HexChat ships with a handful of useful plugins that extend the functionality of the client. In order to auto-load custom ones you just place them in an addons subdir within your config folder, manually with /load and /unload, or with Window ‣ Plugins and Scripts.

With the included scripting interfaces you can also use easier to create but equally powerful scripts in languages such as Python. These are loaded/unloaded in the same manner as plugins.

A list of many existing addons can be found at


The exec plugin provides the /exec command for Windows. On Unix platforms there are built-in commands for this and this documentation does not apply to the behavior of those, see /help for more information.

With Exec you can perform commands as if you ran them in the command line. The output will be printed at once, in the end of execution. If the command takes more than 10 seconds to complete, it gets aborted to avoid locking down HexChat. Usage:

/exec ping


Adds FiSH encryption support. You set a password for a conversation/channel, and then all your messages get encrypted. Only those who know the password will be able to read your messages. Usage is simple: first you set the password:

/setkey yoursecretkey

Then you let your fellow chatters know this password. Once they also set the password on their sides, they’ll receive messages decrypted and send them encrypted, too.

You can remove the key with:

/delkey #channel

Update Checker

Automatically checks for updates available. Can be manually checked via Help ‣ Check for Updates or by the command:



Prints out basic system information on both Windows and Unix. You can either activate in Window ‣ Display System Info or type:



Automatically calculates the SHA-256 checksum of files sent and recieved via DCC.


Displays your currently playing song via Window ‣ Display Current Song or by command:



Foobar2000 can also be used with the foo_winamp_spam plugin.