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Summary:

Every one of us makes a trip to the Apple menu almost every day. Even though it probably doesn’t seem like much of a chore, learning a few shortcuts can’t hurt and will save precious seconds every time you use this menu.

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Every one of us makes a trip to the Apple menu almost every day, be it to shut down, restart or sleep our Macs. Even though it probably doesn’t seem like much of a chore, learning a few shortcuts can’t hurt and will save precious seconds every time you use this menu. Let’s start with how to make using the Apple menu with the mouse a bit quicker.

Bypass the Dialog Box

Something annoying about shutting down or restarting a Mac is the way that you have to go to the  menu, click Shut Down or Restart then click another button in a dialog box asking, “Are you sure you want to do that?” However, there is a simple way to bypass this dialog box, using a single modifier key on the keyboard. Holding Option and clicking on the command you want gets right down to business and does what you want straight away. You’ll be able to tell because the ellipsis (…) will disappear from the Restart, Shut Down and Log Out commands in the menu. And don’t worry; your unsaved documents are still safe — you’ll still see the “Do you want to save changes?” dialog come up. There’s no way to bypass that.

Bypass the Menu

OK, so that saved a few seconds by eliminating the move from the menu command to the dialog box, but what about saving even more time by using the keyboard instead? There are four key shortcuts for the main commands: Shut Down, Restart, Sleep and Log Out. There’s also one extra that isn’t in the menu: Sleep Display.

The first, which has been labeled in the Apple menu since OS 10.6, is Sleep. The keyboard command is Option + Command + Eject (⌥⌘⏏). This puts the computer straight to sleep without asking you anything. Very handy if you want to dash off somewhere in a hurry.

Next is the shortcut for Log Out, which is also labeled in the menu. However, to bypass the confirmation dialog, you have to add in the Option key, making the shortcut Option + Shift + Command + Q (⌥⇧⌘Q).

To put the displays of your Mac to sleep (I do this in order to let my Mac run a process overnight but still saving power), it’s Control + Shift + Eject (⌃⇧⏏).

Restarting is a simple case of pressing Control + Command + Eject (⌃⌘⏏). Dialogs for unsaved changes will still appear.

Finally, to shut down your Mac using the keyboard, press Control + Option + Command + Eject (⌃⌥⌘⏏).

That’s a lot of key combinations to remember, but even if you use just one of them every day, the amount of time you’ll save will soon add up.

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  1. Simon White Monday, May 24, 2010

    I’ve genuinely learnt something. Thanks.

    I don’t suppose there’s a keyboard shortcut to make the system rescan for a bluetooth mouse is there? My Magic Mouse never reconnects if I turn it off (to change the batteries for example) if the system is still running. It bug the life out of me. But hey! At least I know the keyboard command to restart the system now :o)

  2. just double click the mouse once you change the batteries and it will reconnect!

    1. That easy eh? Thanks for that :o)

  3. Perhaps it’s so well known that you didn’t have to mention it, but simply pressing the power button on your Mac once brings up a Restart, Sleep, and Shut Down dialog.

  4. It’s good to know there’s a keyboard shortcut for Sleep. I use one that’s even easier, and you can use it on more than just 10.6. I configure my mouse/touchpad via the System Preferences to use a hot corner to go to sleep. That way it’s just a quick gesture to put the Mac to sleep, you don’t even need to two hands – on my touchpad I only need one finger!

  5. really cool trick..
    i’ve just known this trick…
    keep sharing..

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