Keybreeze Desktop: Hotkey will intermittently not work

You may occasionally encounter the hotkey not working in Keybreeze Desktop. If you set focus to another application, it will start working again. This is typically caused by an application having administrative access in Windows, and the hotkey is not recognized within that application due to Windows security settings.

As an example, if you press Ctrl + Shift + Escape to open Task manager, or Start > Run > services.msc, the hotkey may stop working when these windows have focus.

A quick way to fix the issue is to press the Windows key on your keyboard, and then press the Keybreeze Desktop hotkey. Pressing the Windows key on your keyboard will shift the focus to the task bar, where the Keybreeze Desktop hotkey is recognized.

If you encounter this issue frequently, you can permanently fix it by running Keybreeze Desktop as an administrator. To do this, navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Keybreeze5 > right-click Keybreeze.exe and click Properties. Click the Compatibility tab, check 'Run this program as an administrator', and click OK. Close Keybreeze Desktop if it's currently running, and then reopen it. It will run as an administrator from this point forward, where the hotkey should work when any window has focus.

If you run Keybreeze Desktop at Windows startup, you may need to take additional steps.

There is an issue in Windows 10 where some applications will stop running at Windows startup if the 'Run this program as an administrator' checkbox is checked in the file properties. This behavior is documented in this StackExchange post -- Fortunately, there is a fix documented on this page:

  • Check the 'Run this program as administrator' checkbox in the file properties of Keybreeze.exe as mentioned above if you have not already done so.

  • Right-click the background on your Desktop and click New > Text Document. This should create a file called New Text Document.txt
    Important: If you do not see the .txt extension at the end, press the Windows key + E on your keyboard to open Windows Explorer. Click 'View' in the ribbon at the top. Then check 'File name extensions' on the right side.

  • Right-click the New Text Document.txt file and click Rename. Erase all the text, including .txt at the end. Then type Keybreeze.vbs and press Enter. Windows may pop up a warning saying that if you change a file name extension, it may become unusable. Click 'Yes' to change it.

  • Right-click the Keybreeze.vbs file and click Edit. That should open the file in Notepad or your default text editor. Paste the following text:

    Set WshShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell" )
    WshShell.Run """C:\Program Files (x86)\Keybreeze5\Keybreeze.exe""", 0 'Must quote command if it has spaces; must escape quotes
    Set WshShell = Nothing

    Save and close the file.

  • Right-click the file and click Cut. Press the Windows key + R and run the following command:

    %AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
    When the window opens, right-click the background and click Paste. That should move the Keybreeze.vbs file from your Desktop to the Startup folder.

Once the above steps are completed, Keybreeze Desktop should run as an administrator whenever you restart your computer.