What is zHotkey.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 zHotkey.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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ZHotkey.exe file information

Windows Task Manager with zHotkey
ZHotkey.exe process in Windows Task Manager

The process known as Multimedia Keyboard Driver or Chicony Multimedia Driver belongs to software Multimedia Keyboard Driver or Chicony Multimedia Driver by Chicony (

Description: ZHotkey.exe is not essential for Windows and will often cause problems. ZHotkey.exe is located in the C:\Windows folder. Known file sizes on Windows 10/8/7/XP are 543,232 bytes (52% of all occurrences), 550,912 bytes, 547,840 bytes, 496,640 bytes or 515,584 bytes. 
ZHotkey.exe is not a Windows core file. The program starts when Windows starts (see Registry key: MACHINE\Run). The program is not visible. It is located in the Windows folder, but it is not a Windows core file. ZHotkey.exe is able to record keyboard inputs. There is no description of the program. ZHotkey.exe is able to record keyboard and mouse inputs. Therefore the technical security rating is 94% dangerous, however you should also read the user reviews.

Recommended: Identify zHotkey.exe related errors

External information from Paul Collins:

Important: Some malware camouflages itself as zHotkey.exe. Therefore, you should check the zHotkey.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

it is a nuisance and delays opening to internet or e-mail.
comes up on bottom of screen but I cant get it to do anything when I click on it except close it. to
changes my keyboard press characters;
My computerruns very slow and does'nt respond to comnds as it should.Personally I don't appreciate all the dificulties but am afraid to remove it.
"zHotkey.exe" is harmless. It gives additional functions to Chicony keyboards. Chicony keyboards are also used with gateway computers.
Fake Software
  Neo   (further information)
It's for those shortcut buttons on eMachines keyboards. If you follow others' advice to remove it, then you'll be left without those helpful shortcuts on your keyboard.
needed for emachine keyboard
  guest 1234   (further information)
More comments can be found here:
    (further information)

Rating chart

Summary: Average user rating of zHotkey.exe: based on 61 votes with 9 reviews. 27 users think zHotkey.exe is essential for Windows or an installed application. 6 users think it's probably harmless. 14 users think it's neither essential nor dangerous. 6 users suspect danger. 8 users think zHotkey.exe is dangerous and recommend removing it. 8 users don't grade zHotkey.exe ("not sure about it").

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Best practices for resolving zHotkey issues

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

zHotkey.exe [all]