I am just settling in a new job and what I got on my hardware setup is a Mac with a Microsoft keyboard. This support page indicates that the Control key on my PC keyboard should be mapping to Mac's Command key but it does not (e.g. CtrlC/V does not work).

How can I fix this?

5 Answers 5


The Control key on your PC keyboard maps to your Mac's Control key. The Windows key on your PC keyboard maps to your Mac's Command key.

When using a PC keyboard you would use windows keyC to copy and windows keyV to paste, etc.

You can set universal keyboard shortcuts in System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Application Shortcuts > All Applications, you can enter menu values (Save, Copy, Paste, etc) and then assign new key combinations to them. In the example below I've set controlC to copy and controlU to paste.


  • can that be changed ?
    – amphibient
    Aug 7, 2013 at 16:59
  • 1
    @amphibient It can, in "System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > All Applications" you can enter menu values (Save, Copy, Paste, etc) and then assign new key combinations to them.
    – Mr Rabbit
    Aug 7, 2013 at 17:02
  • 1
    The problem with this approach is that you're basically aliasing one keymap onto another keymap, so you'll end up needing to repeat this process for every possible scenario; e.g. you'll also need ^S Save, ^Q Quit, etc. Additionally, any app that implements these differently will not respect them, for instance, Webstorm has its own keymap system and so even though I can copy/paste in most other places, in Webstorm it still expects ⌘C.
    – ken
    May 20, 2019 at 18:51
  • This method worked great for me for certain commands (Cut, Copy, Paste), but for some reason it didn't work with mapping Ctrl-Z to Undo. Any idea why not? Mar 6, 2021 at 0:40

I run into same issue: At work I have to use Windows and at home I use a Mac. I'm sick of having different shortcuts for these basic tasks. Here is my solution for it:

Go to your User folder on your Mac and open the Library directory.

Here you create a "KeyBindings" folder.

Then navigate into that folder: (Your User folder)/Library/KeyBindings/

Create a file "DefaultKeyBinding.dict" with following lines:

"^v" = "paste:";
"^c" = "copy:";
"^x" = "cut:";
"^z" = "undo:";

Save everything and restart your Mac.

Now, you will have CTRL + x/c/v/z working like it is on a Windows machine.

BE AWARE: This will overwrite whatever Apple has configured for these shortcuts. For instance CTRL + v is a standard shortcut for page down, which will not work anymore.


I think this is unclear text on the MS site. The text says

the keyboard shortcuts that you use map to different keys

which is not what you read and quoted it as. It means the keyboard short cut you type in windows maps to a different keyboard shortcut in OSX.

What the text means that instead of typing ctrlc on Windows you type cmdc on OSX


Use this software. https://pqrs.org/macosx/keyremap4macbook/

It lets you remap keys on your Mac. I just used it on my Microsoft keyboard and it worked. It's better than just changing the shortcuts for copy/paste because almost every shortcut on the Mac uses those two keys.

Also, after I remapped my keys, I popped out the keys and put them in the similar Mac spots. Windows Key = Apple Key placement, Alt Key = Option Key placement.

I've added an image that shows my exact settings. Yours should be similar.

Now I just need to find a apple logo sticker to place over the windows logo ;-)




In Mojavo you can enable windows keys by system-preferences --> keyboard --> Change keyboard Type. After that it correctly mapped my keys (alt to cmd etc)

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