22+ keyboard shortcuts that every Mac user should know

Anyone who doesn't control keyboard shortcuts in macOS simply doesn't realize the full potential of this operating system. There are a lot of shortcuts available in macOS. They work not only in system applications, but also in most third-party applications. For example, editors and people editing photos would certainly not be able to imagine working without keyboard shortcuts. But let's not go into the deeper and let's look at more than 22 basic shortcuts that every Mac or MacBook user should know.

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First, let's take a look at all the modifier keys available on Mac. Altogether there are five of them, and of course we must use them all at the same time. These are Shift, fn, Control, Option (Alt) and Command. Keyboard shortcuts usually consist of one or two function keys, along with a specific letter on the keyboard. So, most often you do “double touch” or “triple touch”. Below you will find a gallery where you will find all the function keys and their position on the keyboard, so that you do not need to add an image to each shortcut.

an overview of the macos modifier keys


Yes, I admit, the Escape key is definitely not a shortcut but a single key. Right from the start, however, I would like to mention this key. Many people underestimate its function and think it can only be used in pause games. The truth is, this key is much smarter. For example, if you are taking a snapshot of a part of the screen, you can press Esc to end the creation and no snapshot will be saved. The same is true, for example, if you do not want to load a web page and your Mac has started chopping up – press Esc to stop loading. The Escape key is generally used to end a previous action or command, so don't be afraid to use it.

Command + W

Closes the currently open window. You can use the Option + Command + W shortcuts to close all active application windows.

Command + Y

Many people use QuickLook to view pictures and other media. Use this shortcut to open it quickly. All I need is a tagged item or items.

Command +, (comma)

This hotkey is one of the least known, but very useful. Opens the Application Preferences in which you are currently working. So if you have the Safari window open and press this shortcut, Safari Preferences will open.

Command + G

I'm sure many of you use Command + F to search for text on the Internet, or perhaps in a document. Command + G serves as an "extension" of the original shortcut. If you use Command + F to find something, press Command + G repeatedly to move through all results. On the contrary, Shift + Command + G takes you back up in the results.

Command + M

Use this shortcut to quickly minimize the active Dock window. Press Command + Option + M to minimize all active application windows to the Dock.

Command + Shift + A

If you are on the desktop or in the Finder, use this shortcut to open the Applications folder. If you replace A with U, open the Utility folder. The letter D opens the desktop, the letter H opens the home folder and the letter I opens the iCloud Drive folder.

Command + spacebar

This keyboard shortcut may be enough to change your macOS experience. Command + Space to open Spotlight, a kind of "Google on your Mac". Use it to open applications, files, and more.

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Command + Tab

Surely you know from Windows nice switching between applications using Control + Tab. Did you know that similar switching is also available in macOS? Just press Command + Tab to display the switching interface. Then just repeat pressing Tab to scroll through the applications.

Command + L

If you work in Safari, use this shortcut key to quickly switch to the URL field.

Command + Option + D

This shortcut quickly hides the Dock, which may appear unsolicited in some applications. Not all applications may work with this shortcut.

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Fn + left arrow (right arrow)

Use this hotkey to quickly get to the beginning or end of the page you're working on. You can also use the shortcut Command + up arrow (down arrow).

Command + left arrow (right arrow)

If you use this shortcut in Safari, you simply get back to the page, respectively forward.


Use this key to quickly switch between text fields. This is useful, for example, when filling in order data, etc.

macos tab

Command + Shift +

Fastest display of all open panels in Safari.

Option + Shift + Volume keys

If you press Option + Shift and start to control the volume with them, you will find that you can control it in smaller parts. This is useful when a certain volume is too high for you, but by the "box" backwards the volume is too low.

Option + Shift + brightness keys

As in the case above and in the case of brightness, you can use the incremental controls. Just press Option + Shift again and start tapping the keys to adjust the brightness.

22 keyboard shortcuts that every Mac user should know - 22+ keyboard shortcuts that every Mac user should know

Press Fn twice

If you press Fn twice in quick succession, you will start dictating on the Mac. Just start talking and Mac will automatically transcribe speech to text. To stop dictation, just press the Fn button again.

Option + brightness button (up or down)

Use this hotkey to quickly open your preferences for monitors.

Control + Command + Space

Want to include emoji in your text and don't have a MacBook with Touch Bar? Press this shortcut key to display a window with all the emoji that you can simply paste with the mouse.

Command + Y

If you activate this shortcut in the active Safari window, you will quickly get to the history.

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Command + Shift + T

Use this shortcut key in Safari to open a closed page by mistake. You can press the shortcut repeatedly to open the panels gradually closed.

Command + Control + Q

Do you need to leave Mac quickly? Use this keyboard shortcut to quickly lock it.


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 Enter the gallery

There are a lot of keyboard shortcuts available in macOS and of course you won't find absolutely all of them in this article. Definitely the list of the most common and most common macOS users should be listed here. If you also have a shortcut that you do not allow, and which is also not in this article, so it certainly with the description and write in the comments.

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