I'm using Mail client that's built-in into the system (Yosemite). I've decided that I want to use CTRL+V, CTRL+C and similar instead of CMD because I work half of the day with Windows and it's impossible for me to easily switch off my habits every half a day. I've considered 2 options:

  • final switch between CTRL and CMD which had a lot of consequences that I didn't wanted to tackle
  • switching on Shorcuts option available at System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts and adding here any "special" shortcuts on per app basis.

I've used 2nd option. This generally works fine. I've added things like Copy, Cut, Undo Paste and so on mostly mimicking what I have on my Windows machines. And everything seems to be working fine except one small detail "CTRL+V" paste. It only works as a PASTE until the email I'm creating fits on page. When there's a lot of text.. the CTRL+V becomes Page Down button. It's like CTRL+V in the Mail app is hardcoded to be Page Down and the shorcuts seems to be working fine until CTRL+V is able to actually behave as Page Down then it stops working.

How do I disable Page Down (CTRL+V) behaviour as described above?

  • 3
    It's easier to get used to the distinction than try to fight it, long-term.
    – Tetsujin
    Nov 13, 2014 at 16:48
  • Instead of using key strokes, cut, copy & paste can also be executed from the Edit menu.
    – IconDaemon
    Nov 13, 2014 at 16:53
  • I switch daily between Linux and Mac. Trust me, it is the completely opposite of impossible to switch. I rarely make a mistake
    – Mathias711
    Nov 13, 2014 at 17:45
  • I am not fighting. I just want to use what I want to use. I have virtual machines on mac and those use ctrl+c/v an then mac uses cmd+c. Then another computer next to me users ctrl+c. I switch a lot between different systems. I want things to work my way. It seems like a bug to me in Mail.app.
    – MadBoy
    Nov 13, 2014 at 20:59
  • Control+V is no bug; it's an Emacs and general UNIX shortcut for page down. Apple implemented it so you can navigate text easily. (here's a list of all shortcuts)
    – 0942v8653
    Nov 13, 2014 at 22:42

4 Answers 4


I run into same issue: At work I have to use Windows and at home I use a Mac. I'm sick of having different shortcuts for these basic tasks. Here is my solution for it:

Go to your User folder on your Mac and open the Library directory.

Here you create a "KeyBindings" folder.

Then navigate into that folder: (Your User folder)/Library/KeyBindings/

Create a file "DefaultKeyBinding.dict" with following lines:

"^v" = "paste:";
"^c" = "copy:";
"^x" = "cut:";
"^z" = "undo:";

Save everything and restart your Mac.

Now, you will have CTRL + x/c/v/z working like it is on a Windows machine.

This will change the behaviour for page down as requested by MadBoy.

  • You just saved my life. That was itching since 3 years, and you finally gave me the only fix that works !
    – Orabîg
    Nov 25, 2021 at 14:28

There's a much easier and more effective way to do this: go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard tab and click the "Modifier Keys..." button.

From there, you can set the Control key to behave like the Command key:

enter image description here

  • I've already mentioned in my main post I don't want to do that. This changes behaviour of so many things it's not an option for me.
    – MadBoy
    Nov 14, 2014 at 8:18
  • Also, this doesn't work and doesn't fix the issue (which is related to Cmd+V, but not other Cmd+X bindings...)
    – Orabîg
    Nov 25, 2021 at 14:16


This will do exactly what you're looking for, I think this is the setting you're looking for too.

enter image description here

  • I got used to CMD +V although I do get some frustrations from time to time when things don't go as planned.
    – MadBoy
    Mar 4, 2016 at 14:13

Create or edit the file: ~/Library/KeyBindings/DefaultKeyBinding.Dict (may need to create the folders as well) to contain the text:

{"^v" = noop:;}

You will then need to close and re-open the programs that you were have problems with.

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