This was initially formulated as a question, then I found out the keyboard shortcut of macOS Chrome on its Google search functionality (inputs are never interpreted as website address even if the input is a website address, e.g., asp.net, Chrome will google asp.net instead of visiting it) on its address bar is the same across many macOS apps. I'll answer my own question :)

Anyway here's the question:

Windows has almost universal keyboard shortcut for searching/exploring, it's Ctrl+E. It always focus (or pop-up) the input to the app's search bar (if there's any), at least on many apps that I tried

E.g., on Windows, Ctrl+E works the same on Windows Explorer, Microsoft Store, OneNote, Visual Studio Code, Edge, Chrome, Firefox

Is there any similar universal keyboard shortcut in macOS?

1 Answer 1


On many macOS apps, Command+Option+F brings up the same Control+E functionality from their cousin apps in Windows, e.g., Finder, OneNote, Edge, Chrome, Firefox

One exception is Visual Studio Code for Mac (perhaps all IDEs, text editors), Command+Option+F brings up Find-and-Replace functionality instead.

Visual Studio for Mac, brings up Find-and-Replace functionality too. To move the focus on the search bar, press Command+. instead

On Visual Studio Code (explore actions / files):

  • Windows: Control+E
  • macOS: Command+P instead of Command+Option+F

Skype for Mac's Command+Option+F focuses the input on People, groups && messages search bar. Skype for Windows' Control+E is not working, perhaps the developers just forgot to implement it.

On Finder, Command+Option+F merely moves the focus (just like how Control+E on Windows apps behaves) on its search bar:

enter image description here

Finder's Command+F, has a bit different functionality. I prefer Command+Option+F though, it works how I expected it to behave, i.e., it just move the focus on search bar, just like when the search bar is clicked by mouse instead. Finder's Command+F:

enter image description here

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