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How to Fix hkcmd High CPU Usage

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The hkcmd executable is essentially, a hotkey interpreter belonging to Intel. There is a common problem of hkcmd module consuming high CPU Usage in Windows. This slows down the system. The hkcmd module may start during Windows startup which also slows down the Windows booting process. If you are also facing the same problem and find it annoying, then do not worry anymore. Today, we will help you fix hkcmd high CPU usage issue. It will also guide you to disable hkcmd module during startup. So keep reading!

How to Fix hkcmd High CPU Usage

How to Fix hkcmd High CPU Usage

Some common issues you may face with the hkcmd.exe file are listed below:

  • Your system may crash more frequently. Hence, all the unsaved work will be left all alone, leading to data loss. System crash degrades the overall efficiency of the computer and induces performance issues.
  • The hkcmd.exe file always tries to interfere with the Microsoft server whenever you boot your system. This may sometimes prevent you from accessing the web browser.
  • It consumes a lot of CPU resources and thus, leads to system lag as well.

Follow the solutions listed below to fix high CPU usage caused by hkcmd.

Method 1: End Task Using Task Manager

There may be plenty of applications that run in the background thereby affecting the performance of the system. Here’s how to fix hkcmd.exe high CPU usage by ending said task:

1. Launch Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys together.

2. In the Processes tab, search and select hkcmd tasks.

In the Task Manager window, click on the Processes tab. Fix hkcmd High CPU Usage

3. Finally, select End Task and reboot your PC.

Method 2: Run Antivirus Scan

Windows Defender may not recognize the threat when a virus or malware uses hkcmd.exe files as camouflage. In this way, hackers may easily intrude into your system. Few malicious software, such as worms, bugs, bots, adware, etc., might also contribute to this problem. Since they intend to damage your system, steal private data, or spy on you, we need to get rid of these asap.

Pro Tip: Do not open a suspicious email or click on a link to avoid virus or malware attacks.

Several anti-malware programs can help you block or remove malicious software. They routinely scan and safeguard your system. Therefore, to avoid hkcmd.exe high CPU usage error, run an antivirus scan in your system as follows:

1. Press Windows + I keys together to open Windows Settings.

2. Here, click on Update & Security, as shown.

Here, the Windows Settings screen will pop up, now click on Update and Security. Fix hkcmd High CPU Usage

3. Click on Windows Security in the left pane.

4. Next, select the Virus & threat protection option under Protection areas.

select the Virus and threat protection option under Protection areas. Fix hkcmd High CPU Usage

5A. All the threats will be enlisted here. Click on Start actions under Current threats to take actions against the threats.

Click on Start Actions under Current threats.

5B. If you do not have any threats in your system, the system will show the No actions needed alert as highlighted below.

If you do not have any threats in your system, the system will show the No actions needed alert as highlighted.

6. Click on Scan options to view scanning options for your Windows PC.

Click on Scan options. Fix hkcmd High CPU Usage

7. Run Windows Defender Offline Scan to check for hkcmd malware on startup.

Note: It is advised to run a Full scan for an in-depth checking preferably, during non-working hours.

Windows Defender Offline Scan under Virus and threat protection Scan Options

Also Read: Kill Resource Intensive Processes with Windows Task Manager (GUIDE)

Method 3: Update Graphics Drivers

Try updating the drivers to the latest version to fix high CPU usage caused by hkcmd in Windows desktop/laptop.

1. Press the Windows key, type device manager, and hit Enter.

Type Device Manager in the Windows 10 search menu. Fix hkcmd high CPU usage, hkcmd module startup

2. Scroll down to Display adapters and double click on it to expand it.

3. Now, right-click on the video card driver and click on Update driver, as depicted below.

You will see the Display adapters on the main panel and double click on it. Fix hkcmd high CPU usage

4. Click on Search automatically for updated driver software to update driver automatically.

click on search automatically for driver update for display driver. Fix hkcmd high CPU usage

5. Windows will automatically scan for updated drivers and install them, as shown.

searching online for driver updates of display driver. Fix hkcmd high CPU usage

6. After installation is finished, Restart your PC.

Method 4: Reinstall Graphics Drivers

If updating drivers does not give you a fix, you can also uninstall your graphics card driver and install it again. In both cases, the net result will be the same.

1. Go to Device Manager > Display Adapters as earlier.

2. Now, right-click on the driver and select Uninstall device.

Now, right click on the driver and select Uninstall device

3. A warning prompt will be displayed on the screen. Check the box Delete the driver software for this device and click Uninstall.

