Helpful Mac keyboard shortcuts you should be using
Pointing and clicking with a mouse is great. There are times, however, where using the mouse to perform simple tasks interrupts productivity and slows you down. Try these helpful Mac keyboard shortcuts to help you work more efficiently.
Minimizing (or “Docking”) the front app window: Command + M
Use this combination when you have several apps, browsers, or Finder windows open and want to minimize the active one. To minimize all open windows at once, press Option + Command + M.
Closing an active window: Command + W
This shortcut lets you close active apps or programs like browsers, Finder, Thesaurus, or any app that allows multiple tabs to be open simultaneously. To close all tabs without quitting the program entirely, press Option + Command + W.
Quitting a program: Command + Q
Clicking the red X button in most Mac apps and programs, like Mail, only puts them in the dock. This shortcut lets you fully quit an application.
Force quitting a program: Option + Command + Escape
If an app becomes unresponsive, you can shut it down by using the force quit shortcut, which displays all your open applications. Select the one you want to quit and hit Force Quit. In some instances, you might need to press Command + Tab to switch to another app, then press Command + Shift + Option + Escape to quit an active app.
Hiding apps: Command + H
With this trick, you can hide an active window, which is particularly useful when you want to quickly conceal what’s on your screen. It’s also great for decluttering your screen by keeping only one app active. Simply press Option + Command + H.
Opening folders in Finder: Command + Shift + A/U/D/H/I
These combinations offer faster ways to view your Applications (A), Utilities (U), Desktop (D), Home (H), and iCloud (I) folders without having to click several apps.
Shutting down a Mac: Control > Option > Command > Power button or Control > Option > Command > Media Eject
In a hurry and need to power off quickly? This shortcut shuts down everything — apps, operating system, and power.
Taking a screenshot:
- Command + Shift + 3 – Take a snapshot of your entire screen.
- Command + Shift + 4 – Turn your cursor into a set of crosshairs that will let you select a specific area of your screen.
- Command + Shift + 4 + Spacebar – Hit these keys to screenshot only your current window (e.g., browser window, Notes app, etc.) without altering its dimensions.
Other little-known shortcuts:
- Command + Spacebar – Spotlight Search bar will appear in the upper center of your screen, which you can use to search for files or programs.
- Command + Option + D – Hide the Dock.
- Command + Shift + [ or ] – Cycle through tabs in Safari by pressing [ when moving right or ] when moving left.
- Command + Shift – See all your open tabs in an active browser.
- Command + , (comma) – Open the active app’s settings.
- Command + Shift + T – Opens the last closed tab in the active browser.
Everyone uses hotkeys to work faster and more efficiently. If you need more usability and productivity tips and tricks on MacBook, iMac, MacBook Pro, or any of your business devices, call our experts today!