On many Mac keyboards, the sound-control keys, screen-brightness, and other controls are on the function keys. The large key at the right end of the numeral row on PC keyboards is labeled Backspace and deletes the character to the left of the insertion point. Long ago, Apple decided to label this key Delete, because that is what it really does. For the most part the layouts for PC and Mac keyboards are identical, but there are a few key (pardon the pun) differences. The first and most obvious is that a Mac keyboard doesn't have a Windows.
Alt key on Mac is indeed exist. And it’s called Option key.
Windows vs Mac—there are so many differences. A lot of our customers have used a PC before and then decide they want to switch to Mac for better performance, nicer design, or for better security. However, they were afraid they would have a hard time getting used to the macOS keyboard. We hear questions like, “How can I close a Window? The Mac keyboard doesn’t have the Alt + F4 shortcut.” We always give them two answers:
1. With Parallels Desktop for Mac you have the choice to use the same keyboard shortcuts you had on your PC.
2. If you want to use the Mac keyboard you will experience that the alt key is very different, as we explain in this blog post.
Where is the Alt key on a Mac keyboard?
The PC-keyboard equivalent of Alt on a Mac is called the Option key, and you’ll find the Option Key on your Mac if you go two keys to the left of the spacebar. However, the option key on a Mac keyboard is used in a different way than the alt key on a Windows PC. In terms of functionality, the alt key in Windows is often more comparable with the Command key than with the Option key on a Mac. You might be also familiar with the Ctrl and Alt keys from your PC. On your Mac keyboard, you have Command (⌘ cmd), Control (ctrl), and Option (⌥ alt) keys.
How do Windows shortcuts change on a Mac?
Check out some equivalents of popular Windows alt shortcuts on a Mac, which might be especially helpful for those users who are new to Mac:
|Closing a window||Alt-F4||Command-W|
|Switch between open apps||Alt + Tab||Command-tab|
|Go back||Alt + Left arrow||Command + Left arrow|
|Go forward||Alt + Right arrow||Command + Right arrow|
|Move up one screen||Alt + Page Up||Command + Page Up|
|Move down one screen||Alt + Page Down||Command + Page Down|
When running Windows on a Mac with Parallels Desktop, is it possible to use Windows shortcuts on a Mac?
If you run Windows on your Mac with Parallels Desktop for Mac, you can configure your keyboard shortcuts the way you want to work, with either macOS or Windows shortcuts. Click here for more information on how to set the different shortcuts.
You can find even more useful Mac shortcuts in the infographic here.
Missing your Start Menu and familiar Windows look and feel? You can use Parallels Desktop and have Windows 10 along with your favorite Windows apps on your new Mac.
To use any of these key combinations, press and hold the keys immediately after pressing the power button to turn on your Mac, or after your Mac begins to restart. Keep holding until the described behavior occurs.
- Command (⌘)-R: Start up from the built-in macOS Recovery system. Or use Option-Command-R or Shift-Option-Command-R to start up from macOS Recovery over the Internet. macOS Recovery installs different versions of macOS, depending on the key combination you use while starting up. If your Mac is using a firmware password, you're prompted to enter the password.
- Option (⌥) or Alt: Start up to Startup Manager, which allows you to choose other available startup disks or volumes. If your Mac is using a firmware password, you're prompted to enter the password.
- Option-Command-P-R:Reset NVRAM or PRAM. If your Mac is using a firmware password, it ignores this key combination or starts up from macOS Recovery.
- Shift (⇧): Start up in safe mode. Disabled when using a firmware password.
- D: Start up to the Apple Diagnostics utility. Or use Option-Dto start up to this utility over the Internet. Disabled when using a firmware password.
- N: Start up from a NetBoot server, if your Mac supports network startup volumes. To use the default boot image on the server, hold down Option-N instead. Disabled when using a firmware password.
- Command-S: Start up in single-user mode. Disabled in macOS Mojave or later, or when using a firmware password.
- T: Start up in target disk mode. Disabled when using a firmware password.
- Command-V: Start up in verbose mode. Disabled when using a firmware password.
- Eject (⏏) or F12 or mouse button or trackpad button: Eject removable media, such as an optical disc. Disabled when using a firmware password.
Pc Keyboard For Mac
If a key combination doesn't work
If a key combination doesn't work at startup, one of these these solutions might help:
- Be sure to press and hold all keys in the combination together, not one at a time.
- Shut down your Mac. Then press the power button to turn on your Mac. Then press and hold the keys as your Mac starts up.
- Wait a few seconds before pressing the keys, to give your Mac more time to recognize the keyboard as it starts up. Some keyboards have a light that flashes briefly at startup, indicating that the keyboard is recognized and ready for use.
- If you're using a wireless keyboard, plug it into your Mac, if possible. Or use your built-in keyboard or a wired keyboard. If you're using a keyboard made for a PC, such as a keyboard with a Windows logo, try a keyboard made for Mac.
- If you're using Boot Camp to start up from Microsoft Windows, set Startup Disk preferences to start up from macOS instead. Then shut down or restart and try again.
Mac Command R Pc Keyboard
Remember that some key combinations are disabled when your Mac is using a firmware password.
Using Pc Keyboard On Mac
- Learn what to do if your Mac doesn't turn on.
- Learn about Mac keyboard shortcuts that you can use after your Mac has started up.