Google Maps 'Show media playback controls' option missing from Navigation settings? Here's how to restore it

The playback controls feature thrives when you are performing certain other important tasks. For instance, the ‘Show media playback controls’ option in Google Maps helps navigate locations while playing music in the background.

However, Google Maps has had a history of bugs including the issue where users were unable to minimize the sidebar on tablets and foldable phones.

But it would’ve been unfathomable had it removed some features without any reason.

Google Maps ‘Show media playback controls’ option missing

Sadly, that’s exactly what’s bothering users at the moment. Some of them (1,2,3,4) have been reporting an issue where the ‘Show media playback controls’ option has gone missing in Google Maps from the navigation settings.

Source (Click/tap to view)

Hi, i have issue with music button while navigating. It was there couple weeks ago but now is gone. I’ve tried clearing cache and data in Google maps, uninstalling updates but nothing seems to work.

The ‘Show media playback controls’ feature helps users play, pause, skip, and change the music without minimizing Google Maps.

But the fact that it suddenly disappeared from the settings without any rational explanation from Google is quite irksome for many. In fact, some reports suggest that it is not showing the media playback options since last year.

Here’s how you can restore the feature

It appears that the feature can indeed be restored but it comes at a cost of sacrificing another basic functionality. You can check it out below:

Source (Click/tap to view)

Sure, turning off some basic features on phones might boost performance or solve issues related to missing features. But it should in no way be offered as a solution to failures.

The fact that turning off Google Assistant is not really fixing the problem permanently for some, should be enough to solidify the above-mentioned statement.

Moreover, after disabling the voice assistant, a user ran into a completely different bug altogether.

I disabled Google Assistant as advised above, but it did not allow me to toggle on “Show media playback controls.” A pop-up appears when attempting to do so saying “No media apps available.” There is no way to add a media player, as the “Next button on aforementioned pop-up is grayed-out, and “Default media app” in the settings menu is grayed-out as well.

What’s the status of the issue?

Although the issue where the media playback option went missing for users was escalated some months ago, there is still no response from the company.

In fact, the same Product Expert responded later informing affected users that a resolution might take a while.

hi b, this could take a while.

So, users will have to wait indefinitely for the team to come up with a permanent fix. We’ll keep tabs on the latest developments and update this article accordingly.

Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated Google Maps section so be sure to follow them as well.

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Riya Madaan

Weaving a little bit of life into the articles I write. No, not really! That's not really possible for a trash writer like me but I still try. Apart from it, I skate, meditate and medicate. Also keep myself away from troubles as I age.