I have F5 key bound to the show desktop shortcut in keyboard shortcuts. However when I press F5 on the keyboard (with fn on the built in keyboard, or with/without fn on the Apple wireless keyboard), nothing happens. If I try to bind it to anything else such as mission control or notification center, it just works. Any idea why?

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  • Just tried it on my iMac w/ wireless keyboard. It works well with F5. – Matthieu Riegler Feb 28 '13 at 19:06
  • If you press the button 'Restore Defaults' and set it again to F5, does it work? – jaume Feb 28 '13 at 19:31
  • Tried Restoring Default. Unfortunately no effect. Even if I assign it to any other shortcut (F6, F1, control-Up), nothing works. The only that works is using gesture on touchpad. – Tony Mar 3 '13 at 20:51
  • Same issue with my computer, and it just started in last few weeks. I did change my keyboard shortcuts recently for Mission Control; change my coincide with this (Show Desktop is still defaulted to F11) – Dolan Antenucci Apr 23 '14 at 12:30

Create a test user account on your Mac. Adjust this same setting. See if it works. If it does, I recommend moving the following file on your user account to the Trash:


Then log off & back on. This will reset all Keyboard Shortcut settings back to default. If it doesn't fix it or causes other issues, simply drag the .plist file back to its former location.

  • 1
    Switching to another user indeed works. I will try trashing the symbolichotkeys.plist next time I log off and report back. – Tony Mar 3 '13 at 21:06

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