I use a lot of Windows VMs and Remote Desktop into Windows on my Mac. I am going mad trying to find the correct keyboard shortcut based on which window I have in the foreground for Copy (or Cut) and Paste.

With some Google searching I learned I can go to System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts -> App Shortcuts and map Ctrl + X/C/V to Cut, Copy, and Paste respectively. However, this disables Command + X/C/V, which is required if you want want to Copy (or Cut) and Paste using keyboard shortcuts in Google GSuite Sheets.

Ideally, I would like to use Ctrl + X/C/V or Command + X/C/V to Cut, Copy, and Paste, but I don't know how to set this up on macOS Sierra.

I spend much of my time in these problems to access different Windows environments:

  • Jump Desktop
  • Microsoft Remote Desktop
  • Parallels

I prefer to someone map the keys at the macOS level, instead of inside these problems.

Can someone tell me how this could be done?

1 Answer 1


You don’t specify what software you’re using to create your virtual machines, but usually you’ll have an option in its settings to allow the VM to recognise both the command and CTRL keys interchangeably for the Cut/Copy/Paste keyboard shortcuts.

For example, if you’re using Parallels Desktop, you can customise your keyboard shortcuts by going to the Parallels Desktop menu in the Mac menu bar and navigating to Preferences → Shortcuts and selecting your VM from the list.

So I would check your VM configurations to see if you’ve got the option of doing this. Doing so means you can’t go wrong in your virtual machine.

In terms of the macOS side of things, you can refer to Karabiner (or, more specifically for macOS Sierra, Karabiner Elements) for some advanced keyboard shortcut functionality.

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