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Disable Annoying Chrome Media Control Key Extension to Windows 10 Volume OSD

3954windows10volumeosdThis morning, when I adjusted the volume on my desktop, a huge popup overlay appeared on the top-left of the screen, blocking a significant part of the video for 5 seconds. It was the Windows 10 volume on-screen display (OSD), except 10 times bigger than before.

Previously, only the left panel (vertical adjustment bar and volume level number) was displayed, so the volume OSD was not very intrusive. Now, there is a new, huge right panel which has media control keys (back, play/pause, forward) and the not very friendly text “chrome.exe”.

The culprit is Chrome. Evidently, this behavior is a new feature in the latest Chrome browser. When you play media (audio or video like YouTube) in the Chrome browser, Chrome will add its media control panel to the volume OSD. That media control panel will appear in the volume OSD until you quit Chrome.

To disable Chrome’s media control key extension to the Windows 10 volume OSD, follow these steps:

  1. Using Chrome, browse to “chrome://flags/” to access the experimental hidden settings.
  2. Search for the “Hardware Media Key Handling” function.
  3. Disable it by changing the dropdown selection from Default to Disabled.
  4. Click the “Relaunch Now” button on the popup at the bottom.

Once you make the above change and Chrome restarts, the “chrome.exe” media control key panel will no longer display when you change the volume.

Warning: Unfortunately, disabling “Hardware Media Key Handling” will also disable the media control keys (Play, Pause, Forward, Reverse) on your keyboard for Chrome. It is a trade-off I am more than willing to make.

I hope that the Chrome development team will remove the addition to the Windows 10 volume OSD without requiring users to disable Chrome’s integration with the keyboard’s media control keys.

Note: Windows 10 doesn’t provide a setting to disable the volume OSD. You will need to search for a third-party script or utility to prevent the display of the volume OSD.

26 Comments

  1. Livio

    Thank you! that idiotic controller was really annoying.

  2. James

    This was annoying the heck out of me as a Brave (built from Chrome) browser user, thank you!

  3. Robert

    Thank you!!! This was driving me batty!!!!

  4. Jon

    Thanks, did a reverse image search to find your article. Not sure why anyone would think this was useful. Perhaps it is but have work to do and needed a way to remove the annoying popup !

  5. kuchumovn

    Finally, that stupid pop up is gone

  6. kst

    Thank you!!! I spent a hour to find how to fix that.

  7. Woxys

    Thanks for help

  8. San

    Thanks!

  9. JD

    THANK YOU !!

  10. R

    Thanks so much.

  11. Luis

    OMG!!!! Thanks so much!!!

  12. Marcos Fábio Amaral

    THANK YOU !!

  13. s

    THANKS M8
    it was bloody annoying

  14. Aldo

    Thanks! 🙂 Looked for this a couple of months ago without success and now I did it again and your post helped. I thought It was Win10 related, not chrome 😉

    thanks again
    -Aldo

    • Heinrich

      As far as I know, it is indeed Windows 10 related. I can’t find the source right now, but I read some post from a Chromium or Brave dev who said that Win 10 now automatically displays the huge panel if you flag your program as a media player – and if you don’t, then the media keys won’t work anymore. It’s just an either/or option in Windows 10, the Chrome devs can’t do anything about it.

  15. Di

    Thank you! The display was very annoying!

  16. Terence

    Much appreciated! It bothers me a few months

  17. wzrd

    Holy crap this is annoying. It wouldn’t be bad if it disappeared after 1 second, but it stays planted firmly in your face the whole time media is detected in one of your tabs. To make it worse, I use 150% UI scaling for my TV and it makes the OSD friggin’ enormous – taking up a significant portion of the screen when watching youtube videos etc.

  18. Scott Fannin

    Thank you! I too found it very annoying and figured there was a flag somewhere.
    I find it interesting that the media keys still work on some sites like Curiosity Stream after disabling the setting but not on others like Netflix and YouTube.

  19. Chantal Lyons

    Many, many thanks!!!

  20. Heinrich

    As far as I know, the big panel is not Chrome’s fault. As you said, the function in Chrome enables the media key functionality, but Microsoft decided to automatically add the large media OSD to this flag.
    There obviously isn’t a way in Windows 10 anymore to have the media key function without the large OSD, Chrome devs can’t do anything about it. It is understandable though that they won’t disable media keys by default.

    • Chanh

      Thanks for the info, Heinrich.

      Looks like if we want to use the media key controls in Chrome without getting the huge OSD popup, we will need to disable the OSD function in Windows. A quick search shows that there are 3rd party scripts to disable the OSD, but I haven’t tried it yet.

  21. Arun

    Thank You !! Thank you !!!! This was really Annoying

  22. Stefan Nasev

    HELP… I disabled it but still appeared and auto volume down. This gadget is immortal… Any advice about how to stop it ?

    • Chanh

      Not sure what could be wrong. Maybe double-check the disabled setting, then manually quit Chrome and start it? Might want to reboot the computer too. Good luck.

  23. Hjalte Raabjerg

    Thanks! That feature is really annoying

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