Re-map the Calculator keyboard key to Play/Pause on Windows 10

Here’s how to re-map the default Calculator keyboard “shortcut key” to instead send the Play/Pause media command under Windows 10; alot more useful!

This guide is aimed at the Amazonbasics Wired Keyboard but applies to any keyboard making use of the standard Windows media/shortcut key codes. A requirement is that you are using a supported media player including iTunes, Spotify, Windows Media Player or VLC.

  1. Download Command Line Media Controller (it’s free) and copy it to the Program Files (x86) directory
  2. Open up the Registry Editor (regedit64.exe) by clicking the Start button and typing regedit into the search bar
  3. Expand Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AppKey\18
  4. Create a new String with the Value name: ShellExecute
  5. Set the String Value data to: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Command Line Media Controller\CLMControl.exe” Spotify -pp
  6. Click OK

That’s it! Hit the Calculator keyboard shortcut with Spotify open and it will toggle play/pause. Happy listening! 🙂

Published by

Michael Visser

I'm a WordPress Plugin developer, UAV & Raspberry Pi enthusiast and general tinkerer. This visser.io domain serves as my development playground for non-WordPress Plugin projects.

3 thoughts on “Re-map the Calculator keyboard key to Play/Pause on Windows 10”

  1. How can I find the mapping between the AppKey list and the physical keys on my keyboard?
    As an example, the setting: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AppKey\18]
    is supposed to be the calculator shortcut key. But what key is that? And why is number 18?
    I have several shortcut keys on my keyboard, but I have no idea what numbers they are mapped to.
    i.e I have spesial keys for brightness increase and decrease that I’d like to change the behaviour of. But I have no clue which number to use in the registry that correspond to these keys.
    I tried to run Winaero Tweaker, but in their list, these brightness keys do not exist.

    Does anyone have an app that I can use to reveal what AppKey number is associated to a keywhen I press a key?

  2. This amazing however I swapped the -pp with -nt so I can skip track because I already have a play pause button. Thanks 🙂

  3. Nice. Found this when I tried to find out how to change the calculator button to launch spotify. I did it by making a *.reg file with notepad this in it:

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\AppKey\18]
    “Association” = “Spotify”

    Execute the file and you’r ready to go 🙂
    With my last keyboard I changed the media player button to do this and that is button 16 if anyone else is looking for this information.

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