Media control keys (play/pause, next, previous) no longer seem to work after I updated from 19.10 to 20.04. Tested with both spotify and gsconnect controlling music playing on my phone. None seem to work, even after manually binding the keys in the keyboard shortcuts tab of the settings.

Any ideas how to fix this?

As requested in the comments, here is the output from xev when pressing the play/pause key:

FocusOut event, serial 39, synthetic NO, window 0x5400001,
mode NotifyGrab, detail NotifyAncestor

FocusIn event, serial 39, synthetic NO, window 0x5400001,
mode NotifyUngrab, detail NotifyAncestor

KeymapNotify event, serial 39, synthetic NO, window 0x0,
keys:  4294967182 0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   
       0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   
  • You may be able to use the xev utility via a terminal window. This shows keyboard/mouse events. First thing I would do is check if this is seeing any events when you press your media control keys. If it does show events then I would update your question above with the output of xev when you press one of the media keys.
    – codlord
    May 25, 2020 at 17:53
  • @codlord Added, hopefully it's the correct part of the output as there was so much of it
    – grizeldi
    May 27, 2020 at 9:32
  • I'm also struggling with this. It seems that the gnome-control-settings daemon may be capturing the keys, as under xev the output seems to vary for me (but defaults to the synthetic null output), but some of the media keys display changes in the gnome app Jul 29, 2020 at 6:22

1 Answer 1


It could be because of the media key conflict with chrome.

You can check if it is the case closing chrome (or any chromium browser) and then pressing the media keys.

  • This can't be it, as I primarily use firefox and only have chromium based browsers running when something is not working in firefox. That said, I do have discord running all the time, I'll check if that could be the culprit, as it is chromium based.
    – grizeldi
    Sep 16, 2020 at 15:11

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