How-to: macOS Keyboard Shortcuts

(Command), ⌥ (Alt/Option) and ⇧ (Shift) keys. In all Apple Mac Applications the keyboard shortcuts can be found in the drop down menus. If the shortcuts are shown in gray text. This does not mean the shortcut is disabled unless all of the menu text is also gray.

Screen Capture to disk:

  ⌘ ⇧ 3              Screen to jpeg file on desktop. (To remove the drop shadow see defaults.)
  ⌘ ⇧ 4 + Drag       Selection to jpeg file on desktop.
  ⌘ ⇧ 4 + Spacebar   Window (click camera) to jpeg file, click with  to remove the drop shadow.
  ⌘ ⇧ 5              In macOS Mojave or later, take a screenshot or make a screen recording.

Screen Capture to clipboard:

  ⌘ ⇧ 3 + Ctrl             Screen to clipboard.
  ⌘ ⇧ 4 + Drag + Ctrl      Selection to clipboard.
  ⌘ ⇧ 4 + Spacebar + Ctrl  Window (Camera effect) to clipboard.

Copy and Paste

  X      Cut.
  C      Copy.
  V      Paste.

           Cut and paste of files in the Finder does not work in macOS, but you can Copy and Move.
  ⌘ ⌥ V    Move: Move the files in the Clipboard from their original location to the current location.

  ⌘ ⌥ ⇧ V Paste and match style, may not work everywhere.

    while dragging: Copy the dragged item. The pointer changes while you drag the item.
    while dragging to another volume: Move the dragged item to the other volume, instead of copying it.

    while double-clicking: Open the item in a separate window, then close the original window.
    while double-clicking: Open a folder in a separate tab or window.
  ⌘ ⌥  while dragging: Make an alias of the dragged item. The pointer changes while you drag the item.

Dock /Switch Applications

  ⌘ ⌥ D      Show/Hide Dock.
  Ctrl F   Enter or exit Full Screen mode (or press  + Green zoom button).

  Tab      Switch applications (even while dragging a file).
  `        Switch between document Windows in current application.
  Dock     Switch application, hide previous one.
  Dock     Switch application, hide all others.
 Ctrl ⌘ ⌥ 8  Toggle Monochrome Hi Visibility (Accessibility).
  +drag will prevent dock icons from moving out of the way.
             (useful when dragging items to the trash).

Apple Finder

  + Drag   Explicit COPY (will copy even if destation is on same volume).
  + Drag   Explicit MOVE (will move even if destation is on different volume).
  ⌘ ⇧ A      Go to the /Applications folder **
  C        Copy the selected files to the clipboard.
  ⌘ ⌥ C      Copy File/Folder pathname to the clipboard.
  ⌘ ⇧ C      Go to the /Computer folder, (a virtual folder displaying all mounted disks) **.
  ⌘ ⇧ D      Go to the ~/Desktop folder  **.
  V        Paste one or more files from the clipboard to the current folder.
  ⌘ ⌥ V      MOVE files on the clipboard from their original location to the current folder.
  ⌘ ⌥ + Drag Make alias in new location.
  ⌘ ⇧ .      Show/Hide hidden files (toggle). If you have multiple finder windows open this will take a few seconds to work.
  D        Duplicate the selected files.
  ⌘ ⇧ D      Open the desktop folder.
  E        Eject the selected disk or volume.
  F        Start a Spotlight search in the Finder window.

  ⌘ ⌥ ⇧ +Esc  Force Quit Finder (⌥⇧⌘⎋)
     or in the GUI: Open Finder.
     Click on the Apple menu icon and press and hold the Shift key.
     Select the Force Quit Finder command. This may be needed if a bunch of folders suddenly appear to be empty.

