What is the Task Manager Shortcut for Mac?
Someone asked me what the keyboard shortcut to get to task manager was in macOS was the other day and I couldn’t tell him. Even though I regularly use macOS Sierra, I couldn’t for the life of me remember the shortcut. In fact, I couldn’t remember many shortcuts at all. That’s what this post is about. A list of popular Mac shortcuts that many of you will know but some of you won’t.
First, let us correct one glaring error. Mac doesn’t have a Task Manager, it has Activity Monitor. Task Manager is for Windows. Mac uses the very tidy Activity Monitor app and while it does much the same thing, is very different to Task Manager. Many Windows switchers still call it Task Manager, but it isn’t.
To answer the initial headline question, what is the shortcut key to access Activity Monitor on a Mac? Command + Spacebar. If you’re new to Mac, Command is the ‘⌘’ key which is only found on Apple keyboards.
Other common keyboard shortcuts for Mac
Keyboard shortcuts in Mac are the same as for Windows. You hold down the first key in the sequence and then hit the second and sometimes third keys to complete the command. So to access Activity Monitor, you hold down the Command key and hit Spacebar.
Some of the more common keyboard shortcuts for Mac are the same in Windows. For example:
- Command-X – Cut whatever is selected and copy it to the Clipboard.
- Command-C – Copy whatever is selected to the Clipboard.
- Command-V – Paste the contents of the Clipboard into a document or app.
- Command-Z – Undo the previous command.
- Command-A – Select all.
- Command-F – Find items in a document or open Find.
- Command-P – Print the current document.
- Command-S – Save the current document.
Other keyboard shortcuts for Mac are different. You will find the fn key in the bottom left of the Apple keyboard.
- Command-Q – Quit the app.
- Option-Command-Esc – Force Quit an app or unresponsive program.
- Command–Space bar – Open Spotlight.
- Command-W – Close the active window.
- Command-T – Open a new tab in Safari.
- Command-H – Hide an app.
- Fn–Up Arrow – Page Up which scrolls up a single page.
- Fn–Down Arrow- Page Down which scrolls down a single page.
- Fn–Left Arrow-Home – Scroll to the beginning of a web page or document.
- Fn–Right Arrow-End – Scroll to the end of a web page or document document.
- Control–Command–Power button – Force restart the Mac.
- Control–Shift–Power button – Put your screen to sleep.
- Control–Command–Media Eject – Quit all apps and restart.
- Control–Option–Command–Power button – Quit all apps and shut down.
- Shift-Command-Q – Log out of your user account.
- Option-Shift-Command-Q – Log out of your macOS user account without confirming.
Shortcuts for working with documents
There are a number of keyboard shortcuts for Mac that are specific to working in documents. As that is mostly what I do, I know some of these ones.
- Command-B – Turn bold on or off.
- Command-I – Turn italics on or off.
- Command-U – Turn underlining on or off.
- Command-T – Show or hide the Fonts window.
- Command-D – Select the Desktop folder when opening or saving.
- Control-Command-D – Show or hide the definition of the selected word.
- Shift-Command-Colon – Show the Spelling and Grammar window.
- Command-Semicolon – Activate spellcheck.
- Option-Delete – Delete the word to the left of the cursor.
- Control-H – Delete the character to the left of the cursor.
- Control-D – Delete the character to the right of the cursor.
- Control-A – Go to the beginning of the line.
- Control-E – Go to the end of a line.
- Control-F – Move one character forward.
- Control-B – Move one character backward.
- Control-P – Move up one line.
- Control-N – Move down one line.
- Control-O – Insert a new line after the cursor.
- Control-T – Swap the character around either side of the cursor.
Finally, some shortcut keys that are actually hard to find. While we won’t need the Euro sign very often, it is useful to know where it is if you do. The Hash sign is certainly more used when writing about anything to do with social media. Ellipsis is useful at times and copyright is essential of you are a publisher or writer.
- Alt-2 = Euro sign (€)
- Alt-3 = Hash sign (#)
- Alt-: = ellipsis (…)
- Alt-G – copyright ©
Those are just some of the many common keyboard shortcuts for Mac. If you want a full list of the possibilities, visit the Mac keyboard shortcuts page.