Quick Tip: Selecting “Don’t Save” From the Keyboard


Undoubtedly, everyone’s closed a file that hadn’t yet been saved, and gotten the dialog box asking if you’d like to save the file before closing and losing its contents. In most cases this is probably a nice reminder, but there are enough occasions where I was using a text file or an image file temporarily and had no desire to preserve it any further.

I’m definitely more a keyboard-jockey than a mouse user – I just feel more efficient with my hands on the keys is all. So it can be annoying when I have to move my hand to the mouse and click the “Don’t Save” button in those warning dialog boxes. True enough, that hitting the ‘Tab’ key cycles through those button options, but in my experience, hitting ‘Enter’ when over the button you desire is flaky at best.

So in the event you want to choose the ‘Don’t Save’ button (from your keyboard), hit CMD-D (assuming the ‘D’ stands for ‘Don’t’). You should actually be able to use this tip for most warning dialogs, swapping out the ‘D’ for the first letter of whatever button you want to choose. It’s worth mentioning too, that hitting CMD-D executes that selection immediately, not requiring an extra keystroke to hit ‘Enter’.



Bah, I’ve been hoping for something like for ages, not realising it was already there *blush*.
In Adobe apps you can hit the D key for ‘Don’t Save’ & I’ve always wanted a quick way of not saving for TextEdit.

⌘D will do just fine. And thanks for the ‘hit Space’ tip dave, even better :)


This tip is exactly what I need. I go thru thousands of photos a week that I cull using preview.
Sometimes I make adjustments to them to determine if they’re what I want, and getting it out of my face without going to the mouse will save me steps – thanks!

Jack Mottram

It’s always annoyed me that this doesn’t tend to work with the ‘Agree’ and ‘Disagree’ buttons in pop-up software license agreements. (Admittedly, hitting tab then space isn’t a major hassle, but I’m very, very lazy when it comes to my keyboard shortcuts.)


Or, after you tab through the list of (usually 3) options, you can hit the space bar to select whichever has the “blue glow” behind it – “don’t save” is selected in most programs I use, aka: textmate :)

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