Control Apple Music Using Pause Button on Keyboard or Touchpad

3 min readMay 29, 2023


Here are step-by-step instructions for setting up BetterTouchTool and creating a keyboard trigger for Apple Music.

Macbook Pro

Control Apple Music Using Pause Button on Keyboard or Touchpad

BetterTouchTool is a powerful customization tool for Mac devices, allowing you to configure many types of gestures and shortcuts. It offers high customizability, enabling you to streamline your workflow and enhance your productivity.

In this article, we’ll explain how to set up BetterTouchTool and create a keyboard trigger that sends the Space bar key (which is the standard play/pause command) to Apple Music whenever the play button is pressed on your keyboard or touchpad.

Step 1: Download and Install BetterTouchTool

First, you’ll need to download and install BetterTouchTool on your Mac.

  1. Visit the BetterTouchTool website at
  2. Click on the “Download” button to download the application.
  3. Once the download is complete, open the .zip file and move the BetterTouchTool app to your Applications folder.
  4. Open BetterTouchTool from your Applications folder to complete the installation process.

Step 2: Grant Necessary Permissions

Before you can use BetterTouchTool, you’ll need to grant it the necessary permissions.

  1. Open BetterTouchTool and go to the “Preferences” section.
  2. Navigate to the “Security & Privacy” tab.
  3. Here, you’ll see a list of permissions that BetterTouchTool needs. Click the lock icon in the bottom left corner to make changes.
  4. Check all the boxes to grant BetterTouchTool full access.

Remember to unlock your Mac’s security settings before attempting this step.

Step 3: Create a New Keyboard Shortcut

Now that BetterTouchTool is set up, you can create a new keyboard shortcut.

  1. In BetterTouchTool, click on the “Keyboard” tab.
  2. Click on “+ Add New Shortcut or Key Sequence”.
  3. In the triggered keys field, press the key that you want to use as the trigger. In this case, it will be the play/pause button on your keyboard or touchpad.

Step 4: Assign an Action

After creating the new keyboard shortcut, you need to assign an action to it.

  1. In the “Select Trigger” dropdown, choose the shortcut you’ve just created.
  2. In the “Assigned Action” field, click on “No Action” and select “Send Keyboard Shortcut”.
  3. In the new window, press the Space bar. This tells BetterTouchTool to send the Space bar key command whenever your trigger is activated.

Step 5: Set the Target Application

Finally, you need to specify that this shortcut should only apply to Apple Music.

  1. In the “Applies To” section, click on “+ Add”.
  2. In the new window, select “Apple Music” from the list of applications and click “OK”.
This is what you should see at the end

And there you have it! You’ve now set up BetterTouchTool to control Apple Music using the pause button on your keyboard or touchpad. Enjoy your more streamlined music listening experience!




Most of my writing is about software. I enjoy summarizing and analyzing books and self-help videos. I am senior software consultant at