What's that video player doing on my lockscreen?So, this one is fun. All of a sudden, when you lock your puter, the “currently playing” video appears with playback controls on the lock screen.

Now, this might be a useful feature, except that in many cases it’s rather broken.

Both Chrome and Firefox on my puter will show the most recently played video on my lock screen – not one I’m currently watching.

This is pretty annoying because A) I don’t watch vids when my puter is locked and B) I don’t need the rest of the world to see what I’ve watched recently.

Fortunately, you can turn it off!

SIGH… Where did this come from?

It’s the glorious new Media Session API. What’s that? Well:

The Media Session API provides a way to customize media notifications. […] It also provides action handlers that the browser can use to access platform media keys such as hardware keys found on keyboards, headsets, remote controls, and software keys found in notification areas and on lock screens of mobile devices. So you can seamlessly control web-provided media via your device, even when not looking at the web page. The aim is to allow users to know what’s playing and to control it, without needing to open the specific page that launched it.

Okay, that’s not such a bad idea!

The problem is that – in Firefox especially – it never seems to STOP showing some recent video I watched. Even if I close the tab that contains the video, it still appears on the lock screen. Oops.

How do I turn it off?

You might think there’d be an option in Windows, but alas no. That would make far too much sense.

Fortunately, you can turn off the feature in each browser.


First, open a new tab in Firefox.

Then, go to the URL: about:config

In the search box, type: mediasession

For dom.media.mediasession.enabled, click the toggle button on the right to change it to false.

Firefox: Disable Media Session API

Now, restart Firefox!

No more media controls on the lock screen!


Chrome is quite similar:

First, open a new tab.

Then, go to the url: chrome://flags

In the search box, type: media-key

For Hardware Media Key Handling, change the pull-down to Disabled.

Click the Relaunch button to restart Chrome.

Chrome: Disable Media Session API
Ta-DA! You’re done.

And there you have it

I can see how this would be pretty useful on mobile devices, but for desktop it’s just pretty useless. And annoying.

At least now you don’t have to be bothered by it any more!

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