13 Incredibly Helpful Must Know Macbook Key Shortcuts

Whether you’ve got a new Macbook Pro or an older model, Apple has been consistent about the product’s quality and ease of use. This is referenced by the fact that across several models and years, users have been able to count on some trusty shortcuts.

These shortcuts let you dive into your workflows without missing a beat. While there are several different commands you can employ, here are some Macbook key shortcuts every owner should get to know.

1. Command + Option + Escape

Without question, this combination of keys is most likely the first that every MacBook user learns. This is the shortcut that allows you to force quit an application that brings you trouble. You might access this function if something is starting to freeze or just take too long to load up.

This is like the control+alt+delete function on a Mac, so familiarize yourself with it and use it as needed.

If you are a Windows user, switching from control, Alt, Delete, can be quite the culture shock. However, it’s something that you will quickly get used to with Apple products.

2. Command + Shift + A

When you access this set of keys, it allows you to go straight to the applications folder. Whether you want to load up Garage Band, Final Cut Pro, iTunes, Safari, or any other applications, punching in these keys lets you cut to the chase.

From here, you’ll be able to seamlessly switch between programs as you get into your workflow.

3. Command + E

When you make use of this shortcut, you can eject a volume or disk that is currently in use.

You might use this command if you have a CD or DVD running or loading in your drive. You may also use it if you have your USB ports occupied by a thumb drive or external hard drive.

This is actually one of the most important commands that you will use, since ejecting a disk or volume before stopping the process can lead to corrupted files. This allows you to navigate and figure out which drive you would like to eject so you can do it seamlessly.

4. Command + Shift + 4

You never know when you will have to take a screenshot. A screenshot is great to have for proof or for your records. Perhaps you would like to archive a Messages conversation that you had on your laptop.

Using this key shortcut will get you loaded up and ready to take snapshots of all varieties. Once you punch in this command, you will see a set of crosshairs appear.

These crosshairs also come with tiny numbers that correspond to coordinates for the position on the screen. When you access your mouse or the trackpad, you can drag these crosshairs along the screen in the form of a square or rectangle.

The square or rectangle that forms will immediately create a screenshot once you let go of the mouse or trackpad.

Finish dragging it so that when you let go, the area inside of the rectangular space is where the screenshot occurs. You should hear a camera shutter sound effect to confirm that it was done correctly.

Your screenshots are saved immediately on your desktop. From there, you can rename the file and store it wherever you would like.

5. Command + Z

We all make mistakes from time to time. Thankfully, we have a shortcut to help you quickly move past mistakes.

When you hit this command it immediately undoes the last keystroke you typed or action you completed. It will quickly revert you back to the previous version of what you were doing.

This particularly comes in handy if you accidentally delete a huge section of text or accidentally mashed a series of keys.

In these situations, it’s not easy to tell what changes occurred. As a result, this undo function is your best case scenario and will help you remove the damage with little to no effort.

6. Command + V

Whether you’re working with a word processing system or just browsing the web, this is yet another keystroke command that you will find yourself using on a regular basis. Holding down, command + V allows you to paste sections into a text block or entry field.

This cuts out a lot of work since you won’t have to highlight anything or right-click and scroll down to paste. Instead, you will hit this keystroke and notice that the block of text still pastes into the entry the same as it would if you did it the long-form way.

7. Option + Shift + Volume

With these shortcuts, you’re able to turn your volume up and down seamlessly. By using the shortcut, your volume will change in small increments that you have full control over.

Knowing this command helps you when you’re playing any sort of media or if you happen to visit a website that automatically plays sound.

Keep in mind that your volume control goes both ways, so be prepared to alter it as needed based on your preferences.

8. Control + Command + Q

Security is of the utmost importance for your MacBook. Leaving your computer open when you’re away, leaves you open to unwanted usage on your machine.

By using this shortcut, you can quickly lock your computer so that anyone that uses it will have to type in the login again. This gives you an extra layer of protection that will come in handy, particularly if your computer is lost or stolen.

Having a lock in place keeps people out who you don’t want to get access to your sensitive information.

While you are using your computer, it’s easier to punch these three keystrokes than it is to scroll your mouse to the Apple and down to the logout menu.

9. Command + Shift + T

This command is for people who frantically browse the web on a regular basis. With these keystrokes combined, it will prompt your computer to open back up the last tab that you closed.

You will appreciate this command if you happen to accidentally close a tab, but aren’t sure of the URL or original site. This shortcut can save you a lot of time and effort, particularly if you’re in the middle of a lot of research or carrying out several different tasks.

You won’t have to rely on your memory to open the tab back up, but will also quickly get access to the information that you are looking for.

10. Control + Option + Command + Power

This is a sweeping option to use once you are ready to shut down your computer for the day. By punching in these commands, it will force close every application you have open.

However, worry not, because it will give you a chance to save any unsaved work before shutting down.

From there, you can shut down your computer as you please and protect your MacBook processes.

11. Command + Option + N

This is yet another trusty shortcut to put to use. With these keystrokes, your Macbook will automatically open up a brand new smart folder that you can use.

With a smart folder, you can find specific files on the computer by breaking it down into different criteria. This lets you filter based on words, files type, file size, date, and other details.

As a result, you can quickly and easily refine your searches and look for hard to find files. This works wonders when you’re trying to get rid of data in mass or make your MacBook more organized.

12. Function x2

If you’ve ever had to do a term paper or other long-form content, you know that typing non-stop gets tedious at times.

Thankfully, the MacBook comes equipped with built-in dictation software. This software lets you speak directly to your computer, either through the built-in mic or an external microphone, while everything you say is dictated word for word.

This drastically reduces the time it would take for you to type it all out long-form. That novel you’re working on will become far less of a pain when you use this shortcut and the dictation software that comes with it.

13. Command + Option + H

With these commands, you will get to hide windows as you see fit. Taking the time to hide unused windows will keep you more organized and free up clutter on your screen.

This lets you stay diligent in your workflow and allows you to focus.

Put These Macbook Key Shortcuts to Good Use

Start with these Macbook key shortcuts and you can’t go wrong. The more you embrace these shortcuts, the savvier you’ll get when using this piece of machinery.

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