What is hkcmd.exe (hkcmd module) at Startup? Should I Remove It?

There are a lot of files that you may not know what they are. Then, you think whether some of them can be removed or not. No wonder why you think about it because sometimes, there are files which are okay to be removed and even they are actually viruses so that you need to remove them. Now, how about hkcmd?

What is hkcmd?

Hkcmd is known as the hotkey command. It is a part of Intel Common User Interface and it is an executable file in a PC. It is not a Windows system file and it is able to run at Windows startup without a visible window.

Quoted from Minitool, hkcmd is the hotkey interpreter of Intel. Usually, the module is installed by Intel 810 and 815 graphics drivers. It is launched with every system start and it permits you to be able to access the Graphics Controller of Intel by using hotkeys which can be predetermined. So, for you who use the keyboard shortcuts for controlling your computer, it is better for you to leave the process running.

Hkcmd hotkey interpreters can be disabled easily. However, it is important to know that hkcmd is a valid process from Intel. So, it should not cause problems for you as a user. But, it can be copied, intercepted or replaced by malware like Trojan. Trojans are very harmful because they are able to permit attackers to get the host machine remotely and execute various commands such as data-stealing or uploading of other malware.

Should We Remove It?

As explained above that hkcmd is a valid process from Intel so actually you do not need to remove it. However, this file can be replaced, copied or infected by Trojans so that it will be harmful. But, how to differentiate between the valid hkcmd and the one with Trojan? If you are not an expert, you may not know how to differentiate between malicious files from the valid one. To be able to differentiate it, the way is very easy. You just have to check the location of the file. How to do that? You are able to follow the steps below.

  • First, you have to open Task Manager and you can do that by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  • After that, you have to scroll down to find the hkcmd process.
  • Now, you have to right click and choose Properties.
  • There, you will be able to see the location of the file in the General tab.
  • You have to make sure that the location of the file is in C:\Windows\System32\ folder. If you find that the hkcmd is not in that folder, it means that it is malware/ virus.

If you find that it is infected by malware or you find that the file is disguised as a hkcmd and it causes problems to your PC, you are able to remove it.

How to Remove Hkcmd?

If you want to remove hkcmd because you find that it is actually a malware which disguises itself as a hkcmd or it is infected by a virus, you are able to do that by choosing one of the methods that we explain below. If hkcmd is  a virus, your computer will show some symptoms including:

  • There are annoying threats and alerts on the screen of your computer;
  • Malware is installed to your computer;
  • The PC becomes slow;
  • There are a lot of ads on your web pages;
  • You are redirected to strange sites;
  • and many more.

Running Malwarebytes

Running Malwarebytes

If your PC shows the symptoms above or you find that hkcmd is a virus, one of the solutions that you are able to do is to run malwarebytes.  You have to perform a full system scan and check whether it finds any malware. If there is malware, you have to remove it.

It is important for you to use a powerful malware remover. One of them is Malwarebytes. It has the ability to destroy various types of malware and also it can protect your computer against spyware, viruses and other malicious software. Even if you use the premium edition, it will permit you to be able to use it for free in 14 days. Do you want to use Malwarebytes? You are able to visit the official site and then get it on your computer.

Running System File Checker

Running System File Checker

If hkcmd is infected by viruses, the Windows system files will be corrupted and it makes the hkcmd error. So, you are able to fix this issue by using System File Checker to do a system scan. If you use this tool, it will scan the system and also fix the missing or corrupted system files. How to use it? You are able to follow the steps below.

  • First, you have to enter ‘cmd’ to the search box and then right click it to select Run As Administrator. It is important for you to note that the scan is only performed with administrative privileges.
  • In this step, you have to enter sfc/scannow to the Command Prompt window and then you have to press Enter.
  • In this step, you have to wait patiently until the scan is completed.
  • If you see that the process of scanning is done, now you are able to restart your computer to check whether the issue is still there or not.

Uninstalling Intel Graphics Drivers

If you want to fix hkcmd, uninstalling Intel Graphics drivers can also be one of the solutions that you can do. It is because the faulty driver can cause issues. But, how to do that? You are able to follow the steps below for uninstalling Intel Graphics Drivers.

  • The first thing that you have to do is to go to the Device Manager through the search bar.
  • After that, you have to right click your graphics driver and then select Uninstall Driver.
  • After you uninstall the driver, you are able to restart your computer and then Windows will install the driver.

Hopefully, now the issue can be fixed and your computer will be able to work properly.

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