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Step 1


Media Keys Don't Work

Media Keys Don't Work






(Desktop PC)

Operating System

Debian with Unstable Updates


My Question or Issue

 The Media Keys Play/Pause/Next/Previous on the keyboard don't work with the Spotify Application.


The Media Keys work with other applications in Linux such as Clementine and also work with the Spotify Application in Windows just fine. I would think it should be easy to make the media keys work just like they do in Clementine and other media applications in Linux.

90 Replies

Thanks. I'm just curious if it's actually the app timestamp that's governing the media key controls.

I think that maybe is desktop environment dependant. Kde or Gnome or xfce could handle it differently, but I'm not sure actually.

Thank you very much BlackDex !!!
mpris-control made my Ubuntu better and my life happier 🙂
Thanks a lot friend!

For me it helped to disable Media-Key-Control in Chrome browser, if he is running at the same time with Spotify.

Thank you, bro! Media keys started to work after I had disabled "Hardware Media Key Handling" from Google Chrome.

I finally found the way to have it working (if you are a Chrome browser user), whether with deb package or snap on Ubuntu 19.10.


First of all check in Settings > Devices > Keyboard Shortcuts that your Media Keys are present (release update from 19.04 to 19.10 set them all to Disabled in my case)


Then open Chrome browser :

  1. In the address bar go to chrome://flags/#hardware-media-key-handling
  2. Change the value to Disabled
  3. Restart Chrome




Yes, problem was Chrome's hardware media key handling for me, too.

UPDATE: I'm on Plasma desktop, and removed a long-used widget "Compact Media Player" in favor of the bundled Media Player widget. And suddenly all media key interaction works. System audio mute, previous, play/pause, next, etc. Keep this in mind if you're here looking for answers.

Worked perfectly. Problem wasn't spotify at all, but chrome messing using the keys! 

I'm using KDE (and Firefox, not Chrome if this matters) and found another problem why it was not working: the media player Clementine overwrote the global shortcuts to control the current media player.


Go to Settings > Global shortcuts > Media controls and reassign the keys. Works for me again.

I can confirm disabling media key handling on Chrome fixes this.


Weird thing is that I had no media being played on Chrome, so maybe this is a Chrome bug instead?

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