I was wondering whether I can reuse Dell Media Direct switch for some other purpose like "hibernate" or "open default media player". I have noticed that on Ubuntu, it open default media player.

EDIT: Is there any option to customize it without running Dell's Dell Quick Set as suggested.

  • Did you reformat the hard drive and load a different OS? If so, what OS? Dell Media Direct usually is an option for Windows, but you mention Ubuntu. It normally boots a stripped OS version which runs media and doesn't boot to the normal OS partition. Sep 22, 2010 at 9:41

3 Answers 3


Better late than never...

Navigate to the following key in the registry:


and change the ApplicationPath value to the path of whatever program you want to run instead when you press the Media Direct button.

For hibernation, use rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll, SetSuspendState

I believe you will need QuickSet installed for this to work, which comes as standard with any new Dell laptop. You can always download from Dell's website if you do not already have it.

  • I see many upvotes coming your way.
    – Nathaniel
    Feb 16, 2010 at 0:44
  • this is not working. Sep 22, 2010 at 4:24
  • @iJeeves - it might be "hotstartbutton" 1 or 2 rather than 0. Sep 24, 2010 at 4:14

Method 1 : Shortcut key or keyboard remapping

The fact is that this Media Direct Button just emulates a keyboard key. This means that you can use it as the key for any shortcut. Just right click any shortcut on the desktop, select Properties, click inside "Shortcut key", press the Media Direct key, then OK. This assumes that the program Dell Quick Set is not launched to confuse the issue.

Something else you can do with the Media Direct Button map it to any other key, by simply using keyboard mapping techniques.

All you need to do is download a program such as Keytweak, assign a hotkey to any shortcut on the desktop, and using Keytweak (or any other keyboard mapping program) to map the Media Direct button to this hotkey. From now on, pressing the Media Direct Button will launch the shortcut.

More detail is available in How do I ... remap my keyboard with KeyTweak?.

More complicated mappings of the Media Direct Button also require Microsoft Intellitype Keyboard Software. See the article How to Customize Dell Media Direct Button to Hibernate, for an example that sets the Media Direct button to hibernate the machine.

Method 2 : Replace MDdirct.exe

One more method for customizing the Dell Media Direct button uses the fact that all it does is launch the program C:\Program Files\Dell\MediaDirect\MDdirct.exe. So all you have to do is replace it with another program or a compiled script (saving the existing file, just in case).

See the article Change the Dell Media Direct button for an example, where MDdirct.exe is replaced by Media Center. This also requires the program Dell Quick Set (by default a Dell-installed startup program).


I created a batch file and .exe file that can be used to change the MediaDirect function.

I call it FG5-TECH Dell MediaDirect Button Function Changer Kit.

Download it from here and follow the instructions:


Edit: google says its a virus but you can scan it with your proper antivirus and it shouldn't say anything about viruses.

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