How to Change the Keyboard Shortcuts on Your Mac

This short tutorial will explain how to change the default keyboard shortcuts on your Mac to any other (unused) combination of your choice.

  1. Open your System Preferences by clicking the ‘Apple Button’ from your menu bar and selecting System Preferences… from the pull-down menu.
  2. Select the Keyboard entry in the list of System Preferences.
  3. Finally, select the Shortcuts tab.
  4. From here you’ll find an organized list of the keyboard shortcuts used on your Mac. As illustrated in the screenshot below, the keyboard shortcut for turning Dock hiding on and off is Option (⌥) + Apple Key (⌘) + D

    If you need a bit of help translating those symbols to actual keys on your keyboard, here’s a helpful list:

    The Command key =
    The Shift key =
    The Option (some keyboards also alt) key =
    The Control key =
    The Caps Lock key =

  5. If you remove the checkmark next to any given item, the keyboard shortcut for that item is considered ‘no longer in use’ – which is a very helpful way to reclaim some shortcuts and put them to use in other ways.
  6. To change a shortcut, simply click on the actual command once to select it, then click on it again so it becomes ‘editable’.
  7. Then type in the command you want to use by actually entering those keys on your keyboard.
  8. If a newly created or edited shortcut doesn’t work, the culprit is almost always that the combination was already in use – just try using a different shortcut and that will likely resolve the problem.