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AutoHotkey - macro-creation and automation-oriented scripting utility for Windows.


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AutoHotkey is a free, open source macro-creation and automation software utility that allows users to automate repetitive tasks. It is driven by a custom scripting language that has special provision for defining keyboard shortcuts, otherwise known as hotkeys.

How to Compile

AutoHotkey is developed with Microsoft Visual Studio Community 2022, which is a free download from Microsoft.

  • Get the source code.
  • Open AutoHotkeyx.sln in Visual Studio.
  • Select the appropriate Build and Platform.
  • Build.

The project is configured in a way that allows building with Visual Studio 2012 or later, but only the 2022 toolset is regularly tested. Some newer C++ language features are used and therefore a later version of the compiler might be required.

Developing in VS Code

AutoHotkey v2 can also be built and debugged in VS Code.


Build Configurations

AutoHotkeyx.vcxproj contains several combinations of build configurations. The main configurations are:

  • Debug: AutoHotkey.exe in debug mode.
  • Release: AutoHotkey.exe for general use.
  • Self-contained: AutoHotkeySC.bin, used for compiled scripts.

Secondary configurations are:

  • (mbcs): ANSI (multi-byte character set). Configurations without this suffix are Unicode.
  • .dll: Builds an experimental dll for use hosting the interpreter, such as to enable the use of v1 libraries in a v2 script. See


AutoHotkeyx.vcxproj includes the following Platforms:

  • Win32: for Windows 32-bit.
  • x64: for Windows x64.

AutoHotkey supports Windows XP with or without service packs and Windows 2000 via an asm patch (win2kcompat.asm). Support may be removed if maintaining it becomes non-trivial. Older versions are not supported.