I'm using a MacBook Pro with a Swedish physical keyboard but with a U.S. layout defined in System Preferences. However, the tilde (~) and plus-minus (±) keys seem switched. The following key combination should produce a ~:

Screenshot of a Swedish keyboard with U.S. layout

Because the mapping in System Preferences says so:

Screenshot of the Keyboard Preferences pane showing the Input Sources tab

But it results in a ± symbol.

It seems these two keys (± and ~) are switched somehow. How do I make them work as shown in System Preferences?

  • 1
    The 2nd picture appears to be showing some kind of hybrid between US ANSI & UK ISO layouts. US keyboards have no key to the left of Z, UK keyboards do. Tilde is to the left of Z on UK, but left of 1 on US. You might be better using a UK map instead.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 8:50
  • @Tetsujin you're right. But switching to British makes no difference, the keys are still swapped. Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 9:19
  • 1
    Ah, ok, darnit. I'm out of ideas, sorry.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 9:22
  • 1
    The 2nd picture is in fact the US ISO layout, what you are supposed to get when US is used on an ISO keyboard with the extra key. Aren't the keys also swapped when you are NOT holding down SHIFT? Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 9:33
  • 2
    Here is a similar question with a couple answers: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/239395/and-keys-are-swapped Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 9:40

6 Answers 6


Here’s a solution that does not use any external tools.

Run this in Terminal.app:

sudo hidutil property --set '{"UserKeyMapping":[{"HIDKeyboardModifierMappingSrc":0x700000035,"HIDKeyboardModifierMappingDst":0x700000064},{"HIDKeyboardModifierMappingSrc":0x700000064,"HIDKeyboardModifierMappingDst":0x700000035}]}'

Now try your ~ and ± keys: they should be switched around.

Problem is, this fix will only work until the next restart. To make it permanent, you have to automatically run it on system load.

You can do that in three Terminal.app commands:

  1. cat << 'EOF' > ~/.tilde-switch && chmod +x ~/.tilde-switch
    hidutil property --set '{"UserKeyMapping":[{"HIDKeyboardModifierMappingSrc":0x700000035,"HIDKeyboardModifierMappingDst":0x700000064},{"HIDKeyboardModifierMappingSrc":0x700000064,"HIDKeyboardModifierMappingDst":0x700000035}]}'

    (This is all a single command.) This stores the script from above in an invisible executable file in your home directory, ~/.tilde-switch.

  2. sudo /usr/bin/env bash -c "cat > /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.custom.tilde-switch.plist" << EOF
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
    <plist version="1.0">

    (This is all a single command.) This creates a system task: ‘run the file from step 1 on every startup.’

  3. sudo launchctl load -w -- /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.custom.tilde-switch.plist

    This loads (activates) the task from step 2.

Steps 2 and 3 will prompt for your password. And now, your ~ and ± keys are permanently switched.

Note 1

This appears to work not only on the MacBook's build-in internal physical keyboard, but on the external keyboards as well.

Note 2

To undo the switching script (not the three steps), here’s the reverse script:

sudo hidutil property --set '{"UserKeyMapping":[{"HIDKeyboardModifierMappingSrc":0x700000035,"HIDKeyboardModifierMappingDst":0x700000035},{"HIDKeyboardModifierMappingSrc":0x700000064,"HIDKeyboardModifierMappingDst":0x700000064}]}'

Note 3

To undo the three steps:

sudo launchctl unload -w -- /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.custom.tilde-switch.plist; sudo rm -f -- /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.custom.tilde-switch.plist ~/.tilde-switch


This solution is inspired by this article:


  • 3
    Finally! You saved my day
    – phaberest
    Commented May 7, 2019 at 22:04
  • 2
    In case of: Invalid property list error you may need to replace <key>Program</key> with <key>ProgramArguments</key><array><string>${HOME}/.tilde-switch</string></array>
    – jmarceli
    Commented May 30, 2020 at 15:07
  • 2
    Worked for me! Why not putting it however, in .bashrc? Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 21:46
  • 4
    The code above stopped working after updating to MacOS 14.2. It executes fine but the buttons are not swapped anymore. Did Apple update the button codes?
    – IAmVisco
    Commented Dec 18, 2023 at 12:07
  • 2
    Can confirm it is not working anymore after recent MacOS upgrades.
    – Tarantula
    Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 10:48

