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MacOs Catalina - Play button only works on Apple Music

MacOs Catalina - Play button only works on Apple Music

Spotify Premium 



MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)


Operating System

MacOs Catalina 10.15 (19A583)


After upgrading to Catalina, the Play button on the Mac Keyboard no longer controls Spotify. With Spotify open, no other music player, if I hit the Play/Pause button, it will open the Apple Music app and not control Spotify.


6 Replies

Hi there!

I know it sounds simple, but it's often overlooked. Could you try restarting your device? If that doesn't help, try a quick clean reinstall of the app. Just follow these steps.


Does it happen even whe Spotify's in focus?

If you're still having trouble, could you let me know the exact version of Spotify and the exact version of the operating system you're running?

I'll see what I can suggest next!

Thanks for the reply.


Restart didn't help, also tried reinstall/restart based on the instructions you supplied. 


Listed my OS above: MacOs Catalina 10.15 (19A583)



I've narrowed down exactly when this happens:

Spotify won't respond to the Play/Pause button without manually pressing play/pause in the app first, even when it's in focus.


After pressing that, Spofity will respond to the Play/Pause keyboard button.


So I guess it's just a minor bug rather than some plot by Apple to snuff out 3rd party music services ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Hey @nate544,


How does this exactly happen?

In my case, same thing happens if I play somewhere else ( Music, any video, on YouTube etc.), then I will have to do what you described to fix it.


While normally it works with no issues.


Thanks 🙂

Have the same problem - nothing worked so far.. This has been super annoying for months

I also have this issue.  When both Spotify and iTunes (or Music) are closed, pressing the play button will always open iTunes.

I also have this problem since updating to Catalina.

Is there a solution to direct the keyboard media keys to Spotify? Or at least remove Apple Music from listening on those?

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