  ⌘ ⇧ F     Go to the  Recents window, 'all my files'.
  ⌘ ⇧ G     Go to folder — type in a path (with tab-completion) **.
  ⌘ ⇧ H     Go to the  Home Folder ~/ **
  ⌘ ⇧ I     Go to the iCloud Drive folder.
  I       Get Info.
  ⌘ ⌥ I     Super Get Info (change whatever you click on).
  ⌘ K       Open the Connect to Server window **.
  ⌘ ⇧ K     Go to network **.
  L       Make Alias.
  ⌘ ⌥ L     Open the Downloads folder.
  N       New Finder window.
  ⌘ ⇧ N     Create a new folder.
  ⌘ ⌥ N     Create a new Smart folder (saved search).
  O       Open item, or open a dialog to select a file to open.
  ⌘ ⇧ O     Open the Documents folder.
  ↓       Open item.
  P       Print.
  ⌘ ⇧ P     Show or hide the Preview pane in Finder windows.
  ⌘ ⌥ P     Show or hide the Path Bar at the bottom of Finder windows.
            To copy the UNIX path use Get-Info/Inspector and select/copy the 'Where:' text.
  Q       Quit Application.
  R       Show original.(1) When an alias is selected the Finder: show the original file for the selected alias.
                           (2) In some apps, such as Calendar or Safari, refresh or reload the page.
                           (3) In Software Update preferences, check for software updates again.
  ⌘ ⇧ R     Go to the AirDrop window.
  S       Save.
  ⌘ ⇧ S     Save as.
  ⌘ ⌥ S     Show/Hide the Finder sidebar.
  T       Open new Tab.
  ⌘ ⇧ T     Show or hide the Tab bar in Finder windows.
  ⌘ ⌥ T     Show or hide the toolbar in Finder windows.
  ⌘ ⇧ Ctrl T  Add selected Finder item to the Dock
  ⌘ ⇧ U     Go to the /Applications/Utilities/ folder **
  W       Close Window.
  ⌘ ⌥ W     Close all Windows.
  ⌘ ⌥ Y     Toggle Slideshow mode (show selected graphic files full-screen).

  ~       Cycle finder windows (including desktop).
  Tab       Highlight next item.
  ⌘ + double-click folder icon, will open the folder in a new window.
  /       Show/Hide the footer in finder.
  ⌘ ↑       Move up one directory.
  ⌘ [       go back.
  ⌘ ]       go forward.

  ⌘ 1:      View items in the current Finder window as icons.
  ⌘ 2:      View items in the current Finder window as a list.
  ⌘ 3:      View items in the current Finder window as columns.
  ⌘ 4:      View items in the current Finder window in a gallery.

  ⌫       Delete/Move to Trash.
  ⌘ ⇧ ⌫     Empty the Trash.
  ⌘ ⌥ ⌫     Delete selected item immediately.
  ⌘ ⌥ ⇧ ⌫   Empty the Trash without confirmation dialog.
    while Emptying the Trash will include any locked files.

  ,       Open preferences for the front app.
  ⌘ ⇧ .     Toggle hidden files (Finder and in apps that support this.) **
   ←     Move between Folders in Finder, in list view close folder.
   →     Move between Folders in Finder, in list view open folder.

   ** =also works in Open/Save dialogues:

Function Keys

  ⌘ F1/Brightness Down  Turn video mirroring on or off when your Mac is connected to more than one display.
  ⌘ F2/Brightness Up    Turn target display mode on or off.
  ⌥ F2/Brightness Up    Open System Preferences  Display. This also works with  F1
  Control Eject        Turn display off (brightness=0)
  ⌥ ⇧ F1/Brightness Down  Decrease the display brightness in smaller steps.
  ⌥ ⇧ F2/Brightness Up    Increase the display brightness in smaller steps.

  Ctrl Brightness Up     Increase brightness of your external display, if supported by your display.
  Ctrl Brightness Down   Decrease brightness of your external display, if supported by your display.
  ⌥ ⇧ Ctrl Brightness Up (or Down) Adjust the display brightness on an external display, if supported.

  ⌘ F3/Mission Control  Show the desktop.
  ⌥ F3/Mission Control  Open Mission Control preferences.
  ⌥ F12/Volume Up       Open Sound preferences. Also works with Volume down(F11).
  ⌥ ⇧ F12/Volume Up     Adjust the sound volume in smaller steps. Also works with ⌥ ⇧ Volume Down(F11).
  F12/Volume up/down   Open Sound preferences.