Using Karabiner Elements, you can add a "Simple Modification" as follows:

"Karabiner Elements Preferences" window, "Simple Modifications" tab, "Target Device" dropdown is set to "Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad (No manufacturer name)". Two rows are shown in the configuration table. The first row contains "From key": "non_us_backslash", "To key": "grave_accent_and_tilde (<code>)". The second row contains "From key": "grave_accent_and_tilde (</code>)", "To key": "non_us_backslash".

Basically, you need to know that the name of the § (±) key in Karabiner's configuration screen is non_us_backslash

In my case, I used this method specifically for the built-in keyboard, leaving my external keyboards unchanged.

  • this should be the accepted answer as it covers the case when you have an ISO built-in but an ANSI external keyboard
    – dimisjim
    Commented Feb 9 at 13:20

Here is Apple documentation with table containing all the keys and corresponding hexes. https://developer.apple.com/library/archive/technotes/tn2450/_index.html

Initial state is no active key remappings:

hidutil property --get UserKeyMapping

Remap ~ to §± one way:

hidutil property --set '{"UserKeyMapping":[

Swap them both ways:

hidutil property --set '{"UserKeyMapping":[

For removing any remappings back to initial just pass an empty array:

hidutil property --set '{"UserKeyMapping":[]}'
  • that's perfect, it worked, and I didn't need to install any apps that require weird permissions! It would be amazing if you included how you discovered the key codes too. Thank you
    – SudoPlz
    Commented Jul 14, 2021 at 15:22
  • @SudoPlz Good question. So there is a link in my initial comment. Open that page, scroll down to Table 1 List of keyboard usages and their usage IDs., and here you can find Keyboard Grave Accent and Tilde 0x35 and Keyboard Non-US \ and | 0x64. Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 10:49
  • This is the most brilliant solution. Thank you @gordey4doronin Commented Sep 10, 2022 at 15:44
  • Amazing, thanks for the good solid simple answer and clarification. I read the link and understood both solutions, but didn't go through till the key codes :D Thanks!
    – Atef
    Commented Jun 7, 2023 at 8:23
  • Works perfectly on macOS Ventura 13.4. Thank you so much.
    – zhovner
    Commented Jul 2, 2023 at 13:04

Building on CBlew's solution, one can do without the extra file (which wouldn't work as-is for a multi-user system). Write a plist file like

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
      <string>{"VendorID": 5426, "ProductID": 579}</string>

then set it with sudo launchctl load -w -- /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.example.setkeyboard.plist.

For generating the hidutil invocation I am using this simple Python script.


I had the exact same situation (Nordic keyboard, US layout). The problem is that macOS thinks you're using the wrong "type" (ISO vs ANSI) keyboard. To fix it:

  1. Open keyboard settings
  2. Click Change keyboard type... at the very bottom
  3. The Keyboard Setup Assistant will pop up and ask you to press the key to the right of the left shift key
  4. Do not press that >
  5. Instead, press Z

macOS will now determine that you're using a standard US keyboard.

  • Steps 1-2-3 + selecting ANSI rather than ISO fixed it, regardless of what I press in step 4/5. 🚀
    – EliadL
    Commented Jan 19 at 15:02

I had this problem switching to a new macbook (with external keyboard). I fixed it by removing my input source (dvorak) and then clicking on "Change keyboard type..." and getting it to identify my external keyboard again (as ISO european). I then re-added my input source and the ~ and ± keys were swapped back and in the correct place.

  • didn't work for me unfortunately.
    – SudoPlz
    Commented Jul 14, 2021 at 15:06
  • 1
    @user3575439's solution was what worked for me on Dell hackintosh laptop. On macOS Monterey 12.0.1 goto System Preferences → Keyboard → Change Keyboard Type and change to ISO.
    – dm5n
    Commented Nov 23, 2021 at 7:39

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