I got my media keys to work in the hotkeys under the settings, and they do work... when I have VLC selected. If I deselect it (not close the window, just click on another one) then the keys will not work. So, while playing Skyrim, I cannot press the next key and change the song, unless I select it first, which then the button is pointless. Please help. How do I get the Media keys to work while in another window other than VLC player?
From the VLC Wiki:
VLC Global Hotkeys are shortcuts you can use even if VLC does not have the focus. Here is how to configure Global Hotkeys:
- Tools » Preferences » HotKeys
- Under the Global column, double-click the value corresponding to the function you want a global key assigned to.
- Press the key or key combination you want
- Click Apply
- Click Save
You will have to quit and restart VLC for the new assignments to be effective.
To unset/clear a global hotkey: Proceed as if you wanted to set a new key, but press the pause/break key.
This page seems to be the top result for this problem when Googling "vlc media keys not working", however the top (and only) answer doesn't actually address the problem. The information is useful for someone setting up VLC media key functionality for the first time but a bit of browsing around suggests that this problem persists for some people even after setting their hot key preferences.
There is another solution if your media keys refuse to work without VLC being the focused application:
Uninstall 'Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center'. This can be found in your Windows Control Panel's normal uninstall page.
This is some sort of bonus program that Windows Update may install if you have a Microsoft branded mouse or keyboard (possibly on your behalf) that as far as I can tell offers little meaningful functionality over standard Windows mouse options, especially if your mouse / keyboard is a basic one. When it is installed it seems to meddle with media key input, preventing VLC from detecting button presses when it is not focused.
If you have a volume control keyboard feature you may be able to test whether you have this installed. Simply use your keyboard volume control while on the Windows desktop. A light blue bar may appear at the bottom right of your desktop showing the change in volume, near the notification area. I believe this means the program is installed. If you uninstall the program this pop-up does not appear.
This was discovered and tested on Windows 7. I do not know whether this is relevant to Windows 8 or above.
Try changing the settings in the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center
- With your cursor, click on the Play/Pause button in the image of the keyboard (it should be highlighted in blue)
- Go to app-specific settings » Add New
- Select VLC » Select Play/Pause from the list
- Restart VLC.
I was having the same frustration and the steps above worked for me.