Multimedia keys not working when Chrome is open

Chrome recently introduced a new feature that allowed to use keyboard shortcuts to control multimedia playback. In other words, you can control Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and other media players via this keyboard shortcut. The feature also extends to other websites that make use of Media Session API.

This feature allows you to pause, start or stop video playback on YouTube. However, some users are reporting that the keyboard shortcut feature is not working as intended. Apparently, the change is also affecting other processes that use media keys. For instance, if you use the Spotify desktop app, you will notice that the multimedia keys don’t work properly when Chrome is open.

Multimedia keys not working in Chrome

It is quite likely that Google Chrome is blocking other apps from using multimedia keys. I faced a lot of problems as I couldn’t control my Spotify playlist while working. Every time I had to open Spotify and manually toggle the controls. In some cases, the problem was so pronounced that I had to restart Chrome browser altogether.

Disable Chrome’s Multimedia Key handling

Multimedia keys not working in Chrome

The issue can be fixed by changing Chrome flags. The problem can be mapped to the Hardware Media Key Handling flag in Chrome. The best resolution is to disable this Chrome flag, and things should be back to normal. Please follow the steps below to disable Hardware Media Key Handling

  1. Open Chrome Flags by entering chrome://flags/
  2. Search for “Hardware Media Key” by using Ctrl+F
  3. Set the Hardware Media Key Handling to Disabled by using the drop-down menu
  4. Close and restart the Chrome browser

Now you will notice that the hardware keys will work even when Chrome is open. If you want the original functionality back, simply enable the flag once again. Chrome flags are experimental features that be enabled/disabled by the users.

Do you use media key shortcuts while browsing on Chrome? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Mahit Huilgol is a Windows enthusiast, a blogger & a keen follower of everything Microsoft. He loves to keep a track of the Windows ecosystem and enjoys covering Windows 10 features & freeware.

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