There have been many users complaining that the media keys on their keyboards have stopped functioning. As we all know, these keys help you to take command over the music or video that is being played on the system. The keys increase the user’s ease of interaction with the media like playing/pausing/stopping the music. Actually, the keys will be functioning normally in the other cases except when using them with any media application. The users have noticed that the application stops responding to these keys whenever they try to perform any operation.
If you are one such user struggling to fix the media keys on your keyboard, read this article to find the solutions that can help you overcome the problem.
Table of Contents
Fix 1 – Modify the Default Application
1. Use the Windows and R key combination to open the Run dialog.
2. Type ms-settings:defaultapps to open the Default Apps Settings.
3. Once you are on the Default apps page, type the application name in the textbox in the section Set defaults for applications. If you are having a problem with the iTunes application, then type iTunes.
4. Select the app in the search result which you want to set the default for a file type.
5. On the next page, you will see a list of file types that are associated with the application you selected.
6. Look for the file type for which you want to change the default app (that is, the file type giving the media keys issue when playing with the media application).
Here, we have selected the file type with .cda extension which is set to Windows Media Player by default.
7. In the menu list that pops up, make sure you select the application with which you want to play the file with.
We want to play the .cda file with iTunes so we have selected iTunes in the list of apps shown. Then, click on OK.
If you don’t find the required application in the list then click on Look for an app in the Microsoft Store to download and install it on your PC.
8. Steps 6 and 7 need to be repeated for each file type that you want to associate with the particular application.
9. Once you have changed the default application, check if the media keys are working fine.
Fix 2 – Check the Keyboard (if applicable)
Many users have noticed this issue when using an external keyboard with their PCs. In case you are using an external keyboard, make sure to check the points mentioned below.
1. Disconnect and reconnect the keyboard.
2. Change the USB port for the keyboard connection.
3. Connect the keyboard to another system and check if the media keys are functioning properly.
If none of the checks above help overcome the problem, then move over to the next fix.
Fix 3 – Modify Chrome Extensions
1. Launch Chrome.
2. Type chrome://extensions in the address bar.
3. Click on the three horizontal bars at the top near Extensions.
4. Choose Keyboard shortcuts.
5. Look for Google Play Music or any other media-related extensions.
6. In the dropdown associated with the media key options for the extension of your choice, make sure the value In Chrome is selected.
7. Check if the problem is fixed.
You can also disable the extension that is causing the issue by following the steps mentioned below.
1. Open Chrome and type chrome://extensions in the address bar.
2. Look for the extension that is creating the problem.
3. Disable the extension by turning off the toggle associated with this extension.
4. If you are sure that the extension is not required, then click on Remove to uninstall the extension from Chrome.
Fix 4 – Start the Human Interface Device Service
1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc key combination to open the Task Manager.
2. In the Task Manager, select the Services tab.
3. Scroll down and find the service named hidserv. Check whether it is running or stopped in the Status column.
4. If the service is in a Stopped state, right-click on it and choose Start to get the service in the running state.
5. Check if the media keys are working on your keyboard.
If this fix helped to resolve the issue on your PC, then you change the startup type of the service to start automatically following the steps below.
1. Open Run (Windows + R) and type services.msc to open Windows Services.
2. Find Human Interface Device Service in the list of services.
3. Select it and double-click on it to open its Properties.
4. In the Properties window, use the dropdown associated with Startup type and change it to Automatic.
5. Click on Apply and then on OK to save the changes.
Next time when Windows starts up, this service will also start running.
Your keyboard media keys will start functioning normally once you have tried the strategies mentioned in the article. Comment and let us know the fix that helped you.
A software engineer turned into an educator with vast teaching experience in universities. Currently working towards my passion for writing.