When trying to save a file that already exists, macOS typically shows the "File already exists, replace it?" popup, like this:

Cancel Replace popup

In previous versions of macOS (like Mojave, High Sierra, etc) I was always able to choose either Cancel or Replace using the keyboard.

However since Catalina, it doesn't seem to be working. As displayed in the screenshot above, the Cancel button is highlighted by default. If I press the Return key it will choose Cancel. However I used to be able to switch between Cancel and Replace by using the Tab key. But not anymore.

Also tried the cursor left and right keys ( and ) but to no avail.

This particular example is from macOS' default Preview app, but it's the same in pretty much any application.

Also in some applications I could previously use something like +Return or +Return to choose either the left or right option respectively (Cancel or Replace in this case) but that doesn't seem to be working either.

Is there a different keyboard shortcut or combination of buttons nowadays? Or do I really HAVE to use the mouse to choose Replace ?

2 Answers 2


Is there a different keyboard shortcut or combination of buttons nowadays?

In macOS Catalina, using a keyboard shortcut to Replace instead of Cancel when confronted with a ... Do you want to replace it? sheet, press: ⌘R


Make sure this is on In System Preferences >> Keyboard:

enter image description here

  • Awesome, thanks! I see I can now also use [space] to choose the other option! 👍
    – RocketNuts
    Sep 10, 2020 at 11:37

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