How-to: macOS Keyboard Shortcuts

Screen Capture to disk:

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

Screen Capture to clipboard:

  command Shift Key 3 + Ctrl             Screen to clipboard.
  command Shift Key 4 + Drag + Ctrl      Selection to clipboard.
  command Shift Key 4 + Spacebar + Ctrl  Window (Camera effect) to clipboard.

Copy and Paste

  command X      Cut.
  command C      Copy.
  command V      Paste.
  command option V    Move: Move the files in the Clipboard from their original location to the current location.
  command option ⇧ V Paste and match style, may not work everywhere.
  option  while dragging: Copy the dragged item. The pointer changes while you drag the item.
  command  while dragging to another volume: Move the dragged item to the other volume, instead of copying it.

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

Dock /Switch Applications

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

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

Apple Finder

  option + Drag   Explicit COPY (will copy even if destation is on same volume).
  command + Drag   Explicit MOVE (will move even if destation is on different volume).
  ⌘ ⇧ A     Go to the /Applications folder **
  command C        Copy the selected files to the clipboard.
  command option 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  **.
  command V        Paste one or more files from the clipboard to the current folder.
  command option V     MOVE files on the clipboard from their original location to the current folder.
  command option + 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.
  command D        Duplicate the selected files.
  command Shift Key D     Open the desktop folder.
  command E        Eject the selected disk or volume.
  command F        Start a Spotlight search in the Finder window.
  command Shift Key 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.
  command I        Get Info.
  command option I     Super Get Info (change whatever you click on).
  ⌘ K        Open the Connect to Server window **.
  ⌘ ⇧ K     Go to network **.
  command L        Make Alias.
  command option L     Open the Downloads folder.
  command N        New Finder window.
  command Shift Key N     Create a new folder.
  command option N     Create a new Smart folder (saved search).
  command O        Open item, or open a dialog to select a file to open.
  command Shift Key O     Open the Documents folder.
  command ↓        Open item.
  command P        Print.
  command Shift Key P     Show or hide the Preview pane in Finder windows.
  command option 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.
  command Q        Quit Application.
  command 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.
  command Shift Key R     Go to the AirDrop window.
  command S        Save.
  command Shift Key S      Save as.
  command option S      Show/Hide the Finder sidebar.
  command T        Open new Tab.
  command Shift Key T     Show or hide the Tab bar in Finder windows.
  command option T     Show or hide the toolbar in Finder windows.
  command Shift Key Ctrl T  Add selected Finder item to the Dock
  ⌘ ⇧ U     Go to the /Applications/Utilities/ folder **
  command W        Close Window.
  command option W      Close all Windows.
  command option Y      Toggle Slideshow mode (show selected graphic files full-screen).
  command ⌫       Delete/Move to Trash.
  command option ⌫    Delete selected item immediately.
  command Shift Key ⌫    Empty the Trash.
  command option Shift Key ⌫ Empty the Trash without confirmation dialog.
  command ~        Cycle finder windows (including desktop).
  Tab        Highlight next item.
  ⌘ + double-click folder icon, will open the folder in a new window.
  command /        Show/Hide the footer in finder.
  ⌘ ↑        Move up one directory.
  ⌘ [        go back.
  ⌘ ]        go forward.
  ⌘ ⇧ ⌫     Empty Trash (Finder Menu ).
  ⌘ ⇧ ⌥ ⌫   Empty Trash without dialog.
  ⌘ ,        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

  ⌘ Brightness Down(F1)  Turn video mirroring on or off when your Mac is connected to more than one display.
  ⌘ Brightness Up(F2)    Turn target display mode on or off.
  option Brightness Up    Open Displays preferences. This works with either Brightness key.
  Ctrl Brightness Up (or Down)      Change the brightness of your external display, if supported by your display.
  optionBrightness Up (or Down)      Adjust the display brightness in smaller steps.
  option ⇧ Ctrl Brightness Up (or Down) Adjust the display brightness on an external display, if supported.
  ⌘ Mission Control(F3)  Show the desktop.
  ⌥ Mission Control(F3)  Open Mission Control preferences.
  ⌥ Volume Up(F12)       Open Sound preferences. Also works with Volume down(F11).
  ⌥ ⇧ Volume Up(F12)    Adjust the sound volume in smaller steps. Also works with ⌥ ⇧ Volume Down(F11).

