What is s3hotkey.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 s3hotkey.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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S3hotkey.exe file information

The process known as S3Hotkey belongs to software S3 Graphics (version S3Hotkey) by S3 Graphics (

Description: S3hotkey.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. S3hotkey.exe is located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 40,960 bytes (50% of all occurrences) or 159,792 bytes. 
The process is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). The file is not a Windows system file. The program is not visible. The s3hotkey.exe file is a Microsoft signed file. Therefore the technical security rating is 26% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify s3hotkey.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware disguises itself as s3hotkey.exe, particularly when not located in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Therefore, you should check the s3hotkey.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

Had to download and install for my Sims2 game to work
  Christy Schaefer  
Toshiba monitor switch
s3hotkey.exe grapish

Summary: Average user rating of s3hotkey.exe: based on 4 votes with 3 user comments. 3 users think s3hotkey.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless.

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Best practices for resolving s3hotkey issues

A clean and tidy computer is the key requirement for avoiding problems with s3hotkey. 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 s3hotkey.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

s3hotkey.exe [all]