Play/pause button stopped working in OS X Mavericks

Apple KeyboardMy play/pause button mysteriously stopped working in iTunes and VLC mysteriously this week on my laptop. It affected the previous track and next track buttons as well. It turns out that my Google Music extension in Chrome stole the keyboard bindings after the extension updated this week.

If your buttons stopped working as well, follow these steps to check your keyboard shortcuts in Chrome:

  • Choose Preferences in the Chrome menu in the menu bar
  • Click Extensions in the left sidebar
  • Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page
  • Click Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Look at the key bindings in the Google Play Music section

Your shortcuts might look like the ones shown here in an Apple support forum. Click each box with the X to clear each key binding or click on the key binding box itself to bind it to another key combination. If you do that, it should end up like this:


You also have the options of switching the shortcuts to only work within Chrome by using the drop down menus to the right of the key binding boxes.

Photo Credit: Andrew* via Compfight cc


  1. says

    Nathaniel — Unfortunately not. I explained that move in this post. I’d be willing to give it a try again, but the new cameras in the MacBook Pro laptops are PCI-based and Broadcom hasn’t released any open source code for them. :(

  2. Liz says

    Hey, I followed your steps but I had no extensions already so I had nothing to delete but only my F7,F8 and F9 keys haven’t worked all others are and my Macbook Pro is only 2 weeks old. Thanks! :)

  3. anthony mai says

    YES! thankyou so much. I can finally pause my music again when co-workers talk to me. thanks a million

  4. Sean says

    Thanks so much! Life saver! Things just haven’t been the same these past few days, but now all is well once again! Appreciate the help.

  5. Hugo says

    Actually, I did not even notice that this worked for Google Music.

    So, I definitely let it those shortcuts on, since I have a good connection and a 128Gb SSD!

  6. says

    Normally I don’t comment on these things, but thank you for this lol. My spotify and iTunes were both not functioning with the play/pause button and this quick fix did the trick. Thank you!

  7. says

    Wow — I rarely comment on these types of articles, but THANK YOU! You saved me hours of frustration (if only I found this blog post a few hours earlier..)

  8. George Cochrane says

    You the man. Just in case you didn’t already know.

    Was this anything to do with installing Google Music or just a general update thing that Chrome did?

  9. HL says

    OMG. Thank you! I rarely leave comments, but I have been dealing with this for the longest. I took a trip overseas this summer and haven’t had the time to try to fix it nor find some useful info that could potential solve it – so I am so glad to have stumbled upon your page! I can finally use my keyboard shortcuts again, many thanks!

  10. says

    Thanks for the tip! I just noticed my shortcut keys stopped working this morning. I updated to Yosemite on Saturday, so I thought it was related to that. Glad to know it’s something simple.

  11. theCurtis says

    Thanks, so much, for posting this! For me, it wasn’t Google Play Music. It was Black Menu for Google. Same issue, though.

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