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Popular and Hidden Shortcuts for macOS you might not know

Key Takeaways

  • Keyboard shortcuts use one or more modifier keys, such as Command, Option, Control, Shift, and Fn, along with another key.
  • You can find keyboard shortcuts in the menus of macOS apps, or in the Apple Support article Mac keyboard shortcuts.
  • You can customize or disable some keyboard shortcuts in the Keyboard settings of your Mac.
  • Some keyboard shortcuts may vary depending on the language and keyboard layout you are using.

Popular Keyboard Shortcuts for macOS

Here are some of the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts for macOS:

Cut, Copy, Paste, and Undo

  • Command-X: Cut the selected item and copy it to the Clipboard.
  • Command-C: Copy the selected item to the Clipboard.
  • Command-V: Paste the contents of the Clipboard into the current document or app.
  • Command-Z: Undo the previous command. You can then press Shift-Command-Z to redo, reversing the undo command.

Finder and System Shortcuts

  • Command-N: Open a new Finder window.
  • Command-W: Close the front window. To close all windows of the app, press Option-Command-W.
  • Command-Q: Quit the app.
  • Command-Tab: Switch to the next most recently used app among your open apps.
  • Command-Space bar: Show or hide the Spotlight search field.
  • Control-Command-Q: Lock your screen.

Document Shortcuts

  • Command-O: Open the selected item, or open a dialog to select a file to open.
  • Command-S: Save the current document.
  • Command-P: Print the current document.
  • Command-F: Find items in a document or open a Find window.

Accessibility Shortcuts

  • Option-Command-F5: Show the Accessibility Options window.
  • Control-Option-Command-F8 or Fn-Control-F8: Turn VoiceOver on or off.
  • Control-Option-F8 or Fn-Control-F8: Open VoiceOver Utility (if VoiceOver is on).
  • Option-F1 or Fn-F1: Open Help Menu (when VoiceOver is on).

Hidden Keyboard Shortcuts for macOS

Here are some of the less known but useful keyboard shortcuts for macOS:

Emoji and Symbols

  • Control-Command-Space bar: Show the Character Viewer, from which you can choose emoji and other symbols.


  • Shift-Command-3: Take a screenshot of your entire screen. The screenshot is saved to your desktop.
  • Shift-Command-4: Take a screenshot of a portion of your screen. Drag to select the area you want to capture, then release your mouse or trackpad button. The screenshot is saved to your desktop.
  • Shift-Command-5: Show the Screenshot toolbar, from which you can choose different options for taking screenshots and screen recordings.

Safari Shortcuts

  • Command-L: Highlight the URL in the address bar, so you can type a new web address or search term.
  • Command-T: Open a new tab in Safari.
  • Command-R: Reload the current web page.
  • Command-[ or Command-]: Go back or forward a page.

Mail Shortcuts

  • Command-N: Create a new email message.
  • Command-R: Reply to the sender of the selected message.
  • Shift-Command-R: Reply to all recipients of the selected message.
  • Command-F: Search for messages in Mail.
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