up my computer every 5 secs for a millisec mouse an all i killed the process and the problem stopped, no harm done
I Know This Virus Will Slow Down Your Computer And You Will Need Professinal Help To Remove It
hotkey,exe is a universal name for the process that allows you to use shortcuts using the keyboard. EX:FN+F3 on my comp mutes sound. Without hotkey.exe, it would not work. Ii is completely harmless, unless infected by malware.
Same experience as jeff. Every 5 seconds, the computer froze, and any audio or video froze as well. The CPU usage spiked every 5 seconds or so, oscillating between 9 and sometimes 100%. Thanks to Ian B, though. The "further information" link showed that it is not applicable to all Toshiba laptops, including mine (Toshiba Satellite M45 series). I deleted it and now my video and audio is fine again and the computer speeded up.
Used for keyboards that can control volume, quick button internet etc.
installed itself after trying to get toshiba fn buttons to work again... but it ended up freezing the pc every few seconds and i cant see how to get it permanently removed. not a published service/app, not in add/remove programs, not in windows/system32 as some have said before. searching for hotkey.exe while enabling hidden files does not find it.
PHotkey is frequently installed by a computer mfg to direct input from the user to a pre-installed program. Removing the utility will make it necessary to access the target program manually.
  T R Frazier  
Memory Hog
It prompts alerts whenever pressing caps lock/num lock that can't be stopped and get very irritating. Removing Hotkey seems to have had absolutely no adverse effects.

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of hotkey.exe: based on 24 votes with 21 user comments. 11 users think hotkey.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 2 users think it's probably harmless. 5 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 4 users suspect danger. 2 users think hotkey.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 3 users don't grade hotkey.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving hotkey issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with hotkey. 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 hotkey.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

hotkey.exe [all]