TL;DR, somehow ⌘⌥\ has become aliased to ⌘C on High Sierra (possibly earlier). I cannot for the life of me determine the source of this.

I first noticed this when invoking 1Password Mini began producing a system bell tone. I finally started to dig into the problem today. In the Keyboard preference pane, there are no conflicts with the ⌘⌥\ shortcut. So I disabled the shortcut in 1Password Mini. Tested, and system bell still sounds. When I attempted to re-add the shortcut, I get the following:

Cmd-C conflict

To be clear, this dialog displays when I carefully type ⌘⌥\ — I am not typing ⌘C.

So something has apparently aliased ⌘⌥\ as ⌘C. I have tested this further. If I highlight text, click on the Edit menu, and type ⌘⌥\, I briefly see the Copy item flash, and text is copied to the clipboard.

Any ideas? This is driving me nuts. I've quit all other applications, including menu items. I've checked the Keyboard Shortcuts preference pane for conflicts. And everything has come up short.

Update: I've installed Key Codes from the App Store, and even this application indicates I'm pressing ⌘C! However there's some slight differences that might provide useful information for debugging:





Update 2:

As additional information, this happens with both an external Apple Wireless Keyboard as well as the internal keyboard on the MacBook Pro.

Update 3:

This is the full log from Key Codes, including modifier keys being pressed, up to and including pressing the \ key. It indicates immediately after the \ key is pressed (which it identifies as the c key), the c key is released and a modifier change is made as well (despite no keys actually having been released).

  • What is your keyboard region/country set to? Very intriguing problem!
    – bjbk
    Oct 4, 2017 at 22:17
  • My primary keyboard layout is Colemak, but this also happens with English/U.S. (QWERTY). Oct 4, 2017 at 22:33
  • 2
    Try using a guest account, and try booting into Safe Mode. Does the problem occur in either or both of those places? I assume this isn't it, but have you tried another keyboard? Do you have any apps installed such as BetterTouchTool, Karabiner, or Keyboard Maestro? (also, hi, fellow Colemak user!)
    – Tuesday
    Oct 5, 2017 at 17:58
  • I'll try that. No apps like BTT, Karabiner, Keyboard Maestro, or anything of the sort. I might actually reinstall from scratch just to resolve this at this point... Oct 5, 2017 at 19:35
  • 2
    Have you had a chance to try safe mode/guest account yet?
    – Tuesday
    Oct 7, 2017 at 18:19

4 Answers 4


I found the issue. An Alfred hotkey (Preferences => Features => File Search => Navigation => Previous Path [no wonder it was so difficult to find!]) was conflicting with the 1Password hotkey. As far as I can tell, there is no mechanism to uncover such conflicts other than by exhaustive search.

As far as I'm aware, the hotkey I use with 1Password is the default. I'm amazed this conflict doesn't seem to be more widely-known.

  • I'm having the same issue, but I don't see how your answer is the solution. I can see the same conflict with alfred but the remapping to ⌘+ C is still there? How exactly did you resolve this?
    – Picard
    May 3, 2021 at 6:39

I also noticed that the remapping happens because of alfred. For me there were actually two alfred actions that were set to ⌘ + ⌥ + \:

  1. as mentioned: Preferences → Features → File Search → Navigation → Previous Path, but this for me did not cause the remapping, instead
  2. Preferences → Features → Actions → General → Selection Hotkey was also set to the same combination and only when I deleted that hotkey it did revert back to the expected behavior.

I'd try to see what really get pressed with the keyboard viewer. Maybe is just a bug from 1password?

  • This is bizarre. If I type ⌘C, I see both ⌘ and C highlighted on the keyboard viewer. If I type ⌘⌥\ I see both ⌘ ⌥ highlited until I hit \ at which point the keyboard resets and shows no characters being typed. Oct 4, 2017 at 23:18

In the keyboard system preference pane, do you see anything under Shortcuts >> App Shortcuts? The keyboard shortcut you're talking about is used in the accessibility preferences for Zoom (Turn image smoothing on / off). Which if you're not using, wouldn't cause any conflicts... and it certainly shouldn't be converting to ⌘C.

Maybe try to enable Accessibility >> Zoom and see if it reports a conflict for that shortcut?

  • Only the "Show Help menu" shortcut as ⇧⌘/ is in that menu. The accessibility preferences shortcut is disabled (the entire Zoom category is unchecked), but toggling it does not seem to change any of the behavior I've documented (nor does it report a conflict for the shortcut). Oct 6, 2017 at 20:49
  • Interestingly though, if I type ⇧⌘\ in that field, it properly identifies the pressed keys (and doesn't display ⌘C)! Oct 6, 2017 at 20:50

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