The Mac FN (Globe) Key: Everything It Can Do

The FN or Globe Key on your Mac keyboard is a modifier key that can do some special things. In addition to controlling how the F1-F19 keys work, it can also be used as a single keypress to trigger some actions, and with some letter keys to give you keyboard shortcuts to some powerful functions.

Comments: 12 Responses to “The Mac FN (Globe) Key: Everything It Can Do”

    John
    8 months ago

    Wow! Lots of very good material here. I will have to watch it multiple times to get the ideas down that most apply to me.

    William Prusak
    8 months ago

    Hi Gary,

    I watch and learn often with you're expert advise.

    Thank you Sir

    Paul Thompson
    8 months ago

    This was really helpful Garry. I HATE the caps lock key because I often hit it when I want to type A. Now you've made my life better!. Also the other uses for the fn key are very useful. I'll study your post to learn much more. Thanks a Million Garry!

    Robert Dettman
    8 months ago

    Not much that's helpful for me, Gary. Perhaps it's because I have learned the Apple default methods over the years that are quick and effective for me. Accessing Emoji and the Globe plus arrow keys - really good. As for using it to access the dock, that seems so convoluted and slow. I use the mouse and access what I want in a flash.

    Sorry to be negative, but I usually like your advice, so thanks for your ongoing support of the community.

    John Cooper
    8 months ago

    Great tips.

    Interestingly, switching the Caps Lock key with the Globe key works on my 2022 MacBook Pro’s built-in keyboard, but not on the Bluetooth-connected Apple Magic Keyboard (model A1843, without Touch ID), even after a restart. Something for those who use laptops in clamshell mode to check for.

    Jerry Coleman
    8 months ago

    I sure wish the Delete and Backspace keys on my MacBook Air were separate instead of having to use the fn key for Delete. I'd love to be able to remap, say the Caps Lock key, to one of them. Pretty much my only gripe about Mac laptops.

    John MacKenzie
    8 months ago

    A very useful video, Gary. Thank you.

    Carl Younger
    6 months ago

    The old Karabiner let you use Shift+Shift (hold one, then tap the other) to toggle CapsLock, so you could easily lock caps if you wanted to, but never by accident. It also freed up the CapsLock key for whatever else. I miss that.

    P.S. Nice post. It's super useful information that almost nobody knows.

    Carl Younger
    6 months ago

    You can also use fn with Enter to access the Return key from the numpad. Return can be bound to whatever you like (distinct from the Enter key), and you can still use other modifiers (for example, tapping fn+Shift+Enter to input something bound to Shift+Return).

    Sheldon
    6 months ago

    Thanks bunches

    Don J J Carroll
    2 months ago

    Tuesday, May 28, 2024 10:05 AM - Can the Globe key be used to toggle my Desktop items off and on? I now use a 3rd party App called HIDE to do this but sometimes it does not work like it used to on previous Mac OS versions.

    2 months ago

    Don: Which items? Do you mean the files and folders on your Desktop? You can do that with a Terminal command, so you could make a Shortcut in the Shortcuts app to do it and then assign it to a keyboard shortcut sequence. But unfortunately the Terminal command needs to restart the Finder for that to take effect. While that is fine to do occasionally I wouldn't do it so frequently that you need a keyboard shortcut. I find that restarting the Finder doesn't always go smoothly and can sometimes result in problems.
    So maybe another solution to your problem? What is your problem, exactly? If you sometimes want the Desktop to not have files on it, maybe consider not using the Desktop as a location for files at all.

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