Solution to “nvhotkey.dll missing or not found” Errors

The DLL file nvhotkey.dll is associated with the NVIDIA Hotkey Service Program. This DLL file is required for the smooth functioning of your NVIDIA graphic drivers. If you use a NVIDIA graphic card, you must not delete the file from your computer. In this article, we will focus on common nvhotkey.dll errors and their solutions. However, let’s first have a look at some basic information about this file.

File Information

By default, this DLL file is located in C:\Windows\System32. The most common size of this file in Windows XP is 73,728 bytes. You may also find the file in 96,800, 86,016, and 67,584 bytes sizes.

This DLL file loads automatically every time you start Windows. In other words, nvhotkey.dll is a startup program. The information related to this file in the Windows registry can be found at:



You may encounter “nvhotkey.dll is not found” or “nvhotkey.dll is missing” errors when you start/shut down your computer or when you try to launch a program that uses your NVIDIA graphic card.


To resolve the issue, you need to perform the following two steps:

  1. Uninstall and reinstall NVIDIA graphic drivers.
  2. Remove the nvhotkey.dll startup entry.

For more information on how to perform the two steps, refer to the information listed below.

Uninstall and reinstall NVIDIA Graphic Drivers

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Performance and Maintenance.
  4. In the Performance and Maintenance window, click the System icon.
  5. In the System Properties window, click Hardware.
  6. Click Device Manager.
  7. Double-click your NVIDIA graphic driver, and then click the Driver tab.
  8. Click the Uninstall button and follow the onscreen instructions to uninstall your NVIDIA graphics driver.
  9. Restart Windows.
  10. Reinstall the NVIDIA graphics driver.

Remove the startup entry

  • Click Start.
  • Click Run.
  • In the Open dialog box, type msconfig.
  • In the System Configuration dialog box, click the Startup tab.
  • Locate and clear the checkbox before nvhotkey.dll.
  • Click Apply to save your preferences.
  • Click OK.