7 Keyboard Shortcuts for Macs

Tired of your clunky mouse or a slow, difficult to navigate trackpad? This week, Tech Talker shows you 7 easy keyboard shortcuts for the Apple OS system to help you navigate your computer quickly and efficiently.

Eric Escobar
5-minute read
Episode #162

Last week I talked about some awesome time-saving shortcuts for PC (Windows) users.

As promised, in this week’s episode, I’ll be covering 7 equally awesome keyboard shortcuts for Mac users that will help you navigate your OS system with speed and efficiency.

Again, I’d like to point out that if you’re a Windows user, you should stick around. You never know when you might need to use an Apple product, or when a friend or family member might need help with one. Who knows?

This episode could help make you a hero!

Before we begin, we need to locate the “Command” key that we'll use for a ton of these shortcuts. This key is very similar to the “Windows” key from last week, and is specific to Apple products. You can find this key by looking at the bottom left corner of your keyboard. It's the key with the pretzel/clover symbol on it.

See also: Pogue's Basics: Tech Shortcuts to Improve Your Life


Tip #1: Quitting an Application [Command+Q]

This shortcut is super simple, but extremely powerful. Use “Command+Q” to quit any application that you’re currently in. No need to use your mouse or trackpad to hunt and peck that application’s “x” button.

Alternatively, if the application you are currently in gets stuck, you can force it to close by using the “Command+Option+Shift+Escape” shortcut.

You might think, “Four keys seem like a lot to get something to close!” Let’s face it—forcing an application to quit is probably something that shouldn’t be done accidentally. So the developers don't make it easy on purpose. Though somehow, whenever my cat sits on my keyboard, she seems to know that magical combination.

Tip #2: Spotlight Search [Command+Spacebar]

Finding a program or file on your computer can take time. You have to open a Finder window and dig through your folders to look for it. However, with Spotlight search, you can quickly and easily search for any file or program on your system.

Simply Press “Command+Spacebar” and start typing.

If you're like me and you’re frequently looking for something on your computer, the Spotlight search is super useful. This shortcut is very similar to the Windows key search and saves a bunch of time!

Tip #3: Cycle Through Open Applications [Command+Tab]

If you’re a multi-tasker who always has a bunch of windows open (music, web browsing, word processing, email, etc.), then this shortcut is indispensable. It allows you to cycle through all of your open applications to find the one you’re looking for.

Simply hold “Command” and press “Tab” to easily thumb through all of your open apps. Release your fingers when you’ve found what you want, and voila!

Once again, this will allow you to keep your fingers at your keyboard and avoid that pesky mouse/trackpad that likes to suck away your time and efficiency!


About the Author

Eric Escobar

Tech Talker demystifies technology and cutting edge devices so that even the most tech illiterate can understand what's going on with their computer or gadget — and what to do when something goes wrong.