Learning Mac shortcuts is an excellent way to improve the efficiency of your workflow.

Rather than provide a long list of every available macOS (formerly known as OSX) shortcut, I have picked out a useful selection that you can learn as a starting point. Try to practice with a couple of these every week and you’ll be working around your Mac like a pro in no time!

For further reading, I have written companion posts for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign.

General Tricks

magic wand mac shortcuts icon

Action Shortcut
Show / Hide the Dock Option + Command + D
Spotlight Search Command + Spacebar
Show Desktop Command + Mission Control

Managing Windows

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Action Shortcut
Cycle through active applications Command + Tab
Flip between windows in current application Command + `/~
Minimise window Command + M
Hide all other applications Command + Option + H
Close window Command + W
Close all windows Command + Option + W


computer folder mac shortcuts icon

Action Shortcut
Duplicate file Command + D
Eject the selected disk Command + E
Get Info Command + I
Open the Computer window Shift + Command + C
Open the Desktop folder Shift + Command + D
Open the Home folder Shift + Command + H
Open iCloud Drive Shift + Command + I
Open the Downloads folder Command + Option + L
Open the AirDrop window Shift + Command + R
Hide / Show Sidebar Command + Option + S
New Finder window Command + N
Create new folder Shift + Command + N
Open the current folder’s parent Command + Up Arrow
Open the parent folder in a new window Command + Control + Up Arrow
Open folder in a separate window Command + Double click
Rename a file Command + Return
Move to Trash Command + Delete
Empty Trash Shift + Command + Delete
Empty Trash without confirmation Command + Option + Shift + Delete
Move item Hold Command while dragging to a new location
Copy item Hold Option while dragging to a new location

Problem Solving

Press these when booting your Mac, immediately after pushing the power button

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Action Shortcut
Start in Safe Mode Shift
Launch Startup Manager Option
Launch Apple Diagnostics / Hardware Test D
Reset NVRAM / PRAM Command + Option + P + R
Eject removable media F12 or mouse button