What is zHotkey.exe? Is zHotkey.exe spyware or a virus?

How to fix zHotkey.exe related problems?
1. Run Security Task Manager to check your zHotkey process
2. Run Windows Repair Tool to repair zHotkey.exe related Windows Errors
3. Run MalwareBytes to remove persistent malware


zHotkey.exe is installed as part of the drivers of the Chicony's eMachines brand of multimedia keyboards. It manages the assignment and use of special multimedia hotkey functions. This includes tasks like starting the default internet browser, starting the e-mail client, volume control including muting, invoking the host into sleep mode, starting the calculator and also use a single-button cut-copy-paste functionality.http://www.neuber.com/taskmanager/process/zhotkey.exe.html 

If you want a detailed security rating about your zHotkey.exe (and all other running background processes) read the following user opinions, and download the free trial version of Security Task Manager.

Note: Any malware can be named anything - so you should check where the files of the running processes are located on your disk. If a "non-Microsoft" .exe file is located in the C:\Windows or C:\Windows\System32 folder, then there is a high risk for a virus, spyware, trojan or worm infection! Check it out!


Click to Run a Free Scan for zHotkey.exe related errors


Users Opinions

Average user rating of zHotkey.exe: based on 60 votes. Read also the 55 reviews.

1402 users ask for this file. 27 users rated it as not dangerous. 5 users rated it as not so dangerous. 14 users rated it as neutral. 6 users rated it as little bit dangerous. 8 users rated it as dangerous. 7 users didn't rate it ("don't know").


