I have a laptop running Windows 8.1. On the keyboard of this laptop, I have a couple special keys for play/pause, stop, forward, back (the 4 arrow keys when the Fn key is held down). When I try to use one of these keys, it attempts to open Windows Media Player. Is there a way to make those function keys affect the media player that is currently open/playing, instead of always trying to open WMP? I use Spotify for music and VLC for video, it would be very nice for those function keys to work with those two instead of WMP.

I have an external keyboard that I plug in sometimes, and it also has special media keys (play/pause, forward, back). Those keys work just as I want them to with Spotify and don't open WMP, so it's obviously possible. I just have no idea how to change the functions of the built-in keyboard.

Any suggestions

  • What is the make/model of the laptop? – Yass Feb 6 '15 at 23:04
  • @Yass It's an ASUS UX51Vz-DH71 – Jordan Feb 6 '15 at 23:32

If the laptop came with preinstalled software to make the keyboard more 'useful' (but really only adds more bloat), then uninstalling that software might fix this.

  • First thing I did when I got it was formatted it and started clean, so I don't think it has any preinstalled software (unless it's included in one of the required drivers?) – Jordan Feb 12 '15 at 0:51
  • Yes, it's possible that some programs got installed alongside the drivers. You can use Clean Boot mode to figure out the program that's causing the unwanted behavior. – Tim De Baets Feb 13 '15 at 22:14

You can capture those keys using keyboard hooks like AutoHotKey, but this particular software will require some level of programming. The laptop manufacturer may have software that allows you to configure those keys.


I know it's an old question but, for the one still wondering how to associate the Music button of their own media keyboard to Spotify, it's possible to customise the behaviour by adding a key in the Windows Registry.

The quickest way is to save the following content in a file like enable_spotify.reg:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Then, double click on the .reg file to import it in the Windows Registry and enjoy your keyboard (… and Spotify).

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