Crappy Windows 11 driver is killing HP laptops – and owners are angry

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Owners of some HP laptops are complaining that after upgrading to Windows 11, the usually invisible HP Hotkey UWP service running in the background starts to take up huge amounts of memory, which makes their machines useless.

HP customers have taken to HP support forums to complain about the issue, in a thread that has been viewed nearly 20,000 times. The HP Hotkey UWP Service is a driver that allows you to use the function key on your laptop keyboard along with the F1 through F0 keys to perform certain tasks, such as increasing and decreasing audio volume. It starts automatically when Windows starts on HP laptop, and users complain that while in Windows 10 it would take up little memory, in Windows 11 it takes up a lot.

Angry owner complains that he’s using 49GB of the laptop’s 64GB RAM.

This is obviously a sign that something is wrong: no application should take up so much memory, especially a relatively simple service for hotkeys, and it indicates a problem such as a memory leak with the Windows implementation 11 of the HP Hotkey UWP service.

This issue doesn’t affect all HP laptops – we’re writing this story on an HP Elite Dragonfly G2 with Windows 11 installed, and the HP Hotkey UWP service only uses 2MB of memory – but judging by the responses to the message on the HP support forum, many people are struggling with this problem.


Analysis: Where is HP?

hp logo on hp building

(Image credit: Manuel Esteban / Shutterstock)

The thread about HP Hotkey UWP service taking up huge amounts of memory was started in July 2021, but people are still complaining about this issue in 2022, with little sign that HP is aware of the issue, or is getting involved. he is working on a fix.

In fact, the latest forum post regarding the matter – from late February – is particularly damning. After reporting that his ZBook 15 G3 is suffering from having 100% of its RAM used, the clearly frustrated user writes “HP — where are you?”

Worryingly, this user is also on Windows 10, which means this issue could also affect people who haven’t upgraded to Windows 11, although the majority of people complaining about this issue seem to be on the system most recent operation.

The fact that the company has remained silent on this is concerning and only fuels further anger over this. Dodgy drivers and software updates happen all the time, but as long as companies are transparent about these issues and clear about the steps being taken to fix them, customers will normally understand.

Obviously, HP needs to fix this ASAP before the anger escalates. We have reached out to the company for comment on this situation and for clarification on what they are doing to resolve this issue. We will update this story as soon as we have a response.

In the meantime, it seems some people have found that rolling back the LAN/WLAN/WWAN Switching and Hot Key Service driver (found in Device Manager) to version 8.10.14.1 may help.

Reinstalling the driver (again, through Device Manager) may also help. Preventing the driver from loading with Windows is another option, although it’s not ideal. Hopefully HP will release an official fix soon.

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