How to Stop Chrome (or Edge) From Taking Over Your Media Keys

Google Chrome now has built-in support for media keys. Unfortunately, Chrome will take over your media keys and prevent them from controlling apps like Spotify when you’re watching YouTube, for example. Here’s how to make Chrome ignore your media keys.

This same tip also applies to the new -based Microsoft Edge browser. In both browsers, however, this option requires an experimental flag that may be removed in the future. We tested it in the latest version of Chrome, Chrome 75 on June 24, 2019.

You’ll find this option on the chrome://flags page. Copy the following address, paste it into Chrome’s Omnibox, also known as the address bar, and press Enter:

chrome://flags/#hardware-media-key-handling

(In Microsoft Edge, go to edge://flags/#hardware-media-key-handling  instead.)

Click the “Default” box to the right of the Hardware Key Handling setting and select “Disabled.”

You’ll have to restart Chrome (or Edge) before this change takes effect. Click the “Relaunch Now” button that appears to restart your browser.

Chrome (or Edge) will reopen any tabs you had open, but you might lose any saved work on any open web pages, so be sure you’re ready to restart your browser before continuing.

That’s it! If you change your mind and want hardware media keys working in Chrome (or Edge) again, return here and set the hardware Media Key Handling option back to “Default” once again.

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