The System-Level macOS Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Know

When we talk about the efficiency of macOS, one of the topics we cannot get around is the macOS Keyboard shortcuts. macOS seems to have far more keyboard shortcuts than Windows does. According to Apple:

By pressing certain key combinations, you can do things that normally need a mouse, trackpad, or other input device.

quoted from

Recently, I sorted out some frequently used keyboard shortcuts that every macOS user should know, and I divided these keyboard shortcuts into three categories:

  • System-level keyboard shortcuts
  • App-level keyboard shortcuts
  • File-level (document-level) keyboard shortcuts

In this post, I’d like to focus on the system-level keyboard shortcuts first. After reading this post, you’ll be familiar with those system-level keyboard shortcuts.

System-level keyboard shortcuts

Immediately lock your screen:

Mac keyboard: Control-Command-Q
Windows keyboard: Ctrl-Windows logo key-Q

Log out of your macOS user account. You’ll be asked to confirm:

Mac keyboard: Shift-Command-Q
Windows keyboard: Shift-Windows logo key-Q

Open the Computer window:

Mac keyboard: Shift-Command-C
Windows keyboard: Shift-Windows logo key-C

Eject the selected disk or volume:

Mac keyboard: Command-E
Windows keyboard: Windows logo key-E

Open the desktop folder:

Mac keyboard: Shift-Command-D
Windows keyboard: Shift-Windows-logo-key-D

Open a Go To Folder window:

Mac keyboard: Shift-Command-G
Windows keyboard: Shift-Windows logo key-G

Open the Home folder of the current macOS user account:

Mac keyboard: Shift-Command-H
Windows keyboard: Shift-Windows logo key-H

Show / hide the Spotlight search bar:

Mac keyboard: Command-space bar
Windows keyboard: Windows logo key-space bar

Open iCloud window:

Mac keyboard: Shift-Command-I
Windows keyboard: Shift-Windows logo key-I

Open the Network window:

Mac keyboard: Shift-Command-K
Windows keyboard: Shift-Windows logo key-K

Open the Download window:

Mac keyboard: Option-Command-L
Windows keyboard: Alt-Windows logo key-L

Open the Documents folder:

Mac keyboard: Shift-Command-O
Windows keyboard: Shift-Windows logo key-O

Open the AirDrop window:

Mac keyboard: Shift-Command-R
Windows keyboard: Shift-Windows logo key-R

Open the Utilities folder:

Mac keyboard: Shift-Command-U
Windows keyboard: Shift-Windows logo key-U

Open the Connect to Sever window:

Mac keyboard: Command-K
Windows keyboard: Windows logo key-K

Are you familiar with these system-level keyboard shortcuts after reading this post? If you know of any other system-level keyboard shortcuts not mentioned in this post, you’re more than welcome to share them by leaving a comment below. Thanks for reading!

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