In Snow Leopard and prior, when clsoing a window with unsaved changes, the system would suggest to either save, cancel or discard the changes from keyboard shortcuts. You could:

  • save return
  • cancel +.
  • discard the changes +D.

The Lion save dialog that gets summoned instead of the "Would you like to save?" dialog works differently:

+. and return still work1, but +D has no effect.

Is there a new keyboard shortcut to discard?

1. I'm not in front of my Mac right now; IIRC they work, but maybe I'm wrong.

  • ⌘D actually DOES have an effect; it sets the save destination to the Desktop, as it always has in open/save file dialogs. – 75th Trombone Aug 30 '11 at 3:02


Pressing Command-Delete (or perhaps more commonly known as backspace) also does the same trick.

That's all there is to it!

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In Terminal.app, you can change this back to the old behaviour using

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSSavePanelStandardDesktopShortcutOnly -bool YES

To revert to the default behaviour, set

defaults write NSGlobalDomain NSSavePanelStandardDesktopShortcutOnly -bool NO
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  • 1
    It's not a bug, it's a feature! – bmike Aug 29 '11 at 15:52
  • Thanks for this, I'm not quite used to the new way. When doing this, does Cmd-Delete do anything? – Gauzy Aug 29 '11 at 16:34
  • cmd-delete also works when this is in place. best of both worlds. – nevan king Aug 29 '11 at 20:00

It depends on the application. For example, in Powerpoint 2011 ⌘D still works, ⌘⌫ does nothing in the dialog.

I guess it's personal preference, I like to use Space (or Tab until Don't Save is in focus, Space) for this action.

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