Any media I have playing or active is randomly pausing, starting or (if music/playlist) skipping to the next track/video. This is not an issue to do with a single media client as I get it with everything (Spotify, YouTube, iPlayer etc). If no media is active or playing, then my Macbook opens Apple Music and plays whatever random audio files I have!

I followed the steps here - https://discussions.apple.com/thread/251230091 which includes resetting SMC and NVRAM. But this is no good.

My keyboard does get hot occasionally, which I suspect might be interfering with the function keys and causing a problem there. Edit: maybe not, as after checking keyboard viewer, changing the function keys and using an external keyboard as per @Allen's suggestions (see comments), this problem persists!

I'm running macOS 11.5.1 (20G80) (macOS Big Sur) on a Intel Core i5 MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017). I probably ought to update but have very little space on here and seems to be fine mostly (apart from this!)

Any suggestions? Or how do I disable the function keys completely?

Update 26/4/2023

It appears to be an issue with the headphone jack as this triggers (although it still does it randomly) when I move or wiggle my headphone cable. Connecting headphones to bluetooth do not cause this problem at all.

  • If you suspect the keyboard, get a cheap USB keyboard and try that for a little while to see if the problem goes away
    – Allan
    Apr 19, 2023 at 2:04
  • Yeah I'll try that, thanks. How do I disable the built-in keyboard? @Allan
    – crn
    Apr 19, 2023 at 2:09
  • 1
    You shouldn’t have to disable it. You can also try the keyboard viewer to see if those keys are being pressed. Alternatively, you could change them to standard Fn keys in settinfs
    – Allan
    Apr 19, 2023 at 2:12
  • @Allan Hm, okay so the keyboard viewer isn't showing anything being pressed and changing to normal fn keys hasn't changed anything... maybe it's not the function keys.
    – crn
    Apr 19, 2023 at 2:25
  • Your edit should be an answer.
    – Allan
    Apr 26, 2023 at 17:34

1 Answer 1


This appears to have been caused by a faulty or damaged headphone jack.

When I move/wiggle my headphone cable it triggers everything I described above. Connecting via bluetooth fixes this. (Maybe it's time for a new laptop...)

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