In Windows 7, Win + 1, 2, 3 ... 9 launches the first, second etc App in task bar.

Is there a similar keyboard shortcut in OS X in order to launch Apps that are in the Dock?


5 Answers 5


Just downloaded a 99 cent app from the mac app store called "Snap" that fixes this. Now I hit command-1 and the first app in my dock launches. Awesome!

  • 7
    Snap is now free in the app store :)
    – Bittenus
    Commented Mar 25, 2014 at 15:42
  • Thanks. It brings me the most wanted short-cut in windows!
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 18:20
  • 1
    Awesome! Would have paid 99 cents instantly for this! Came from Ubuntu (Unity desktop) and really missed it
    – Boy
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 19:30
  • 1
    Still works but the last update for Snap was 8 years ago and as of Big Sur shortcuts in the Manual tab don't show up.
    – Bn.F76
    Commented Jan 6, 2021 at 14:58
  • Snap is awesome but even since I moved to my new macbook, it captures command + ~ and opens Finder instead of letting me switch between windows. Haven't found a way to disable this behavior.
    – Owais Lone
    Commented May 6, 2023 at 7:18

As @Am1rr3zA said, you can use the default Control + fn + F3. You can then press Enter or Space to launch an app.

You can change the key binding in the Keyboard shortcuts menu in the Settings application.

changing the "Focus on dock" keyboard shortcut on Mac OS

  • Thanks, Moshe, lovely answer, nice focus in the Settings Pane :-) Worked first time for me, so I set it to <Cmd-0> for the dock, which opens on previously selected item. And (from @James above) I have <Cmd-1>, ... for my fave apps. Cool.
    – jalanb
    Commented Mar 25, 2015 at 12:18

I don't know the exact solution but you can use control+fn+F3 after that you can navigate through Dock with keyboard arrow keys ( or ) and press enter on your desire app.


This is a neat windows feature to want in the Dock, but if you like keyboard shortcuts, why not get a customizable application, like Quicksilver that lets you do a lot via the keyboard. Its not going to be easy / quick if you have a lot of Apps in your dock to remember a meaning less position number of a icon in a dock, when you could just ask for what you want directly. Something like Quicksilver will not only help you open stuff in the dock faster it will let you open stuff not in the dock at extreme speeds.

For example, after getting Quicksilver's attention via a configurable key command, I type "F" and hit enter to open Firefox on my setup.


Create a Hammerspoon script to assign shortcut keys. For example, this script assigns Option+C to Calendar and Option+M to Mail.

shortcuts = {
    {"C", "Calendar"},
    {"M", "Mail"},

for i,shortcut in ipairs(shortcuts) do
    hs.hotkey.bind({"alt"}, shortcut[1], function()

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