What is thotkey.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 thotkey.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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Thotkey.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with thotkey
Thotkey.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Hotkey Utility or THotkey belongs to software THotkey by TOSHIBA (

Description: Thotkey.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. Thotkey.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 352,256 bytes (52% of all occurrences), 356,352 bytes and 8 more variants. 
Thotkey.exe is not a Windows system file. The application starts upon Windows startup (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). The program has no visible window. Thotkey.exe is able to monitor applications and record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 51% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify thotkey.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

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

Fix finally available for "Retrieval of "THotkey" failed" error. Read the Feb. 3, 2005 entry at this URL. This fix WORKS.
  grainbelt - (credit goes to SBriggs)   (further information)
Installed on Toshiba Laptop, when HD is changed to other desktop, thotkey process uses lots of memory searching for hotkeys that are'nt there. Reboot in safe mode and delete thotkey.exe. Fixed the problem on my IBM Notebook.
f├╝hrt bei mir zu 100%iger CPU Auslastung!
Taking up processor time
cannot load powerprof.dll
pada saat memaatikan komputer muncul tulisan thotkey bagai mana cara menghapusnya

Summary: Average user rating of thotkey.exe: based on 5 votes with 6 user comments. One user thinks thotkey.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. 2 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. 3 users don't grade thotkey.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving thotkey issues

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

thotkey.exe [all]