MacOS Shortcut Keys
Key combinations in Apple OS X can be used in multiple ways, including affecting the startup process, within the Finder window, or to access Menu commands. The commands listed below as well as some additional shortcut combinations can be found here.
Windows keyboard vs Apple keyboard
Apple keyboards have minor key differences compared to Windows keyboards. On the bottom row, the first three keys on an Apple keyboard are "Control", "Option", and "Command". The "Option" is sometimes called the "Alt" key, and the "Command" key was originally known as the Apple key, and may occasionally be referred as such. An Apple keyboard also has an "Eject" key on the far upper-right for opening the CD/DVD tray.
A Windows keyboard has CTRL, Windows-key, and ALT as the first three keys, and does not have an eject key. If you are using a Windows keyboard with your Apple system, then see the following table to see how certain keys are re-mapped in OS X:
|Windows Key||functions as||Command Key|
|Alt Key||functions as||Option Key|
|F12||functions as||Eject Key1|
NOTE: To use, power on your Apple computer and hold down these key combinations after you hear the tone.
Hold C during Startup
- Boots to CD or DVD that has a System folder
Hold Mouse Button during Startup
- Ejects media in CD/DVD drive and other media drives.
- On multiple button mice, hold down the Left Mouse Button.
Hold T during Startup
- Boots machine into Firewire Target Disk mode, which allows the machine's HD to be accessed from another machine that it is connected to by firewire
- To use, connect your computer to another Apple computer by a firewire cable and turn it on while holding down this key. Release once the firewire icon appears on the screen and then the drive will become accessible on the other machine.
- To disconnect, drag the computer's HD to the trash and then shut down the machine.
Hold SHIFT during Startup
- Start up in Safe Mode
Hold Command + S during Startup
- Start up in Single-User mode.
- You will need the root password to access the system (this is not the same as a password for an admin account in OS X)
Hold Option + Command + Shift + Delete during Startup
- Bypass primary startup volume and seek a different startup volume (such as a CD or external disk).
- Used for older Mac models.
Hold Option + Command + P + R during Startup
- Resets system settings in PRAM
- While holding down this combination, you will hear the machine chime. Allow the machine to chime at least three times before releasing the combination. The machine will then boot into OS X.
While in Finder Window
Command + 1
- View as icons
Command + 2
- View as list
Command + 3
- View as columns
Command + Right Arrow
- Expand folder
- Hold down Option key as well to also expand all nested subfolders
Command + Left Arrow
- Collapse folder.
- Hold down Option key as well to open parent folder and close current window
SHIFT + Mouse button
- This will allow you to select a batch of files/objects by adding them individually to your selection.
- Hold down the SHIFT button as you click objects, files, emails, etc with your mouse. All objects that you have clicked will remain selected as long as you hold down the SHIFT button.
Accessing Menu Commands
NOTE: These commands can be performed at any time.
Command + W
- Close active window
- Hold down Option key as well to close all windows
Command + M
- Minimize active window
- Hold down Option key as well to minimize all windows
SHIFT + Command + Q
- Log out
- Hold down Option key as well to log out immediately
Command + Delete
- Move selected object(s) directly to the Trash
SHIFT + Command + Delete
- Empty Trash
Command + I
- Get Info of selected object
Command + P
- Open Print window
Command + N
- Open new window
- Will work for Finder, Safari and other progams
SHIFT + Command + N
- Create new folder
Command + E
SHIFT + Command + C
- Open Computer folder
SHIFT + Command + H
- Open Home folder
SHIFT + Command + A
- Open Applications folder
SHIFT + Command + U
- Open Utilities folder
Command + ?
- Open Mac Help
Command + SPACEBAR
- Open Spotlight Search (OS X 10.4 and later only)
Control + Mouse button
- Simulates a right-click.
- Used on files to open file menus for getting info, deleting, copying, etc. Use on Dock icons for starting or stopping programs, hiding program windows, or removing icons from the Dock.
Command + Tab
- Cycles through all currently running applications
Command + '
- Cycle through all windows within the active application
Command + .
- Cancels an operation in progress
Option + Command + ESC
- Forces a program to quit. Unsaved data will be lost
Option + Command + Eject
- Put machine to sleep
Control + Eject
- Opens Restart / Sleep / Shutdown dialog box
- Hold down Command key as well to close all applications and restart