Crucial macOS Keyboard Shortcuts Every User Needs to Know

3 min read
  • This article contains the most important macOS keyboard shortcuts for beginners.
  • Keyboard shortcuts can increase your productivity by minimizing the use of mouse or trackpad.
  • Consider learning only 2-3 keyboard shortcuts at a time to improve retention.

Apart from typing faster, nothing will increase your every-day productivity as much as keyboard shortcuts. Yes, they’re cumbersome to memorize if you’re starting out, but I cannot stress enough how much of a difference they make. Here are the ten macOS keyboard shortcuts that every user should learn first.

Shortcut Description
CMD ⌘ + C Copy
CMD ⌘ + V Paste
CMD ⌘ + Z Undo
CMD ⌘ + SHIFT ⇧ + Z Redo
CMD ⌘ + F Find
CMD ⌘ + Q Quit app
CMD ⌘ + W Close window
CMD ⌘ + H Hide app
CMD ⌘ + M Minimize window to dock
CMD ⌘ + SHIFT ⇧ + 4 Take a screenshot

These shortcuts should work across apps, and most of them even on an iPad with a keyboard attached to it—try it.

If you don’t intend to memorize all ten shortcuts, try at least the first four. Force yourself to use them instead of the mouse or trackpad for a few days so your brain can adapt to the new behavior. You’ll never copy & paste or undo/redo with your mouse ever again. Moreover, it’ll save you a tremendous amount of time in the process—not within one day, but over weeks, months, years, and decades.