All comments about zHotkey.exe:
Seems to be a hotkey driver for Chicony keyboards, found on eMachines.   Mike
Multimeda keyboard driver Used for keyboards that have extra buttons   The Almighty bob
If you end the process the keyboard hotkeys no longer work, leaving it open doesnt seem to slow down anything.   Squaba
Multimedia keybaord driver. Think it comes up as a keylogger, but its perfectly harmless  
This is the file which enables the extra keys such as sleep or calculator and volume controls on my emachines keyboard to work   Alex Talmage
Seems to be a hotkey driver for Chicony keyboards, found on eMachines.  
it comes up on the bottem of my computer   jimmie buckner
Keyboard Treiber für EXTA-Tasten ( driver for special buttons on the keyboard   Max
From what I have found in my own tests this file is useless. I have tried 3 different keyboards Microsoft Media, Logitech and Dell and all 3 work flawlessly without this process running. It has been often cloned and used to allow spyware to run free on your system. I would recommend removing the file completely since it does not affect the use of the keyboard and can obviously be an alert that there may be malware hiding in the program. If it is using a system process name it cannot be detected by scanners as a trojan or keylogger.   Brian
it appeared where my minamized windows appeared, but never has before...didnt seem to mess anything up   darby a
It does come on emachines and is used for the extra "hot" keys   ChantzAly
zHotkey.exe is a startup file that adds functionality (e.g., on-screen volume display, cut, copy, paste, etc.) to Chicony keyboards bundled with EMachines desktop computers. It is completely harmless.   Allan
it shows up inmy inet cache, also in my prefetch and in windows root   richard parker
well it is nessesary on the emachine keyboard. this is because without it the volume functions dont work and also the onscreen display of what is happening don't show. for example if i press play the play sign comes up. without this tool it would not display these usful functions   kas
I know that it is a nuisance to my startup (How do I get rid of it?)   Michael
special driver for the special buttons on my key board, perfectly harmless   jay
definitely performs useful task for E-Machines KB-108 keyboard and Belkin F8E185. Didn't help with HP 5219URF though.   Phil Hornby
After removing the supplied emachines wired keyboard & adding a wireless keyboard, a 'zHotkey.exe has encountered a problem & needs to close......' message is generated when opening XP. Solution? - Disable or remove this process   q.a.am.
In Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, this process appears to be the culprit in activating an annoying popup that reports the volume level when you use keyboard functions to change the volume. This is particularly annoying when you're in full-screen mode as it takes you back to windowed mode (takes focus away from games and full screen movies). No functionionality was lost when the process was killed.   enjerth
Under the right surcumstances this program can be dangerous. If you do not live alone someone can monitor your keystrokes. My reasolution is to download Security Task Manager and quarantine the program.   mr computer dude
if zhotkey is not responding does any one know how to get it back   bryan
It's a harmless program to use things like CTRL +Z for copy and paste ect.   Jordan
On XP is launches with some user and not for others causing an error message.   Mel
Brian is right. I just removed it from my Emachines and my hotkeys all still work.   cammac
it disables most of the bottom row of my keyboard for a while it affects z x c v m   paul
I do not like the sound of this and shall kill it.   Beaujour
On a 3200 Athlon 64 eMachine, removed AOL and this message keeps coming up at the end of boot: 'zHotkey.exe has encountered a problem & needs to close......' I would like the functionallity to work but do not know how to clear the problem and get back to normal.  
has stopped one of my programs running all together and serves no real purpose, media keyboard and all buttons work fine without it, also dont know how i got it   jason
runs in background can copy key strokes, dangerous  
Emachines keyboard software totally harmless. Can cause slight conflicts with not running properly if using Zonealarm. Doesn't access the internet at all. Remove only if it doesn't start correctly.   Spacey
It's a process started by windows linked to multimedia keys on chicony keyboards. Stopping it doesn't render these keys uselss, it just disables the monitor overaly status info that comes up when these keys are pressed.   Emi
used in newer Gateway keyboards for the extra keys like play, pause, stop, search, home, email, and computer volume  
Puter ran snails pace out of the box (attached a compaq keyboard instead of the keyboard that came with the puter). Noticed zhotkey was using 99% of resources. After coming here, I closed the application, connected the keyboard that came with the computer, restarted and the puter now works great.   David
it seems pretty safe... scan it with this site,  See also: Link   Randy
After I restored Windows XP, my computer automatically rebooted and zhotkey appeared on the bottom of my screen next to the Start button. I thought that this was unusual, so I tried to remove it, quarentine it and open it. I was denied access to this file and could not do anything with it. When I deleted the prefetch, all of my games disappeared.   Donna
zHotkey.exe is a startup file that adds functionality (e.g., on-screen volume display, cut, copy, paste, etc.) to Chicony keyboards bundled with Gateway desktop computers. It is completely harmless.   Steve
All it affects is the hot key functions of the keyboard such as play/pause etc. I now have an advent keyboard and without Hotkey the hot buttons still work, but their on screen display disappears.   Joe
When I first saw this file, i thought it might be a key-logger, because I've had people run key-log software on my computer before, but from reading all of the other blogs, it just looks like whatever...   Jeff
when I blocked this file from accessing the internet, firefox stopped connecting   Bill Riemers
a nuisance,just cant get rid,hundreds of its dialogue boxes appear on my screen on start up,   derek winder
UGH. It won't let me on my internet. But the "GUEST" account is working just fine.   Alex
the actual driver name does NOT have the capital H, zhotkey.exe vs zHotkey.exe the latter is a keyboard logger and malicious  
eMachines have Chicony keyboards. Unfortunately, Windows Vista flagged "ZHotKey" as having an unknown publisher. Vista also responded to this application as an "unidentified program is attempting to access your computer. Allow or Disallow?." If Windows VIsta flags this program as a threat and the publisher is unknown, I think that this application should be deleted from your hard drive.   Donna
It's a keyboard monitoring application. Lets user know when his caps lock/scroll lock/num lock is on, and keyboard and mouse low battery warning.   Add
Well, it freaked me out a bit when I first seen it, but since it says it was last modified three years ago I will assume its safe. If it had been made recently I would delete it.   Multamaru
You can actually dissable the zhotkey function in the start- run menu. Type msconfig and select the tab start, you will find it in that list and can de-select it. Howver when you re-start most likely a window will appear with the message you changed the config. It does solve the problem. Check out the miscrosoft support link  See also: Link   zhotkey issu
go to microsoft site and check, i did it and here is the solution click on START, select RUN,type MSCONFIG, clik OK, on startup tab click CLEAR "ZHOTKEY" then click OK, then restart, and voila EVERYTHING SHOUL BE OK.   GRANPEPE
needed for emachine keyboard  See also: Link   guest 1234
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.  
Fake Software  See also: Link   Neo
"zHotkey.exe" is harmless. It gives additional functions to Chicony keyboards. Chicony keyboards are also used with gateway computers.  
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.   Patti
changes my keyboard press characters;   Viswanath
comes up on bottom of screen but I cant get it to do anything when I click on it except close it. to   dave
it is a nuisance and delays opening to internet or e-mail.   Catherine

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