Given the following options at the bottom of a dialogue box:

Dialogue box with two options with default option selected

If I press Enter (return) key, it will select Cancel, the default selected button. What's the keyboard shortcut to select Delete option instead?

  • 1
    Try Cmd/backspace [or Delete on a short keyboard] same as to discard a file in Finder. – Tetsujin Jul 5 at 15:35
  • This also worked. Can you post as an answer @Tetsujin and I'll upvote. – AJP Jul 8 at 17:06

There is no set keyboard shortcut for the Delete button in this case. If you have enabled full-keyboard access in System Preferences → Keyboard → Shortcuts, you can use the Tab key to move focus to the Delete button, and press Space or Enter key to invoke the Delete command.

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Using the Tab key, you can move the focus to the Delete button.

  • 1
    Needed to enable the "All controls" then use Tab, then Space in this case. Thank you for your answer. – AJP Jul 8 at 17:05

Almost, though not quite, universal on macOS is the use of Cmd ⌘ Backspace ⌫ [or Delete on keyboards without a distinct Backspace key] to discard, or discard changes.

This should also work to invoke "Don't Save" in dialogs too.
Some apps still accept the alternative of Cmd ⌘ D to do this, but Backspace has been the recommended method for several years [since Lion or so].

  • Thanks! It's kind of sad in the era of ubiquitous tool-tips that I had to do a web search to learn this fact. Gives Apple disapproving look – Paul Bissex Sep 30 at 13:28

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