Window management:

  Ctrl F   Use the app in full screen, if supported by the app.
  H        Hide the windows of the front app.
  ⌘ ⌥ H      View the front app but hide all other applications.
  M        Minimize the front window to the Dock.
  ⌘ ⌥ M      Minimize all windows of the front app.

Hide all other apps:
  ⌥ ⌘ + click on dock icon.
  ⌥ ⌘ + click inside app window.

Hide all other apps that are in front:
   + click dock icon (of running app)
   + click inside app window.


  Spacebar (or  Y)   Activate QuickLook on the selected file(s).
  ⌘ ⌥ Y               Full Screen/slideshow QuickLook on the selected file(s).


   + Click            Move the insertion point (this emits arrow keys).
  left/right arrow   Switch windows.
  1                  Switch to 1st terminal window.
  2, 3...          Switch to 2nd, 3rd window.

QuickTime Player

  J   Play backwards/speed.
  K   Stop (also spacebar and . )
  L   Play forwards/speed.
  ←   Move one frame forward (or 0.25 sec on audio).
  →   Move one frame back.


  Spacebar           Activate/deactivate Spotlight.
  R                  Open the current file’s location in finder.
  ⌘ ⌥ Spacebar         Open Finder Spotlight search window.
  Return / Click   Open the top/next item.
  ↓ / ↑              Move to next/previous category.

Editing Text (email, TextEdit etc)

  ←       Move one word left.
  →       Move one word right.
 Ctrl A     Beginning of Sentence (Home).
 Ctrl E     End of Sentence (End).
  ←       Beginning of line.
  →       End of line.
  Ctrl Spacebar    Open Emoji character panel 😎 (Emoji, symbols and punctuation)

  [       Enter a Double quote “ (open/left)
  ⌥ ⇧ [     Enter a Double quote ” (close/right)

  ]       Enter a Single quote ‘ (open/left)
  ⌥ ⇧ ]     Enter a Single quote ’ (close/right) Also Apostrophe: O’Brien

           Scroll one page up. (cursor retains position)
           Scroll one page down. (cursor retains position)
  ⌥ ⤒       Move one page up.  (reposition cursor)
         Move one page down.
  ↑ or  Scroll to beginning of document.
  ↓ or  Scroll to end of document.

  Add shift key  to the above to also select the text.

  ⌫       Delete previous word. 
  ⌥ ⌦       Delete next word.
 Ctrl D     Delete next character (Del)
  ⌘ ⇧ .     Show hidden files in open and save dialogs. (Snow Leopard only)
  ⌘ ⇧ /     Open Application Help (Search)

  Scrollbar           Jump to exact scrollbar location.
  Scrollbar arrows    Scroll page at a time (page up/down)

Startup on Apple silicon

Boot into Safe mode:

  1. Shut down.
  2. Turn on your Mac and continue to press and hold the power button until you see the startup options window.
  3. Select your startup disk, then press and hold the Shift key while clicking “Continue in Safe Mode”.
    This will delete some system caches and disable login items.
  4. For Target mode on Apple silicon: Utilities Share Disk Select disk/volume Start Sharing.

Startup on an intel mac

Boot into Safe mode:

  1. Shut down, and wait 10 seconds before pressing the Power Button to start up.
  2. As soon as you hear the startup chime/chord, press and hold down (Shift).
  3. Once the Apple logo and progress bar appear, you can release the Shift key.
    This will delete some system caches and disable login items.
  R       Start up into macOS Recovery, Restore from Time Machine/Repair/reinstall macOS.
  ⌘ ⌥ R     Start up using Internet Recovery

  Option     Startup Manager - This will allow you to Select a startup disk or resume a hung software update window.

  S       Start up in Single-User mode (command line) Disabled in macOS Mojave or later.
    X       Force macOS startup.
    C       Start up from a CD (if it has a system folder).
    D       Start Apple Diagnostics from first partition (or Apple Hardware test on Pre 2012 Macs).
    N       Attempt to start up from a network server(NetBoot).
    R       Force PowerBook screen reset.
    T       Start up in FireWire Target Disk mode.

