How to use the Alt key on a Mac keyboard

0

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 indeed very different, as we explain in this blog post:

Where is the Alt key on a Mac keyboard?

The Alt key 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:

  Windows Mac
Closing a window Alt-F4 Command-W
Restarting

 

Control-Alt-Delete Control-Command-Eject

 

Shutting down

 

Control-Alt-Delete

 

Control-Option-Command-Eject
Logging out Control-Alt-Delete

 

Shift-Command-Q
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. Click here for a free trial.

As a communications manager for Parallels in Munich, Beatrice spends a lot of time in the social networks and is always up to date with what happens in the technology world. After having lived in Spain for four years, she misses the good weather but enjoys the beautiful Alps.