FL Studio Quick Tip: Disable Plugin Keyboard Focus

FL Studio Quick Tip: Disable Plugin Keyboard Focus

Here’s a small workflow related tip that may help you to work more efficiently with 3rd party plugins inside FL Studio: in the plugin wrapping settings (under the ‘Visual’ section), check that the box ‘Don’t allow keyboard focus’ is enabled (it’s disabled by default).

Dont Allow Keyboard Focus

How does this help you to work more efficiently in FL?

If this setting is disabled, each time you click on a 3rd party plugin to open it’s interface and i.e. adjust a parameter or just change a preset, the plugin steals your keyboard input and the FL’s Transport panel keyboard shortcuts won’t work (such as spacebar for playback / stop, R for recording, etc). You would need to use your mouse to first click on anywhere outside the plugin interface in order to give the keyboard focus back to FL and only after that the keyboard shortcuts will function again.

This might sound like a minor workflow “issue”, but even so, it’s all extra hassle and clicking and when you work with FL and 3rd party plugins intensively this may start to be annoying.

By enabling the ‘Don’t allow keyboard focus’, the problem is solved. You can keep the plugin interface active on top, tweak it, change presets, etc. while keeping all the FL Transport panel keyboard shortcuts working underneath it.

This works both, with the 3rd party synth and effect plugins.

Also, you can save this setting (per plugin) by either clicking the ‘Save now’ button under the ‘General’ section of the wrapping settings or by enabling the ‘Save options automatically’ (which should be enabled by default). This way, FL will remember these settings every time you load the plugin.

Save Wrapping Settings

That’s it. Stay tuned for more tutorials soon! šŸ˜Ž


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  1. This tip was really helpfull! I can’t count how many times I’ve been raging over this šŸ˜›
    Is there a way to make FL do this automatically. Or do I have to do this manually with each plugin? Not that it is a problem. But why not just do it in 4-5 clicks, rather than 20-30 clicks. (If you got that many plugins) šŸ˜›

      • Dennis Alexander on

        I heard if you disable panning law the plug can sound more better. what you think because i think it is correct OPTIONS>project general setting turn off panning law.

  2. Great tip!
    This was really annoying and slowing down the work flow.

  3. Max Golovanov on

    Hi, Petri!

    THX for another smart tip! I’m using 3rd party plugins quite a lot & always keep wondering what the hell is happening with a transport buttons each time I’m loading VST! Now it’s clear!

    THX again! You are the MAN!

  4. Almazonly on

    Awesome Tip ! Now it works, i didn’t eve realize that it could be solved that easily.

  5. Thanks for posting this!! I never knew there was a way to do this, but i’m very glad i know about it now.

  6. Dennis Alexander on

    I also like this tip on the 3 plugin it is annoying having to use that mouse just to hear a sound again, happy engineering to all.

  7. Thanks a million sir … it was so irritating to use the mouse … Thanks ……

  8. Omg. After reading maybe 80% of your tutorials… THIS HAS GOT TO BE THE BEST TIP EVER.
    I love you so much.

  9. jaskaran on

    this tip is not working for my laptop which is 64bit but this tip is working on my desktop which is 32bit .
    it irritating me alot .. feeling unlucky please help me out please

  10. Hello Petri, its a very helpful post when I got this problem with Massive it worked for me.
    But now I got the same problem with an effect plugin TAL Chorus 60 and with Dada Life Sausage Fattener, and some others 3rd party. They were working perfectly days ago but now I got this annoying thing.
    Do you know what could it be? Maybe some FL configuration I have changed? (I have been looking for tips on how to improve FL performance and have changed some configurations)…

    Thanks Petri!

  11. Using FL 12 64 bit… tried everything.. this is still a problem and it slowely kills me!!! =)
    I’ve tried everything.. still the playback stops when editing a controller..

  12. Hey man i’m using FL 20 and it only has a “keyboard focus” button but when I clicked it- it told me not to do it so I didn’t. Any help would be most most appreciated! šŸ™‚