This 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.
Note: The latest Microsoft Edge browser versions (as of January 15, 2020) are based upon Chrome so the instructions below will also work for Microsoft Edge. On the Edge browser, you can access the experimental hidden settings by browsing to “chrome://flags/” or “edge://flags/”.
To disable Chrome’s media control key extension to the Windows 10 volume OSD, follow these steps:
- Using Chrome, browse to “chrome://flags/” to access the experimental hidden settings.
- Search for the “Hardware Media Key Handling” function.
- Disable it by changing the dropdown selection from Default to Disabled.
- 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.