What is ps2.exe?

The genuine ps2.exe file is a software component of Hewlett-Packard Company by Hewlett-Packard Company.
ps2.exe is a driver that enables the operation of the special keys and features on certain Hewlett Packard multimedia keyboards. The extra functionalities include the ability to turn the audio volume up or down from the keyboard, or launch your Web browser. The program also implements a system tray icon for access to configuration options. The process is not strictly necessary for system operation, but terminating it will cause a loss of these special capabilities.

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 ps2.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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Ps2.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with ps2
Ps2.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as PS2 EXE belongs to software Hewlett-Packard Company (version PS2 EXE) by Hewlett-Packard Company (

Description: Ps2.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. Ps2.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder or sometimes in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files"—generally C:\WINDOWS\system32\ or C:\hp\drivers\keyboard\. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 81,920 bytes (63% of all occurrences), 90,112 bytes, 98,304 bytes, 259,546 bytes or 94,208 bytes. 
Ps2.exe is not a Windows core file. The file is a Microsoft signed file. The program starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). The program has no visible window. Ps2.exe is able to hide itself. Therefore the technical security rating is 16% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify ps2.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware disguises itself as ps2.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the ps2.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

Still using my old compaq for business and it slows it down just a bit.
  Art Vanderbie   (further information)
It allows the use of the multimedia keys at the top of the multimedia keyboards from Compac/HP.
It's an HP file. On Windows XP, it normally resides in one or two places: C:\WINDOWS\system32 or C:\hp\drivers\keyboard. It is not absolutely necessary except in the case of an HP multimedia keyboard. If the user is running a different brand of keyboard, such as Microsoft or Logitech, then the software that comes with that non-HP keyboard will take the place of ps2.exe, rendering it unnecessary. If you are running a basic keyboard with no extra features and no multimedia keys, then ps2.exe is not necessary.
  Al Swilling  
It slowed my W7 computer to a crawl. --technician. I have an HP printer
  Ben Green  
Part of HP and compaq computers file
[b]IT IS - for hp media keyboard to add functionallity with added buttons.
I'm no genius but it should be fine unless its conflicting with other programs for your mouse or keyboard, I turned it off through ccleaner and my mouse scroll started zooming in on pages and when i minimized a window it wouldn't come back up. Had to turn back on and restart. Then everything was fine.
  MR king  
I have a multimedia keyboard, and it works even when i end task. Actually, it seems to work even better
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of ps2.exe: based on 37 votes with 9 reviews. 23 users think ps2.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 3 users think it's probably harmless. 9 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 2 users suspect danger. 4 users don't grade ps2.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving ps2 issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with ps2. 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 ps2.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

ps2.exe [all]