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F4 key does not work on MacBook Pro with touchbar if Spotify is running

Status: Closed

Steps to reproduce:

1. Open Spotify

2. Open keyboard viewer. The steps are in

3. Press F4 key either via "fn + F4 on the touchbar" or an external keyboard.


Expected result:

All the apps should receive the F4 key.


Actual result:

The F4 key seems be intercepted by Spotify. If it's working, the F4 key on the keyboard viewer (opened in step 2) will blink.


Hey folks,


Good news! 


Our tech team have been looking into things here. With your recent comments confirming a fix, we're closing this thread up now.


If things still aren't running smoothly for you, please reinstall and ensure you're running the latest version.

Give us a shout here if the issue returns for you, or if you have any other questions - let us know in a new thread!


Many thanks, we really appreciate you holding tight.


Top Answer
Casual Listener

I had this F4 issue as well and Spotify was the cause. Here is what I did to fix the issue. There are 2 options to try. Before trying anything, make sure you are on "OS High Sierra." this alone should solve most of the keyboard issues. If the issue still persists, try the below options in order.


Option 1: 

1. Uninstall the Spotify app and restart your Mac. 

2. go to system preferences> Keyboard> enable "Show keyboard and emoji viewer in menu bar"

3. click on the keyboard viewer icon in the menu bar (commonly next to the date/time) and select "Show Keyboard Viewer" 

4. after the digital keyboard displays, click your touch bar function keys (F1, F2, etc.) and the digital keyboard should update and mimic each keypress. Validate the "F4" button also works the same way.***

5. reinstall Spotify if "F4" works and verify the touch bar button does not break again after the reinstall. If it does break again then follow option 2. 


***If the F4 button does not still work, however, then Spotify is not the cause of the "F4" button issue and it could be another app such as chrome services as mentioned by other users. In the meantime, it should work using alt+F4 or ⌘+F4.




Option 2:

1. Uninstall the Spotify app again and restart your Mac. 

2. Verify "F4" is working again by using the keyboard viewer

3. download Spotify "10.5" For Mac from "" and after installing, launch the app

4. run Spotify (10.5) and verify "F4" still works with Spotify up

5. if it still works, great! To get the newest version of Spotify, follow the prompt in Spotify 10.5 to update to the newest version. You are all set!


Now the Spotify app should be the recent version of the app and also the touch bar function keys should all work as expected, including the "F4" button. I hope this was helpful. 




I have this issue too.


Seems to be specific to new macbook pro with touch bar.
I could not reproduce this with MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Late 2013) running macOS Sierra 10.12.2 (16C67) and Spotify client.


I have the same issue (and just spend 1.5h to track it down to spotify :-).


above problem with MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016) on macos 10.12.2 (16C68) and Spotify


I just changed to the new MacBook Pro with touchbar (from a 2013 MacBook Pro), so very likely the problem is related to the new touchbar.


I have this issue as well.. Spotify version and macOS 10.12.3 (16D32).


Same issue here. Weirldy enough, the issue persists even after quitting Spotify, and lives through a logoff / login cycle, logging into another (fresh) mac user account. Only after a restart that F4 comes back to life. Pesty bug this one.


 Using Macbook Pro 15" Late 2016 (w/ Touchbar), and Sierra 10.12.3, Spotify .


-- deleted as I've updated the previous post with the new info --


Same issue here.

Using a MacBook Pro 15-inch touchbar late 2016

macOS 10.12.3

Spotify app


Looking forward to a fix 🙂


Another small piece of information: the problem happens on macbook pros with touchbar but is not limited to the build-in keyboard. The F4 key is also swallowed for external keyboards (eg the apple BT keyboard). So, likely not just a new hardware issue...


Another fact: If you open osx keyboard viewer after opening spotify then you can visually see that other function keys (F1-3, F5-12) works normally, but keyboard viewer won't register F4 keypress on mac or external keyboard. If you press F4 with your mouse in keyboard viewer, keypress will go to your current program normally.