Configure Hotkeys in Windows with HoeKey

Even though you can easily assign the hotkeys to any program or batch script file through their shortcuts in Windows, there are only so many shortcuts that you would want to create. A simpler approach to manage and create hotkeys in Windows is the freeware HoeKey. This simple and small program is able to create as many hotkeys as you would ever want using various key combinations.

HoeKey program is fully portable and stores all the settings inside an INI configuration file that can be used across different computers. HoeKey comes with a default configuration program of its own but you can change it later. In fact, when started for the very first time it asks you to open the configuration window by pressing the Win+Q hotkey. Of course, this hotkey opens the Apps search screen in Windows 8.x and Windows 10 since this hotkey is being used by Windows itself. You will have to reconfigure HoeKey to use another hotkey for this purpose.


In the HoeKey window, you can see which of the hotkeys are configured incorrectly (displayed as Bad Hotkey). These bad hotkeys are bad because some other program is already using those hotkeys for other things. You can click on the Edit Config button to open the INI configuration file and edit it manually. Although Windows Notepad works just file, It is better if you use Notepad++ for editing this file.

If you do not know how to edit the file, how to create a new hotkey and how to assign actions to that hotkey, then you can read the hoekey.htm file that comes with the HoeKey program. This file details how you can combine various keys and assign functions to that hotkey. For example, ~_R=Run| creates a hotkey Shift+Win+R that opens the website in your default web browser.

You can download HoeKey from