Window management:

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

Hide all other apps:
  option command + click on dock icon.
  option command + click inside app window.

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


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


  option + Click            Move the insertion point (this emits arrow keys).
  command left/right arrow   Switch windows.
command 1 Switch to 1st terminal window. command 2, command 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.
  I   Set start point (QT 7 only)
  O   Set end point (QT 7 only)


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

Editing Text (email, TextEdit etc)

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

  option [       “  Double quote (open/left)
  option Shift Key [     ” Double quote (close/right)

  option ]       ‘  Single quote (open/left) Also Apostrophe: O‘Brien
  option Shift Key ]     ’ Single quote (close/right)

  up          Scroll one page up. (cursor retains position)
  down          Scroll one page down. (cursor retains position)
  option up        Move one page up.  (reposition cursor)
  option down        Move one page down.
  command ↑ or up/left  Scroll to beginning of document.
  command ↓ or down/right  Scroll to end of document.

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

  option ⌫      Delete previous word . 
  option Del     Delete next word.
 Ctrl D     Delete next character (Del)
  command Shift Key .     Show hidden files in open and save dialogs. (Snow Leopard only)
  command Shift Key /     Open Application Help (Search)

  option Scrollbar           Jump to exact scrollbar location.
  option Scrollbar arrows    Scroll page at a time (page up/down)
  option Volume up/down      Open Sound preferences.
  Control Shift Key Eject       Turn display off (brightness=0)
  option Brightness up/down  Open Display preferences.


At startup, press and hold one of the following key combinations:

  Shift Key (Shift)   Safe Boot mode, this will delete some system caches and disable login items.

To boot into Safe mode on an intel mac:

  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 Key (Shift).
  3. Once the Apple logo and progress bar appear, you can release the Shift key.

To boot into Safe mode on a mac with Apple silicon:

  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”.
  command R        Start up into macOS Recovery, Restore from Time Machine/Repair/reinstall macOS.
  command option 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.

  command S        Start up in Single-User mode (command line).
    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.

  command V        Start up in Verbose mode.
  command option Shift Key ⌫   Bypass primary startup volume (will seek DVD or external disk)
  command option 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].
  command option O F   Open Firmware
  command E        Eject CD (press during/after startup chime)
  mouse      Eject CD (hold mouse button down during startup)

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


  POWER         Sleep now.
  POWER         Hold for 10 seconds (force shut down).
  Ctrl Eject    Restart, Sleep, Shutdown dialog box.
  Ctrl POWER    Restart, Sleep, Shutdown dialog box (n/a with Touch ID sensor).
  command option Eject    Sleep the computer now
  command option POWER    Sleep the computer now (n/a with Touch ID sensor).

  Ctrl Shift Key Eject  Sleep the display now.
  Ctrl Shift Key POWER  Sleep the display now (n/a with Touch ID sensor).

  command Shift Key Q        Log out of your macOS user account, prompt to confirm. 
  command option Shift Key Q     Log out immediately without confirming.

  command Ctrl Q     Immediately lock your screen.

  command option Ctrl Eject Shut down the computer now (Graceful Shutdown).

  command Ctrl Eject  Force your Mac to restart, without prompting to save.
  command Ctrl POWER  Force your Mac to restart, without prompting to save. (n/a with Touch ID sensor).
  command option Esc       Force Quit menu - selectively force quit applications.
  command option Shift Key Esc     Hold for three seconds to Force Quit the foremost application.
  command .(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

  command Shift Key Q         Log out. (Apple Menu)
  command Shift Key option Q      Log out immediately. (Apple Menu)

command is the Command or Apple key
option is the Option or Alt key
Shift 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 Shift Key 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 comands:

Bash Terminal Keyboard shortcuts
nvram - Manipulate or reset firmware variables.
macOS Key bindings - Remap the Home and End Keys.
screencapture - Take Screenshots.
HT201236 - Keyboard Shortcuts Quick Reference (Apple).
HT204895 - Use Multi-Touch gestures on your Mac (Apple).
Disable or Change “global” keyboard shortcuts on Mac (Apple).
Applications:Utilities:Grab - Copy the screen to a TIFF file with (optional) 10 second delay.
DanRodney - macOS Keyboard Shortcuts.

Copyright © 1999-2022
Some rights reserved