Disable Chrome’s Media Keyboard Shortcuts

Are you finding the media controls in Google Chrome more of a nuisance than a help? If so, you’re not alone. In this updated guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to turn off these media key interactions so you can enjoy your browsing experience without any interruptions.

Understanding Chrome’s Media Key Feature

With recent updates from Google, Chrome now offers a media control feature that activates whenever media playback is initiated within the browser. This could be while watching a video on YouTube or listening to music on streaming services. A media control icon appears, offering convenient playback options, but it may interfere with your workflow.

If you prefer to manage your media through other means or find these controls intrusive, you’re in luck, as Chrome allows you to disable them. In the following sections, we’ll walk you through disabling the media key controls, so you can tailor Chrome’s behavior to your preferences.

How To Disable Media Key Control in Chrome

Originally introduced in Chrome 73, media key control has been a persistent feature. By default, it’s switched on, but you can disable it with a few simple steps:

  1. Launch Chrome and enter the following into the address bar, followed by the Enter key:


  1. In the Chrome flags page, search for ‘Hardware Media Key Handling’ using the convenient search bar. Once located, click the dropdown menu next to the flag and select ‘Disabled’.
  2. To apply your changes, Chrome will need to be restarted. Use the ‘Relaunch’ button on the flags page to do so.
  3. Upon restarting, Chrome will cease to take control of the media keys.

This adjustment means that media keys on your keyboard will interact with other applications within your operating system instead. For instance, on Windows, the volume keys will adjust the system volume, and play/pause can manage applications like Spotify or Netflix that are built to support these inputs.

Should you wish to revert this setting and allow Chrome to use your keyboard’s media keys to control playback again, simply re-enable the flag you previously disabled.

Ensuring Smooth Media Control Across Applications

If you find that enabling the flag does not give Chrome control over the media keys after the feature was disabled, you’ll want to check a system service titled “MediaSessionService.” This should run by default, but if it’s been stopped or if an issue has occurred, it may need manual intervention.

On macOS, services can be verified via Activity Monitor or the Terminal, while on Windows 10, you can open ‘services.msc’ to confirm ‘MediaSessionService’ is active.

For those wanting to manage media playback in Chrome with an external Bluetooth headset, Chrome extensions are available to link these devices for a more seamless experience.


With this guide, disabling media key controls in Chrome should be a straightforward process. Tailoring Chrome to your preferences can enhance your productivity and overall enjoyment while browsing.


Q: What should I do if Chrome still controls my media keys after following these steps?

A: Ensure that the ‘Hardware Media Key Handling’ flag is set to disabled and reboot Chrome. If issues persist, check that no other extension or background service is affecting key handling.

Q: Can I control Chrome media playback with hardware keys on devices other than a computer keyboard?

A: Yes, with the proper setup and extensions, external devices such as Bluetooth headsets can control Chrome’s media playback.

We hope you find this guide, How To Turn Off Media Keys in Chrome, both useful and informative. Should you have any questions or require further assistance, feel free to reach out through our contact forum. For those who’ve found the guide beneficial, sharing with friends or colleagues is greatly appreciated and supports our efforts.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.bollyinside.com
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!


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