Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts


Learn about common Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts. A keyboard shortcut is a way to invoke a function in Mac OS X by pressing a combination of keys on your keyboard.

Products Affected

Mac OS X 10.0, Mac OS X 10.3, Mac OS X 10.2, Mac OS X 10.1, Mac OS X 10.4, Mac OS X 10.6, Mac OS X 10.5

To use a keyboard shortcut, or key combination, you press a modifier key with a character key. For example, pressing the Command key (the key with a symbol) and the "c" key at the same time copies whatever is currently selected (text, graphics, and so forth) into the Clipboard. This is also known as the Command-C key combination (or keyboard shortcut).

A modifier key is a part of many key combinations. A modifier key alters the way other keystrokes or mouse clicks are interpreted by Mac OS X. Modifier keys include: Command, Control, Option, Shift, Caps Lock, and the fn key (if your keyboard has a fn key).

Here are the modifier key symbols you can see in Mac OS X menus:

(Command key) - On some Apple keyboards, this key also has an Apple logo ()
(Control key)
(Option key) - "Alt" may also appear on this key
(Shift key)
(Caps Lock) - Toggles Caps Lock on or off
fn (Function key)

Startup keyboard shortcuts

Press the key or key combination until the expected function occurs/appears (for example, hold Option during startup until Startup Manager appears, or Shift until "Safe Boot" appears). Tip: If a startup function doesn't work and you use a third-party keyboard, connect an Apple keyboard and try again.

Key or key combinationWhat it does
OptionDisplay all bootable volumes (Startup Manager)
ShiftPerform Safe Boot (start up in Safe Mode)
CStart from a bootable disc (DVD, CD)
TStart in FireWire target disk mode
NStart from NetBoot server
XForce Mac OS X startup (if non-Mac OS X startup volumes are present)
Command-VStart in Verbose Mode
Command-SStart in Single User Mode

Finder keyboard shortcuts
Key combinationWhat it does
Command-ASelect all items in the front Finder window (or desktop if no window is open)
Option-Command-ADeselect all items
Shift-Command-AOpen the Applications folder
Command-CCopy selected item/text to the Clipboard
Shift-Command-COpen the Computer window
Command-DDuplicate selected item
Shift-Command-DOpen desktop folder
Command-FFind any matching Spotlight attribute
Shift-Command-FFind Spotlight file name matches
Option-Command-FNavigate to the search field in an already-open Spotlight window
Shift-Command-GGo to Folder
Shift-Command-HOpen the Home folder of the currently logged-in user account
Command-IGet Info
Option-Command-IShow Inspector
Control-Command-IGet Summary Info
Shift-Command-IOpen iDisk
Command-JShow View Options
Command-KConnect to Server
Shift-Command-KOpen Network window
Command-LMake alias of the selected item
Command-MMinimize window
Option-Command-MMinimize all windows
Command-NNew Finder window
Shift-Command-NNew folder
Option-Command-NNew Smart Folder
Command-OOpen selected item
Shift-Command-QLog Out
Option-Shift-Command-QLog Out immediately
Command-RShow original (of alias)
Command-TAdd to Sidebar
Shift-Command-TAdd to Favorites
Option-Command-THide Toolbar / Show Toolbar in Finder windows
Shift-Command-UOpen Utilities folder
Command-WClose window
Option-Command-WClose all windows
Option-Command-YSlideshow (Mac OS X 10.5 or later)
Command-ZUndo / Redo
Command-1View as Icon
Command-2View as List
Command-3View as Columns
Command-4View as Cover Flow (Mac OS X 10.5 or later)
Command-, (Command and the comma key)Open Finder preferences
Command-` (the Grave accent key--above Tab key on a US English keyboard layout)Cycle through open Finder windows
Command-Shift-?Open Mac Help
Option-Shift-Command-Esc (hold for three seconds) - Mac OS X v10.5, v10.6 or later onlyForce Quit front-most application
Command-Up ArrowOpen enclosed folder
Control-Command-Up ArrowOpen enclosed folder in a new window
Command-Down ArrowOpen highlighted item
Command-TabSwitch application--cycle forward
Shift-Command-TabSwitch application--cycle backward
Command-DeleteMove to Trash
Shift-Command-DeleteEmpty Trash
Option-Shift-Command-DeleteEmpty Trash without confirmation dialog
Spacebar (or Command-Y)Quick Look (Mac OS X 10.5 or later)
Command key while draggingMove dragged item to other volume/location (pointer icon changes while key is held--see this article)
Option key while draggingCopy dragged item (pointer icon changes while key is held--see this article)
Option-Command key combination while draggingMake alias of dragged item (pointer icon changes while key is held--see this article)