I have intermittent problems using a built-in MacBook mouse (another story), and need to select the Bluetooth icon from the menu bar using only the keyboard:

enter image description here

It appears that the shortcut keys Ctrl-F2 (or Ctrl-Fn-F2) allows me to navigate to the menu bar (it selects the Apple menu initially), but Right doesn't allow me to navigate to the icon bar.

How can I get there and select an item from that icon using only the keyboard?

3 Answers 3


I ran into this shortcut by accident; my own question was the related one to yours: where is this configured, and how can I disable it?

Here is the answer to that:

enter image description here

In system preferences -> keyboard -> "shortcuts" tab -> "keyboard" list entry -> last item in the list is "Move focus to status menus."


I just figured this out. The answer is Ctrl-F8 (at least by default, assuming no shortcut customisation), or on some keyboards Ctrl-Fn-F8.

  • 1
    Changed the accepted answer as this only applies using no customization; @Wildcard 's answer shows how to find that out. Aug 26, 2019 at 11:08

You might find this post useful: http://lifehacker.com/321595/access-the-dock-and-menu-bar-from-your-keyboard

Access your menu bar and launch dock items from the comfort of your keyboard with the Ctrl-F2 (menu bar) and Ctrl-F3 (dock) shortcuts.

And how to select an item:

You can use the arrow keys to navigate if you prefer, but on the menu bar, for example, there aren't trigger letters for each item like Windows menus offer. Instead, just start typing the name of the menu bar item you want (for example, Edit) and then hit Enter once it's selected. You can then repeat this for actions within the drop-down menu.

Extra tip:

If these shortcuts don't work for you, you may either need to use Ctrl-Fn-F2/F3 or enable them with Ctrl-F1 (or Ctrl-Fn-F1).

  • Thanks. Those key combinations don't allow you to access the icon bar, though. Jun 3, 2015 at 3:29
  • Thanks. Those key chords were exactly the ones I wanted.
    – jalanb
    Aug 3, 2016 at 19:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .