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I have a Kinesis Contour I've used for years, and periodically Macs will start to react to F4 like it's the play/pause media key on a laptop. That is, whenever I hit it iTunes opens instead of the application I'm using receiving the key press. I can't even try to bind it in my IDE, because it simply doesn't receive the keystroke.

I've seen various tricks for handling this on laptops with actual media keys, but I'm on a USB keyboard with typical function keys so they don't work.

Any ideas? Killing my productivity to suddenly have broken function keys!


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up vote 3 down vote accepted

It turns out this is a feature of the Kinesis Contour! From their documentation 1:

"9. Function keys not working on USB Advantage Keyboard

It's possible the "Multi Media" features of the keyboard have been enabled, which changes some of the function keys.

To check, open up some kind of text editor and press and hold the equals key and tap the letter "s". You should see some text on the screen. If you see any of the function keys listed inside the brackets [F3 F4 etc. ] then you know the Multi Media features are active.

Normally, this is turned on by holding down the equals key and tapping the letter "n."

To disable the Multi Media feature, enter the Instant Configuration you're currently in.

So for example, if your keyboard is in Windows Mode, select Windows mode by holding down the equals key and tapping "w" (=w). (=m for mac mode and =p for PC mode)

This will clear the settings and your function keys should behave as expected."

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