How to Switch the Control and Command Keys
Matt Cone January 3, 2021 Tutorials Mac
One of the most subtle differences between a Mac and a PC is also one of the biggest: the functionality of the control key on the keyboard. When you buy a Mac, you’ll need to start using the command key instead of the control key. For example, instead of pressing Control-S to save and Control-C to copy like you did in Windows, you’ll have to press Command-S and Command-C to do the same thing in macOS. All of the other available keyboard shortcuts are similarly affected.
If this switch from control to command is driving you nuts, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a fix. Your Mac provides a way for you to switch the primary modifier keys and use the control key instead of command for every applicable keystroke in macOS. It’s a great feature for new Mac users who keep forgetting they have to use the command key, and it’s also beneficial for those who use a Mac at home and a PC at work and want consistency between the keyboards.
Here’s how to switch the command and control keys:
From the Apple menu, select System Preferences.
Click the Modifier Keys… button.
The window shown below appears.
From the Command Key menu, select Control. This lets Mac OS X know that you’ll be using the control key as the primary modifier.
From the Control Key menu, select Command. This lets Mac OS X know that you’ll be using the command key as the secondary modifier.
Close the System Preferences.
You Mac will now recognize the control key as the primary modifier. Try it! Create a new document and save it by pressing Control-S. If you ever want to switch the command and control keys back again, just follow the instructions above to revert to your Mac’s default functionality.
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