most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts

11 most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts | 2021

Mac Adviser

May 7, 2021

Do you feel like your productivity is slipping? Do you find yourself struggling to keep up with all of the tasks that need attention? Maybe it’s time to learn some keyboard shortcuts! But with so many different keyboard shortcuts available, it can be hard to remember which ones are the most important and which will save you the most time in your day-to-day tasks. 

That’s why we compiled this blog post for all of our readers. Here is a list of the 11 most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts that will help save you hours! We hope you find these helpful as they have saved us many hours at work!

11 most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts | Command + Spacebar

Open the Spotlight Search Tool | Command + Spacebar

Spotlight is one of the most useful shortcuts for any Mac user. Tap Command + Spacebar and type in what you’re looking to find, like your favorite song or TV show episode. The results will be instant! Spotlight also searches through iMessages, bookmarks, and files on your hard drive text-wise as well so that it can give you a quick way to open apps without having them sitting around all over the dock space.

11 most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts | Switch Between Active Apps | Command + Tab

Switch Between Active Apps | Command + Tab

The Mac has two methods to switch between open apps. You can use the Dock, which shows all of your currently opened applications, or you can access an app switcher by hitting Command + Tab and then Tab repeatedly until you find the desired application on the screen. You can also use the Command + Q shortcut to quit the app you have highlighted in the app switcher.

11 most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts | Minimize Active Window | Command + M

Minimize Active Window | Command + M

You can click the yellow dash button in the upper-left corner of a window to minimize it, but if you want to save more time, use  Command + M. If you have multiple windows open of the same app and want to minimize all of them, hit Command + Option + M.

11 most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts | Close Active Window | Command+W

Close Active Window | Command + W

The cool thing about Macs is that you have different ways to get out of an app. To close the active window on Mac, you can click the little red x in the upper left corner or use the Command + W shortcut. If you want to close all the currently active windows of an app, hit Option + Command + W. This is different than quitting the application, the app will still be running in the background using this method. Below is how you can quit the application altogether!

11 most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts | Quit Active Application | Command + Q

Quit Active Application | Command + Q

As mention above, Command + W closes the window but not the application. To altogether quit an application, you can choose Quit from the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of the screen or use the keyboard shortcut Command + Q.  If the application stops responding, you might need to force quit the application. Below is how you can force quit an application altogether. 

11 most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts | Force Quit Application | Option + Command + Esc

Force Quit Application | Option + Command + Esc

If a Mac app stops responding and can’t quit the app normally, there are many ways to force it closed. One of them is pressing these three keys together: Option + Command + Esc on your keyboard. Another way to do this would be to choose Force Quit from the Apple menu  in the upper-left corner of the screen.

11 most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts | Open Applications folder | Command+Shift+A

Open Applications folder | Command + Shift + A

Need to open your Applications folder? No problem, just hit Command + Shift + A, and you’ll be there in a flash. Want the Utilities window instead? Hit Command + Shift + U for the utilities folder. Command + Shift + D opens up your desktop folder.

11 most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts | Safari Search Bar / Address Bar | Command + L

Safari Search Bar / Address Bar | Command + L

Reaching for your mouse and moving the cursor to the search bar on Safari wastes a lot of time. Hit Command + L while you’re using Safari, and the cursor will move up to the search bar where you can type either a new address or a search! This shortcut also works with Google Chrome.

11 most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts | Forward / Backwards in Safari | Command-left/right arrows

Forward / Backwards in Safari | Command-left/right arrows

If you’re looking for a quicker way to move back and forth in your browser, the Command + Left Arrow key will take you back one page. Moving forward in your browser can be achieved with the Command + Right arrow shortcut.

Open a Link in a New Tab | Command + Click

The Command-click shortcut is a great way to open links/ bookmarks in new tabs. If you want to open a link in a new tab, use the Command + click a link shortcut. If you want to open the link in a new tab but make it your active window, use the Shift + Command + click a link command.

11 most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts | Special Characters Menu |Control +Command + Space

Special Characters Menu | Control + Command + Space 

The Character Viewer is a quick way to insert emojis and other symbols into what you are typing. Just press Control-Command-Space, then pick the symbol that suits your fancy!

11 most useful Mac keyboard shortcuts | Part 1 

If you didn’t see what you were looking for, Apple’s extensive collection of keyboard shortcuts

If you found this article helpful, you might also find these Mac Advisers articles useful as well.

What Mac Keyboard shortcuts do you use to save yourself time? Is there anything you would add to the list? I’d love to hear from all of you in the comments section below! Drop your favorite shortcut!

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