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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 Chromium-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 Media 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.

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6 and Chicago's WGN-TV, and his work has been covered by news outlets like The New York Times and the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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