macOS: Some Useful Mac Menu Bar Shortcuts You Can Do With the Option Key

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| Quick Tip

A while ago I wrote a tip where you can Option-click the Wi-Fi icon on the Mac for diagnostic details. But there are many more Mac menu bar shortcuts you can do, and they all use the Option key. Here are some that I’ve found.

Mac Menu Bar Shortcuts with Option


  • Volume: Here you can quickly choose your input and output devices
  • Bluetooth: See the version number, MAC address, and connected devices
  • Battery: See the battery’s condition
  • Time Machine: Verify backups, browse other backup disks
  • Apple (): Get system information, immediately restart/shutdown/log out
There are menu bar shortcuts you can do with the Option key. This image shows a comparison between using the Option key and not using it.

What the  menu looks like with and without the Option key

Third-Party Apps

  • 1Password: Switch vaults, search settings, report website issues, open URLs, lock the app
  • Micro Snitch: View the computer model identifier, view the model ID and channels for input and outputs

There are also sometimes app-dependent option shortcuts when you click on File, Edit, View, etc., in various apps. Example: In Safari clicking on the History tab lets you Clear History at the very bottom. If you press the Option key it switches to Clear History and Keep Website Data.

Another shortcut you can do is open Launchpad and hold down the Option key. This will make the icons jiggle, ready to be uninstalled.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and I’m sure there are plenty more hidden Mac menu bar shortcuts I haven’t found yet.

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