Want to get the most out of Mac OS X native Full Screen app mode? Assign a keyboard shortcut to toggle Full Screen mode with a simple keystroke. This will work to flip in and out of full screen mode of Mac OS in any app that supports the feature, and it only takes a minute or so to setup.
Modern versions of MacOS and Mac OS X already have this, but prior versions of Mac OS X can choose whichever keyboard shortcut you’d like to perform the function, just be sure to pick one that doesn’t conflict with anything else.
The tutorial here will demonstrate the keyboard shortcut for toggling in and out of full screen mode on MacOS and Mac OS X, as well as show you how to setup a keystroke for this capability in earlier versions of Mac system software.
Mac Keyboard Shortcut for Full Screen Mode: Control + Command + F
In MacOS, you can toggle into Full Screen Mode on any app that supports the feature (which is most by now) by using the following keystroke:
- Control + Command + F
Hitting that keystroke will immediately enter full screen mode.
Hitting the keystroke a second time will exit full screen mode.
That works with all macOS versions like High Sierra, Sierra, El Capitan, etc.
In OS X Yosemite, Toggling Full Screen Mode with Command+Control+F
In OS X 10.10.x Yosemite, there’s a built-in native keyboard shortcut to enter and exit out of full screen as well:
That shortcut is easy enough for users of OS X Yosemite, but prior versions of OS X will still need to set a shortcut for this action manually, which we’ll cover next.
Create a Keyboard Shortcut to Enter & Exit Full Screen App Mode on Mac
For other Mac OS X versions, you can set your own keyboard shortcut on a Mac. This works with versions that don’t have a default full screen keystroke option, thus it requires Mac OS X 10.7, 10.8, or 10.9 :
- Open System Preferences and click on the”Keyboard” icon
- Select the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab and choose ‘Application Shortcuts’ from the list on the left
- Click on the + icon to add a new keyboard shortcut for all applications and type the following exactly:
- Now you need to assign it a keyboard shortcut, I chose Command+Escape because it serves no purpose in OS X, but it’s the old keyboard shortcut for entering into Front Row
- Click “Add” and then click on the + icon again, this time typing:
- Choose the same keyboard shortcut as you chose before, in this case Command+Escape, and click onto “Add” again
- Close out System Preferences
Enter Full Screen
Exit Full Screen
Now pick an app that supports full screen mode natively, like Safari or Preview, and hit Command+Escape to enter or exit from the apps full screen mode, toggling it with ease. Why didn’t Apple set a key command for this in the first place? I don’t know.
This works in all apps that support it natively, and the ones that don’t yet support it should work through utilities like Maximizer too which aim to bring the feature to the few apps that still don’t support it themselves.
A quick note: some apps through Maximizer don’t work that well, Chrome can still get stuck, and you may run into issues if you added Front Row to Lion yourself, but you can always choose another keyboard shortcut if Front Row starts launching instead. Be sure to update your apps often so you can gain native support for Lion features like this, and you won’t run into as many issues.
Thanks to Andy for sending us this tip from Red Sweater, they chose Command+Control+Return as their full screen shortcut, but I like Command+Escape.
Update: Some users report issues with Command+Escape so you may want to try Command+Control+F or another keyboard shortcut (that shortcut wound up being the default in modern versions of MacOS and Mac OS X, neat!).