Hotkey Help - Shortcut Sorrows!

I use a pro-level digital audio workstation (DAW) environment called "Cubase" by Steinberg. This has multiple shortcut keys pre-defined as well as the ability to create User-Defined shortcuts. One of these command shortcuts 'overlaps' with an nVidia display driver utility called "nView desktop manager debug".

Unfortunately, there appears no way to amend the ShiftCtrlAltN shortcut assigned to this utility. I need to identify where this shortcut resides in the registry - either by finding the actual Explorer Shortcut (and manually removing its shortcut keys under the shortcut's Properties window) or by navigating to the correct value in the registry and removing the global shortcut key assigned there - in order that my music production environment functions as required.

[Yup! First-world problems, eh!?]

Ergo, three questions:

  1. Where are such global keyboard shortcut key combinations stored in the registry?
  2. Is there a way to display all of a system's currently employed keyboard shortcut keys (including all the pre-defined Windows ones, if necessary!)?
  3. Is there a way to list all Explorer Shortcuts which actually have had keyboard shortcut keys allocated to them (whether by an individual user or by the app which installed them)?

I've spent weeks on this issue, including installing HotKeyCommander and multiple other utilities (which either did not provide the requisite information, did not run successfully on a 64-bit system, or did not provide sufficient information for me to locate and modify/delete the offending registry entries).

Thanks in advance,


2 Answers 2


Windows does not store a running application's keyboard shortcuts (technically, accelerator keys) in the Registry. Rather, when an application starts, it uses Windows' message loop to hook into the message queue (similar to a "man-in-the-middle" attack), intercept messages (e.g. WM_KEYDOWN), and then either pass on that message to other applications or "eats" it so that other apps do not receive it .

However, it is likely you could disable the offending application, "nView desktop manager debug" with no obvious effect. Also, is it necessary to run the debug version, which is used by developers and tech support to trace issues in the application? Perhaps the normal, non-debug, app will not steal those keystrokes.

  • Thanks so much for this info, Pippik! The nView desktop manager is neither intentionally run by me, included as a start-up, nor chosen to operate in that 'flavour'; rather, the Accelerator Key command <Shift> + <Ctrl> + <Alt> + "N" seems to be 'hardwired into the Nvidia nView app which loads as part of the video driver package such that the debugger runs whenever I use the aforementioned keystrokes within my DAW (or, in reality, outside of it too!). Mar 5, 2021 at 23:06
  • So did rundll32 "c:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\nView\nView64.dll", nViewCmd poff work to fix your issue? Mar 7, 2021 at 0:16
  • Pippik, Hello again! Sorry for the delay in responding... The suggestion you made appears to prevent the Hotkey from being acted upon by nVidia's Debug Utility (i.e. the window is not launched); however, I am just checking on what else may or may not be disabled. However, if this utility can be turned <On> and <Off> at will (presumably something like rundll32 "c:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\nView\nView64.dll", nViewCmd pon will change this back?), prior to each DAW session, then I think it may well be a viable solution! Mar 11, 2021 at 14:50
  • Oh, and "Thank You" Pippik. Mar 11, 2021 at 15:57

As to #3,

There is a file of system keys and it has a diagnostics section that searches for user set hotkeys. See https://onedrive.live.com/?id=E2F0CE17A268A4FA%21121&cid=E2F0CE17A268A4FA and click Shortcut Keys and Key Modifiers.hta

Application keys are defined in the exe file, either as resources or via code.

The term you want is hotkey. Hotkeys are global and applications ones are two types - one for a program to process and one to activate a window.

When you set a shortcut key for a desktop shortcut Explorer registers that hotkey to itself using RegisterHotkey. If you press it and it results in a GUI program (explorer calls WaitForInputIdle) Explorer unregisters the hotkey and uses WM_SetHotkey to assign it to the window created.

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