How can I activate the 'Show all' or back button in a system preference dialog in OSX? E.g.

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3 Answers 3


In System Preferences, go to Keyboard, then Shortcuts.

At the bottom you can enable or disable full keyboard access. Full keyboard access will enable highlighting checkboxes, buttons, etc.

When a control is highlighted, hitting space will have the same effect as clicking on the control.

Screen with highlighting of a button

  • Excellent! I cannot believe that's not the default (or that I was stupid enough to miss it - I'm sure I've enabled that before, pre-Mavericks ...)
    – Bobby Jack
    Nov 10, 2013 at 20:28

+UP appears to do it, although that just raises further questions ...

  • Like in the Finder to go to the parent folder. Nov 10, 2013 at 16:40

⌘L, or View menu -> Show All Preferences:

System Prefs > View menu

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