How to Remap Modifier Keys to Other Modifier Keys in Mac

Joel Lee 08-12-2016

Let’s say that, for some reason only known to you, you want to switch around the Command and Option keys. In other words, every time you use a shortcut Switching from Windows? Essential Keyboard Tips for Mac Newbies Moving from a Windows PC to a Mac can be a shock in many ways for new users, so here's a quick start guide to adjusting to a Mac keyboard layout. Read More like Cmd + C (copy) or Cmd + Space (open Spotlight), you’d rather use Alt + C or Alt + Space instead.


The long-winded solution would be to rebind every single keyboard shortcut on your system. The smart solution would be to swap the Command and Alt keys!

And the good news is that Mac allows this natively.


All you have to do is use Spotlight (again, using the Cmd + Space shortcut) to launch System Preferences. Once there, navigate to Keyboard > Keyboard tab > Modifier Keys.

Here you can select what each physical key should be interpreted as by the operating system. And yes, you can have multiple physical keys interpret as the same key! So if you want Command, Alt, Control, and Shift to all register as Command… you can.


If you’re new to Mac, consider checking out these Finder tips 8 Finder Tips for Mac Newbies Navigating files and folders using the native Mac file browser Finder is easy enough, but there are many more features hidden behind menus and keyboard shortcuts. Read More and these Spotlight tips Search More Efficiently In Mac OS X With Our Top Spotlight Tips Spotlight has been a killer Mac feature for years, with Cupertino regularly schooling Redmond in the art of desktop search. Here are a few tips to help you find more on your Mac. Read More too!

How did you remap your modifier keys? Let us know in a comment below and don’t be afraid to share why. Maybe you’ll convince us to give it a try too.

Related topics: Keyboard Shortcuts, Mac Tricks.

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