What is TPHKMGR.exe?

The genuine TPHKMGR.exe file is a software component of Lenovo On Screen Display by Lenovo.
The ThinkPad Hotkey Manager is run as the file "TPHKMGR.exe" and it handles the special function key (F1, F2, etc.) commands for events like screen brightness, video outputs, and more for Lenovo (previously IBM) ThinkPad laptops. It displays on the screen for easy access and configurations. IBM was founded in 1911 as Computing Tabulating Recording Company (CTR) from 3 different companies and became International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) in 1924. Lenovo purchased the personal computer part of IBM in 2005. Lenovo is a Chinese manufacturing company focused on computer technologies that includes computers, mobile phones, servers, and more.

TPHKMgr stands for ThinkPad HotKey Manager

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 TPHKMGR.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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TPHKMGR.exe file information

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

The process belongs to software On Screen Display or Rescue and Recovery or OOo-dev or IBM ThinkPad On Screen Display or Client Security Solution or My Book Device Driver or Adobe Shockwave (version 11) by unknown.

Description: TPHKMGR.exe is not essential for the Windows OS and causes relatively few problems. TPHKMGR.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 94,208 bytes (96% of all occurrences), 69,632 bytes and 5 more variants. 
There is no description of the program. It is not a Windows core file. The program has no visible window. The process is loaded during the Windows boot process (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). Therefore the technical security rating is 63% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Uninstalling this variant: If you encounter difficulties with TPHKMGR.exe, you may also turn to the software developer, Lenovo, for advice, make sure that you have installed the latest version or safely remove the program using the uninstall program of ThinkPad Hotkey Manager (Control Panel ⇒ Uninstall a Program).

Recommended: Identify TPHKMGR.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

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

tphkmgr.exe is a system utilities task installed onto IBM Thinkpad laptops. It allows the configuration of the FN keys your IBM Thinkpad laptop. This is a non-essential process. Disabling or enabling it is down to user preference.
  Wormsworth   (further information)
The Fn key works after terminating the TPHKMGR. The process consumed 60% of my CPU and froze my TP. I think it is a rouge process
  Rajkiran Guru  
The tphkmgr.exe process is installed by default on IBM Thinkpad computers. It allows various functions of your IBM notebook to be controlled using the blue Fn keys. If you use the blue Fn keys on your Notebook, you should leave this process running. Otherwise, if it is causing problems for your system you should terminate the tphkmgr.exe process.
  IBM User   (further information)
This file is not only found on IBM Thinkpads. Lenovo uses IBM software as well. I found this process on a Lenovo 3000 V100. The link shows LKenovo uses Thinkpad Technology.
  JYNX1973   (further information)
Whenever i turn on my computer, the cpu usage suddenly shoots up to 100% disabling anymore processes. What i did was terminated the process tphkmgr.exe. To my surprise, my computer started running normally. Everytime I ran my computer i had to terminate the process as it slows down my computer very much.
Hotkey-Manager on ThinkPad
IBM Thinkpad file. When I stop it, nothing important was happened. Think, It can be removed safely.
  Alex Zigman  
Allows Hoykeys to work
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of TPHKMGR.exe: based on 23 votes with 9 reviews. 15 users think TPHKMGR.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. One user thinks it's probably harmless. 4 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. One user suspects danger. 2 users think TPHKMGR.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 3 users don't grade TPHKMGR.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving TPHKMGR issues

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

TPHKMGR.exe [all]