What is PowerKey.exe?

The genuine PowerKey.exe file is a software component of Acer Launch Manager by Acer.
PowerKey.exe is an executable file that belongs to the Acer Launch Manager, a program that lets users customize key-mappings, or configure functions assigned to every key on the keyboard. This is not a critical Windows component and should be removed if known to cause problems. The Acer Launch Manager is a utility application that is designed to let users configure each key on the keyboard and what it does. The program can also be used to customize the special, or, 'FN' keys. The program also provides feedback to changes in volume, screen brightness levels and the Wi-Fi or the Bluetooth connection status. Acer was founded in 1976 by Stan Shih, Carolyn Yeh and five others as Multitech in 1976. It is a Taiwanese hardware and electronics giant that produces laptops, desktops, smart phones, displays, storage devices and peripherals. Acer was the fourth largest global vendor of personal computers in 2013 and generates an annual revenue of more than $16 billion. The company is headquartered in Xizhi, New Taipei City, Taiwan.

Powerkey stands for Acer Powerkey

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 PowerKey.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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PowerKey.exe file information

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

The process known as Powerkey belongs to software Acer Powerkey or Launch Manager by Acer (

Description: PowerKey.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. PowerKey.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files"—common is C:\Program Files\Launch Manager\ or C:\Program Files\Acer\Powerkey\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 94,208 bytes (94% of all occurrences) or 98,304 bytes. 
The PowerKey.exe file is not a Windows core file. The program starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). The program has no visible window. The software has no file description. PowerKey.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 62% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If there are any problems with PowerKey.exe, you can also use the software publisher’s support, check the vendor’s website for a newer version or uninstall Launch Manager software via Windows Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Programs and Features (Windows 10/8/7).

Recommended: Identify PowerKey.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:
There are different files with the same name:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as PowerKey.exe, particularly when located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the PowerKey.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

PowerKey management for Acer computers
Part of Acer Launch Manager - programmable keys on such laptops as the TravelMate 610
  Rob McEwan   (further information)
it`s true; a part of acer launch manager for TravelMate 610, I'm don't use it
  alex   (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of PowerKey.exe: based on 9 votes with 3 user comments. 8 users think PowerKey.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's neither essential nor dangerous.

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Best practices for resolving PowerKey issues

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

PowerKey.exe [all]