Enable or Disable Global Media Controls in Toolbar in Microsoft Edge

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How to enable or disable Global Media Controls in the toolbar in Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft Edge includes the Global Media Controls feature that lists playing media, e.g. an online video, from all tabs in a single flyout which allows controlling all active media sessions in the browser. When enabled, it adds a special button to the Edge toolbar that opens the session list. Here is how to enable or disable it.

The Global Media Controls option originally comes from the Chrome browser. However, Microsoft has improved it. Initially in Chrome, the  flyout was available for a single media session, and it was similar to a popup for that appears when you press multimedia keys on your keyboard. Microsoft's implementation lists all the media sessions running in the browser, and allows you to pause or continue running them. So, if you have multiple tabs in the browser that play sounds, like YouTube, Spotify, and Vimeo, you can manage their playback from a single flyout in Microsoft Edge. The Global Media Controls feature in Edge also includes a number of extra options like Picture-in-Picture, a dismiss button, along with fancier icons.

When Global Media Controls is enabled, it shows a toolbar button that opens the flyout. When you click on it, the Media Controls UI popup flyout appears with the list of all your current media sessions. It also includes the Previous, Seek, Play/Pause, and Next buttons for each media session.

This post will show you how to enable or disable the Global Media Controls UI in the toolbar in the Microsoft Edge Chromium.

To Enable or Disable Global Media Controls in Toolbar in Microsoft Edge

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.
  2. Type edge://flags/#global-media-controls into the address bar and hit Enter key.
  3. Select Enabled or Disabled to right of the Global Media Controls option for what you want. Note: the Default value is similar to Disabled, so the feature is turned off as of now.
  4. Restart the browser.

You are done.

Alternatively, you can enable or disable the Global Media Controls toolbar button using a modified Microsoft Edge shortcut. The instructions below will explain how it can be done.

Enable or Disable Global Media Controls Button with Shortcut

  1. Right-click on the Microsoft Edge shortcut on your Desktop.
  2. Select Properties from the context menu.
  3. Add --enable-features=GlobalMediaControls after the msedge.exe portion in the Target box to enable the Global Media Controls in the toolbar.
  4. To disable the Global Media Controls, instead add  --disable-features=GlobalMediaControls after the msedge.exe portion in the Target box.
  5. Click on Apply and OK.
  6. Launch the Edge browser with the modified shortcut.

You are done!


Regardless of the method you used to disable or enable the Global Media Controls, you can control the Global Media Controls feature with ease. As of the moment of this writing, it is disabled by default, but using the above options you can enable the feature and give it a try.

Microsoft Edge is now a Chromium-based browser with a number of exclusive features like Read Aloud and services tied to Microsoft instead of Google. The browser has already received a few updates, with support for ARM64 devices. Also, Microsoft Edge is still supporting a number of aging Windows versions, including Windows 7. Check out Windows Versions Supported by Microsoft Edge Chromium. Finally, interested users can download MSI installers for deployment and customization.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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