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Antivirus deleted all our .ahk files | AutoHotkey News May 2nd 2024


This morning I went to edit one of my AutoHotkey scripts and, to my surprise, it wasn’t there❗  Not only was it gone but the 7,733 .ahk files on our shared drive were also missing.  ☹

What would you do if all of your AutoHotkey scripts disappeared and were not recoverable?

Thankfully everything I do is under DropBox so we did a little digging and noticed that Rizwan’s new laptop had deleted all the files .  More specifically Windows Defender on his computer had deleted them (and DropBox obediently deleted them on all of our computers).

Thankfully, DropBox has a nifty feature to “rewind” folders based on a time period so it was easy to restore everything however this begs the question:

Why did Windows Defender delete them in the first place?

Antivirus software typically flags, and deletes, executables (like AutoHotkey.exe) but I’ve never heard of it also deleting the associated files.

This would be like deleting all your Excel Spreadsheets or Word documents if the respective Excel or Word executables were flagged.

It looks like Windows Defender is now using “AI” to broaden the files it flags when searching for viruses.  I could be wrong on this however I have no other way to explain the deleted files.

BTW- The latest AHK v2 build, 2.0.13, has been flagged much more than past versions.  Is there something wrong with this version?  Not likely!  If you watch this video you’ll see how I demonstrated that poor Antivirus tools are at actually detecting viruses.  They’re really detecting “power”, not intent!

AutoHotkey is an amazingly powerful tool! Which is exactly why so many Antiviruses flag it!  Why this particular build is getting flagged more than others is currently unknown however I’m pretty confident the problem is with antivirus tools NOT AutoHotkey.

BTW- As mentioned earlier I have everything under DropBox (and I have backup copies of DropBox) but I’m also going to start using this script which allows you to, easily, backup AutoHotkey files to a new location changing their extension (in case antivirus flags them in the new location).  You can see that script demonstrated in this video

Now on with the show…

Don’t lose all your AutoHotkey scripts Antivirus is evil
Don't lose all your AutoHotkey scripts Antivirus is evil

Learn how to Master VSCode Make the switch to v2 Intro to AutoHotkey Intermediate AutoHotkey Intermediate Objects GUIs are Easy w/AutoHotkey Access all our Courses; Quit when you want

How to use FindText in AHK v2 to Easily Find and Click images

I was talking with a hero member and mentioned there is  a v2 version of FindText but realized I hadn’t created a video documenting it so I had Isaias join me in this video.  While FindText is incredibly powerful, I really don’t care for the interface and how complicated it is to use.  It’s why we created AutomateMyTask

How to use easily find and click images with FindText v2
How to use easily find and click images with FindText v2

How Joe is an Idiot!

After creating the above video on FindText I decided to update AutomateMyTask to v2 because our tool is much simpler.   I realized we should have a “wizard” to help break-up the steps.  I also decided to have two approaches (one based on location, the other on ImageSearch but I realized I was missing out on the obvious and documented what an Idiot I am in this video.

How Joe is an idiot Updating AutomateMyTask
How Joe is an idiot Updating AutomateMyTask

17 times AutoHotkey is Case Sensitive

This week we released this video documenting 16 times AutoHotkey is case sensitive (plus one bonus “gotcha”.)  Several of these are things we run into a lot while others are ones that will surprise you.
Just curious, how many can you name before watching the video?

16+ 1 bonus “gotcha” times AutoHotkey is Case Sensitive
16+ 1 bonus

Improving People’s Lives: Story #2

This week I’m mentioning a personal story because AutoHotkey really saved my !  Earlier this week I accidentally spilled a tiny amount of coffee on my keyboard.   Sadly it was enough to “fry” my “v” key.   Not a big deal you think (as v isn’t a very popular letter) until you remember that you use the v to paste!  So I ordered another keyboard but what to do meanwhile?

I simply remapped Alt+b to send the letter v and my browser-back button to send Control+V.  In 30 seconds I was back in action!

What we’re reading

AI / Chat GPT-3 News / Usage

⚡️Productivity tips:  Adding a New Worksheet to Excel

Insert a new worksheet in Excel by hitting Ctrl + Shift + F11

A spot of Humor Gotta Love George

George Gets Obsessed with a Beautiful woman’s boyfriend.

George Gets Obsessed With A Beautiful Woman’s Boyfriend| Seinfeld
George Gets Obsessed With A Beautiful Woman's Boyfriend | The English Patient | Seinfeld

What we utomated this week with AutoHotkey #43

In this week’s video discussing what we Automated with AutoHotkey I mention some cool new tools coming out soon.  FFmpeg is an amazing tool which we’ve wrapped in many scripts.

What we Automated with AutoHotkey #43
What we Automated with AutoHotkey #43


This week’s testimonial comes from a long-term client of ours.   It’s a simple quote I captured from a text he in reply to me upon delivering our tool which was:

“How can I pay more for this?” — Kelly C.

AHK Hero

Consider joining the AHK Hero club! Members receive 25% off courses, consultations, tutoring, done for you project work, etc.    Currently we have over 245 hours of recordings teaching AutoHotkey that is exclusive to AHK Hero members❗

During this Friday’s call we’re planning to discuss:

  • Member’s Code / Questions
  • Avoiding losing all your AutoHotkey work / backing up AHK files
  • Assigning an Object to a variable
  • Parent / child GUIs
  • Signing Executables to avoid flagging by AntiVirus
  • Auto-building folder structure during recursion with FileCopy

They also have access to exclusive & pre-released content and a 3 hours a week where we help people with their AHK issues (the Saturday calls are geared towards people new to AutoHotkey.)

️ Quotable quotes

  • Put systems in place that allow ordinary people to do extraordinary things Joe Glines
  • Curiosity can empower or impede you James Cleary
  • Today is always the most productive day of your week Mark Hunter
  • It’s like deja-vu, all over again Yogi Berra


Do you know someone that would benefit from learning useful automation tips like the gems in today’s issue?  Take a second and forward this newsletter and bask in the glow of their undying gratitude.  Was this email forwarded to you?

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Joe, Isaias, Irfan, Rizwan and staff

P.S. Please be sure you read the intro carefully.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to permantely lose all my AutoHotkey work!

BTW- I informed AHK Hero members of this right when it happened via our private Telegram group.   As they say, membership has it’s privileges!

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