I've just switched to macOS. I'm wondering if there is a way to show Launchpad and Spotlight using single button shortcut, like Windows does with Window key and the Start bar?

It would be very handy to me (possibly without external softwares..).

2 Answers 2


MacBook keyboard and Apple Magic keyboard comes with dedicated key to invoke Launchpad. The special functions are labelled on the row of function keys (and equivalent in case of MacBook Pro equipped with Touch Bar). Look for key labelled F4 on your keyboard.

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If you are using a non-Apple keyboard, go to System Preferences → Keyboard → Shortcuts → Launchpad & Dock and select the checkbox next to Show Launchpad. You can also double click on the keyboard shortcut and change it to something else.

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You can also define custom keyboard shortcut(s) easily by going to System Preferences → Keyboard → Shortcuts. Since you are essentially looking for single key to invoke the desired operation(s), you can do so by creating a single key shortcut (if not natively provided by macOS).

Update: Recent generation of Mac desktop and portable keyboards no longer provide pre-programmed key for invoking Launchpad. In such a case, you can define a keyboard shortcut for the same by following the instructions above. If you are running macOS Ventura, the keyboard shortcut can be configured by navigating to System Settings app → Keyboard → Keyboard Shortcuts...

  • 1
    indeed the question is NOT about customize a keyboard button combination but use 1 button to launch something Apr 14, 2019 at 13:41
  • I see you can add a shortcut there. I have a non Apple keyboard. My idea was to use the Windows key to show Launchpad, Apr 14, 2019 at 13:45
  • 1
    @alfredopacino The Window key (also called the Meta key) is interpreted as Command key when used on a Mac. It isn't possible to use the Meta key on it's own to invoke a functionality in macOS.
    – Nimesh Neema
    Apr 14, 2019 at 13:47
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    As of November 2022, new mac keyboards no longer feature a launchpad key in the top row of the keyboard
    – Keyslinger
    Nov 14, 2022 at 2:44
  • 1
    @Keyslinger I have added an update to the answer. Thank you.
    – Nimesh Neema
    Nov 14, 2022 at 7:32


  1. Launchpad key: F4
  2. Spotlight: + Space
  3. Mission Control key (bonus answer): F3
  4. Search file on finder (bonus answer): + + Space

* Please note that

  • is same as Cmd
  • is same as Option or Alt.

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