I have the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 which includes media keys. Whenever Google Chrome (Version 38.0.2125.104 m (64-bit) on Windows 8.1 Update 1) has focus, the media keys (pause/play) do not work.

I followed the instructions here which include:

  • Open the Chrome app menu
  • Select Tools > Extensions
  • Click the ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’ link at the bottom of the page
  • Find the Google Play Music section
  • Change any specified media key options from ‘Global’ to ‘In Chrome’

Unfortunately, there is no 'Google Play Music' section or any other section that shows that there are any settings for the media keys.

How to I keep Chrome from blocking the media keys on my keyboard?

NOTE: Volume keys work--just the play/pause key is affected, and this behavior is only when Chrome is in focus. Any other program in focus, the play/pause key works fine.


While I'm not using the same equipment (I'm on a laptop), I had the same issue where I was unable to use the media keys when I once was able to do so. After trying a lot of different search terms, I stumbled on the same article you linked above. I don't use Google Play Music, so I simply uninstalled the extension. After closing Chrome and restarting Windows Media Player, my media buttons worked just fine.

I know this post is old, but if you are by some terrible miracle still having the issue, please try uninstalling the extension. It may help.


For me only Play/Next/Previous keys weren't working whenever Chrome was running (regardless whether it was in focus). I am on OS X High Sierra, Chrome 67 but I found the culprit is Google Play Music chrome app.

Remove it from all accounts on Chrome - just click your account name (top right) and go through all the accounts to remove the offending chrome app.

Method 1

  • Click 3 dot button (top right) > More Tools > Extensions, find Google Play Music and remove

Method 2

  • In address bar, go to chrome://apps and right click Google Play Music > remove

Method 3 (in case apps are missing using previous methods)

  • Open Finder > go to your home folder (your username) > Applications > Chrome Apps and delete any apps you don't want

If you don't see your home folder, from the menu bar click Finder > prefs > Sidebar tab > tick username (under favorites)

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