  V       Start up in Verbose mode.
  ⌘ ⌥ ⇧ ⌫   Bypass primary startup volume (will seek DVD or external disk)
  ⌘ ⌥ P R   PRAM hardware Reset - Hold down Cmd-Option-R with your left hand,
               then press POWER to start up and immediately press P with your right hand.
               At the prompt type: 'reset-nvram' or 'reset-all'. See HT204063 [intel macs only].
  ⌘ ⌥ O F   Open Firmware
  E       Eject CD (press during/after startup chime), see also drutil eject
  mouse     Eject CD (hold mouse button down during startup)

To return to normal mode, restart the Mac without holding down any keys.

Sleep, log out and Shut down shortcuts:

  POWER        Sleep now.
  POWER        Hold for 10 seconds (force shut down).

  Ctrl Q     Immediately lock the screen.
  ⌘ ⇧ Q        Log out of your macOS user account, prompt to confirm. 
  ⌘ ⌥ ⇧ Q      Log out immediately without confirming.

  Ctrl Eject    Restart, Sleep, Shutdown dialog box.
  Ctrl  Eject  Sleep the display now.
  Ctrl POWER    Restart, Sleep, Shutdown dialog box (n/a with Touch ID sensor).
  Ctrl  POWER  Sleep the display now (n/a with Touch ID sensor).

  ⌘ ⌥ Eject     Sleep the computer now.
  ⌘ ⌥ POWER     Sleep the computer now (n/a with Touch ID sensor).

  ⌘ ⌥ Ctrl Eject  Shut down the computer now (Graceful Shutdown).
  Ctrl Eject  Force your Mac to restart, without prompting to save.
  Ctrl POWER  Force your Mac to restart, without prompting to save. (n/a with Touch ID sensor).

  ⌘ ⌥ Esc       Force Quit menu - selectively force quit applications.
  ⌘ ⌥ ⇧ Esc     Hold for three seconds to Force Quit the foremost application.
  .(period)   Stop a process. Close pop-up notification.

To Restart a system that fails a normal shutdown, open a terminal window and type: sudo shutdown -r now

is the Command or Apple key
is the Option or Alt key
is the Shift key
⌫ is the Backspace key

System Preferences

To disable or change any keyboard shortcuts, open System Preferences ➞ Keyboard ➞ Shortcuts
per-application settings can be added under App Shortcuts press [+]
To reset to the default settings, open Keyboard Shortcuts and press [Restore Defaults]

To enable keyboard control in dialog boxes: Keyboard ➞ Full Keyboard Access=All Controls
Full keyboard access will allow you to use Tab,Shift-Tab,Enter, Esc and the Space bar to navigate a dialogue box.

To display an on screen keyboard: System Preferences ➞ Language & Text ➞ Input sources ➞ Keyboard/Character viewer

Function Keys

F3 or Ctrl + ↑ Open Mission control / Spaces.
F8 Toggle Space.
F9 Exposé - Show all open windows.
F10 Exposé - Show all open windows for an application.
F11 Hide all windows.
F12 Open/close Dashboard.
Add to the above F.Keys for a slow-motion effect

You can discover additional keyboard shortcuts by opening a menu and pressing the ⌥ (Option) and ⇧ (Shift) keys. For example, in Finder, open the File menu and press the ⌥ (Option) key.

'Command + Tab' cycles through Applications,
'Command + ~ (tilde)' cycles through an individual Applications windows"

Related macOS commands

How-to: Bash Terminal Keyboard shortcuts
nvram - Manipulate or reset firmware variables.
macOS Key bindings - Remap the Home and End Keys.
screencapture - Take Screenshots.
HT102439 - How to use the function keys F1, F2.. on your Mac (may also need to press Fn+Esc to lock in this change).
HT201236 - Keyboard Shortcuts Quick Reference (Apple).
HT204895 - Use Multi-Touch gestures on your Mac (Apple).
Disable or Change “global” keyboard shortcuts on Mac (Apple).
37 Secret Features of the Mac Keyboard - MacMost.
Applications:Utilities:Grab - Copy the screen to a TIFF file with (optional) 10 second delay.
DanRodney - macOS Keyboard Shortcuts.

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