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TUAW Tip: shortcuts for Sleep, Restart and Shut Down

David Chartier

We here at TUAW are suckers for productive shortcuts, and since yesterday's System Preferences tip was such a hit, I thought I'd post a few shortcuts to speed up the Sleep, Restart and Shut Down commands. There's actually quite a few ways to accomplish these tasks, so I'll try to mention all the methods I've heard of.

The first: hold the option key while selecting Restart or Shut Down from the Apple Menu to bypass the 'Are You Sure?' dialog, and cut right to the chase. You even get visual feedback in the Apple Menu; click the menu, then press the option key to see the trailing dots disappear from those two commands (as far as I know, this is a typical UI feedback element used throughout the OS; any commands - at least in Cocoa apps - that have keyboard modifiers will change their appearance in the menu if you press the modifier before choosing the option).

The second method is my personal favorite: 100% keyboard shortcuts. Here's a list:

  • Sleep = opt + cmd + eject
  • Restart = ctrl + cmd + eject
  • Shut Down = ctrl + opt + cmd + eject
The third method, involving the power key, can still be counted as a keyboard shortcut, but since I almost never touch the power key (I Sleep my Macs about 99% of the time via my aforementioned favorite method), I don't really consider it part of my typical keystroke regimen. For you power key lovers out there, you can press your Mac's power key, and at the resulting 'Are you sure?' dialog that contains four buttons (Restart, Sleep, Cancel and Shut Down), you can press the first letters of a couple of these actions. Specifically, 'r' for Restart, 's' for Sleep and Enter for Shut Down. 'C' for Cancel doesn't seem to work, but Esc should get you out of the dialog if you need to keep computing.

Here's hoping you don't have a Homer Simpson-like brain, where each new shortcut you learn knocks out an old one. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts on these shortcuts, and enjoy one more trick for working with your Mac just a little bit faster.

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