Accessing System Prefs With F-Keys

For whatever reason I just learned this procedure the other day. If you are like me, you are accessing some of your System Preferences during your day. Opening the System Preferences window gets kind of tedious after a while. However, there are a couple of shortcuts that can save you time.


F-Key Activation

I need to preface this shortcut information with the following. If you can turn up or down the volume on your Mac by just taping the appropriate F-Key then you are good to go. However, if that does not work, then you probably need to hold down the fn Key in conjunction with the F-Key. For example, if holding down the F11 lowers your system volume then you do not need to include the fn Key. If it does not, then you need to hold down the fn Key AND the appropriate F-Key. Nuff’ Said?

F-Key Shortcuts

Keeping the above information in mind, lets look at a couple of F-Key shortcuts that might save you some time.

Option ⌥ + F2/F1 – The F1/F2 Keys are the brightness control on most Mac keyboards these days. However, if you need to access the Display Preference Pane, just hold down the Option ⌥ AND F1 or F2. You will be taken to the Display Pref Pane window:


Where you can make more refined adjustments for your Macs’ display.

Option ⌥ + F3 – The F3 key is the Mission Control key on most newer Mac keyboards these day. The Mission Control key looks like this:

It’s the one with the small little rectangles representing the multiple Desktop capabilities of the Mission Control feature. When you hold down the Option ⌥ AND F3 Key you are taken to the Mission Control Pref Pane:


This is a pretty easy way to get into these very common areas of System Preferences.

Option ⌥ + F10/F11/F12 – The F10/F11/F12 Keys are the System Sound keys on most Mac keyboards. If you hold down the Option ⌥ AND F10-12 Key you will be taken to the Sound Preference Pane:


I probably go into this Pref Pane more than most.

Depending on how your Mac keyboard is setup, you can try out this Option ⌥ Key modifier trick with other F-Keys as well. It does not hurt to experiment a little.


I am always on the look out for little key combinations or other System tweaks that can improve my workflow. Give these ones a try, they might just work for you.