Now, a warning prompt will be displayed on the screen. Check the box Delete the driver software for this device and confirm the prompt by clicking on Uninstall. Fix hkcmd high CPU usage, hkcmd module startup

4 Visit the manufacture’s website to manually download the driver as per system specifications. For example, Intel, AMD, or NVIDIA.

Intel driver download

5. Run the downloaded .exe file to install the drivers.

Check if this could fix hkcmd high CPU usage.

Also Read: 4 Ways to Update Graphics Drivers in Windows 10

Method 5: Clean up Temporary Files

When your system has corrupt hkcmd or temporary files, you will encounter hkcmd high CPU usage. You can resolve this error by clearing the temporary files in your system in the following two manners:

Method 5A: Manual Clean-up

1. Press the Windows key and type %temp%.

2. Now, click on Open to open the Temporary files (.tmp) folder.

Now, click on Open to open the temporary files. Fix hkcmd high CPU usage, hkcmd module startup

3. Now, select all the files by pressing Ctrl + A keys together.

4. Press Shift + Del keys together to permanently delete all the temporary files.

Here, select the Delete option

Method 5B: Systematic Clean-up

1. Hit the Windows key and type Disk Cleanup in the search bar. Open Disk Cleanup from search results, as shown.

Open Disk Cleanup from your search results. Fix hkcmd high CPU usage

2. Now, select the drive you want to perform a clean-up for and click on OK.

Now, select the drive you wanted to perform a clean up and click on OK. Fix hkcmd high CPU usage

3. Here, check the box titled Temporary Internet Files and click on OK.

Here, check the box Temporary Internet Files and click on Clean up system files.

Method 6: Run SFC & DISM Scan

Windows 10 users can automatically scan and repair their system files by running System File Checker and Deployment Image Servicing & Management scans. This will help you fix hkcmd high CPU usage.

But, before proceeding, it is suggested that you boot your Windows in Safe boot.

1. Press Windows Key + R, then type msconfig and hit Enter to open the System Configuration window.

Press Windows Key and R, then type msconfig and hit Enter to open System Configuration. hkcmd.exe

2. Select the Boot tab, check the Safe boot box under Boot options and click on OK.

Here, check the Safe boot box under Boot options and click on OK.

3. A prompt will pop up. Click on Restart and your system will be booted in safe mode.

Confirm your choice and click on either Restart or Exit without restart. Now, your system will be booted in safe mode. hkcmd.exe

4. Now, search for cmd and click on Run as administrator, as shown. This will launch Command Prompt with administrative privileges.

Now, launch the Command Prompt by going to the search menu and typing either command prompt or cmd.

5. Enter the command: sfc /scannow and hit Enter. System File Checker will scan and repair all the programs automatically.

Enter the following command and hit Enter. hkcmd module startup

6. If this doesn’t work, execute the following commands one-by-one:

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth

Also Read: How to Repair Corrupt System Files in Windows 10

Method 7: Update Windows

If you did not obtain any fix by the above-mentioned methods, installing new updates will help you fix bugs in your system and fix hkcmd high CPU usage. Otherwise, the files in the system will not be compatible with the hkcmd files leading to the high CPU usage caused by hkcmd.

1. Navigate to Update & Security as instructed in Method 2.

2. Now, select Check for Updates from the right panel.

Now, select Check for Updates from the right panel.

3A. To download and install the latest Update available, click on Install now, as depicted.

Follow the on screen instructions to download and install the latest update available.

3B. If your system is already up-to-date, then it will show You’re up to date message.

4. Restart your PC and check if the issue is resolved now.

Disable hkcmd Module on Startup

If you wish to disable hkcmd module on startup so that it doesn’t get loaded every time Windows OS boots, you can disable it from Task Manager as explained in this method. This will help high CPU usage caused by hkcmd.

1. Right-click on the Windows icon and select Task Manager, as shown.

Right click on start menu and then click on Task manager. disable hkcmd module on startup

2. Switch to the Startup tab in Task Manager.

Here, in Task Manager, click on the Startup tab. disable hkcmd module on startup

3. Here, select hkcmd task and click on Disable.

Note: We have disabled Skype for illustration purposes below.

Disable task in Task Manager Start-up Tab. disable hkcmd module on startup

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We hope that this guide was helpful and you were able to fix hkcmd high CPU usage on Windows 10. Let us know which method worked for you the best. Also, if you have any queries/suggestions regarding this article, then feel free to drop them in the comments section.

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Elon Decker

Elon is a tech writer at TechCult. He's been writing how-to guides for about 6 years now and has covered many topics. He loves to cover topics related to Windows, Android, and the latest tricks and tips.

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