April 3, 2017

Create Custom Hotkey (Shortcut Key) to any Windows Program


We all want to save our time while opening the programs. Don't you? Almost every computer user wants shortcuts for a few specific programs, which he uses the most. I think, no one wants to run a program by crawling into the Windows ‘All programs list’, and reach that program after 4-5 clicks. It may take some time for you to locate and launch your desired program.

Yeah, you can create shortcut icons on the desktop. But this will make the problem worse. Firstly, your desktop would be filled with several icons (if you have a lot of programs installed). And second, you would need to find your desired program again (same as finding in the All programs list).

In such a situation, using ‘Hotkey’ aka ‘keyboard shortcut key’ could be the best solution.

What is Hotkey in Computer Language?

A single keyboard key or a key combination which provides quick access to a particular program, file or a folder in a computer is called hotkey. It is also known as a shortcut key. Hotkeys could save the user’s time and perform the tasks with a less effort. They allow the user to call a certain program quickly and easily.

Why Should Everyone Need to Use Custom Hotkeys?

Let me explain the main advantages and the benefits of hotkeys and Shortcut keys.

Benefits of Hotkeys:

Most of the users installed many application or software on their computers. Now when they need to open or run a particular program, they have to find it in the ‘All Programs’ under start menu’, or in the ‘program files’. But if you have assigned a hotkey to your desired program, then it would be easy to run (just with a keystroke).

Advantages of Shortcut Keys:

Using Win + M, you can minimize all the opened windows at once. But imagine if you don’t know about this shortcut then you have to minimize all of them manually.

Conclusion, both saves your precious time, won’t it?

12 New Essential Windows 10 Keyboard Shortcuts + 32 Old
Some of the programs/Apps provides the option to assign a hotkey in their settings. And some of them have already come up with a hotkey, even some of the Windows default programs have already assigned a hotkey. And this allows you to open that program quickly and easily, just with a keystroke. But, if there is no hotkey option available, then what? Not a big deal, you can create custom hotkey to any windows program. Here's the trick you need,

How to Assign Custom Hotkey to any Program in Windows 10, 8 and 7

Assigning hotkey (Keyboard shortcut) to any installed program in Windows is very easy, even a non-tech user can assign it easily. First of all, you have to find out the program’s shortcut to which you want to assign the hotkey. You can simply open the all programs list by clicking on ‘Start’, then ‘All Programs’.

Or you can access the folder where all start menu programs are located. Just open the path given below in step 1, and there you can find all the programs that have start menu shortcuts. This also includes the Windows default programs such as Accessories, System Tools, Administrative Tools etc. But remember, if you did not create the Start Menu shortcut when installing a software, then that software would not be listed here. You have to re-install it and do not forget to create Start Menu shortcuts this time.

Create a Custom Hotkey to your Favorite Program in Windows 10, 8 and 7

Step 1:First of all, find the program’s shortcut to which you want to assign a hotkey. Windows 7 users can use this method, click or ‘Start’, and then open ‘All Programs’. Now locate you desired program.


For Windows 10 and 8 Users, just open the path given below, and find your desired program (Windows 7 users, you can also use this method, it works in Windows 10, 8 and 7).

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs

Just copy the path given above, then Press Win + R, paste it in the RUN box, and then hit enter. Now locate you desired program.


Step 2: After finding your program, right click on that program and open it’s ‘Properties’.


Step 3: In the ‘Program’s Properties’, you can see the option ‘Shortcut key’ under the ‘Shortcut Tab’. Currently, the shortcut key is not assigned, so it’s showing ‘None’. Click on ‘None’ and press the key or a key combination which you want to set as a hotkey. Your selected keys appear there. And if your selected key combination is not available, then the system will automatically assign the best similar keys.


Suppose, you press Shift + A, and this combination is not available. Then the system will suggest you ‘ Ctrl + Alt ’ instead of ‘Shift’. Choose whatever you like.

Step 4: After selecting the hotkey click on ‘Apply’, then ‘OK’.

Now it’s time to check your newly assigned Hotkey. Press your key combination, and your favorite program will be there for you.

The Hotkeys cannot be applied directly to a program, file or folder, it only works with their shortcuts. You cannot assign a shortcut key to a (dot)exe file which is usually located in the ‘program files’. You need the shortcuts of the programs.

Create Custom Hotkey (Shortcut Key) to any Windows Program

So this is the complete step by step guide to set up a hotkey (shortcut key) to any windows program, hope you like it. We will meet again in our next Help Guide, with a different tech topic. Post a comment if you got helped or learned something new. Comments are always appreciated.

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