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It used to be that ALT+CMD+SPACE opened up new finder window. And without making any update to my mac, it started opening up finder in search mode. What could have changed? How to turn it back?

  • Have you gone to system preferences/keyboard/shortcuts to check how these are set? – Tom Gewecke Jul 10 '18 at 9:12
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As far as I recall ⌘n has always been the Finder shortcut for New Window assuming that Finder is the active app, ⌘⇧n opens the Finder with search focused globally. See the 'Shortcuts' tab of Keyboard.prefPane:

Screenshot of the Shortcuts tab for Keyboard.prefPane (System Preferences -> Keyboard)

I assume that ⌘⇧n as a new plain Finder window was being provided by some other means; Some configuration in that Shortcuts tab (perhaps under services), or a third party app that does a simple "bind these keys to this action", and for some reason that app failed to start, or crashed if you didn't even reboot your Mac.

  • If I have Chrome open cmd+shift+N opens new Chrome window. It used to be that Option+CMD+Space open new finder window from any context, now it opens search for me as you show in your screen shot. – Mihkel L. Jul 13 '18 at 6:56

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