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diego chamy Level 1 Level 1



I bought my first MAC some months ago. I read somewhere that by default, the Command-Alt-Space shortcut opens a new finder window, and I've been using it with no problem for a couple of months. But yesterday the shortcut suddenly stopped opening a new Finder window, and started opening a Spotlight window instead. (??)


I checked the keyboard shortcuts and in fact the Command-Alt-Space shortcut was assigned to open a Spotlight window. Weird, because I didn't change it and noone else uses this compuer. I pressed "Restore defaults", to see if that could revert the change, but it didn't—now the Command-Alt-Space shortcut was not assigned to anything, and the Spotlight window allegedly default shortcut turned out to be Ctrl-Alt-Space.


So my questions are:


Why was I able to use the Command-Alt-Space shortcut to open new Finder window, and now I'm not?

How can I make it work again? It was really much more practical than going to Finder and pressing Cmd-N...


Thank you.

MacBook Pro (Retina, Mid 2012), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Lanny Level 5 Level 5
    Mac OS X

    The command for opening a new Finder window is Command-n.


    Command-Option-Space (not Command-Alt-Space, Alt is Shift-Option) opens a Spotlight window.

  • diego chamy Level 1 Level 1

    Command-N only opens a new Fidner window if I'm already in Finder, but not if I'm using another program.


    So I repeat the question: what shortcut can I use to I open a new Finder window, without being already in Finder? Is there a default shortcut for this? Command-Alt-Space has been doing that by default in my computer, till it stopped working. And I did not program that shortcut. Somehow by default it was programmed to do so.

  • avinash2603 Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Diego,

    Were u able to resolve this ? I'm facing the same issue. Option+Command+Space used to open finder. Now its opening spotlight.




  • CT Level 6 Level 6

    I can confirm that the out of the box default behavior for option-command-space is to open up a Finder search window much as you would get with command-F in Finder.  From there you can navigate as usual, e.g., using the Sidebar, the toolbar, etc.

  • Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8

    I don't know if it ever worked before, but cmd-opt-space now opens a search window.

    As far as I have ever known, there isn't a command to open a new Finder window from outside of Finder.


    You could create a Service in Automator, then give it a Shortcut in Keyboard Shortcuts, Services category.

    You could do something like this:

    Screen Shot 2013-08-18 at 12.33.37 PM.png

    The Get Specified Finder Items action would have the location you want the new finder window to open to.

    You could use a Ask for Finder Items and have it ask which folder you want to open.

  • diego chamy Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Avinash,


    No, unfortunately I couldn't solve this problem yet. It's quite annoying in fact...


    Other users, like CT, confirm that "the out of the box default behavior for Option-Command-Space is to open up a Finder search window", which means I'm not crazy... I don't understand how this suddenly stoped working. Restore defaults option in "Keyboard Shortcuts" doesn't make it work either...

  • diego chamy Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks Eric, but I already tried creating a keyboard shortcut, but it only works if I'm already in Finder. The cool thing about the Option-Command-Space shortcut was that it worked no matter what program you were using.


    And thanks for the apps suggestions. But I don't think I want an app for this... First of all I want to know why the default shortcut stopped working and if there's any easy way to make it work again...


    Thanks Barney-15E for the Automator suggestion. I haven't tried it, but I wonder if there's an easier way to do this? I mean, opening a new Finder folder is probably the most basic and repetitive thing everyone does in a Mac. How come there's no default shortcut?? In fact there was one and it suddently stopped working!

  • Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8

    As I said, I never thought there was one.

    Cmd-opt-spacebar is also used to cycle through input sources (keyboard layouts), if present. It was chosen prior to Spotlight. If you have both enabled, you have to change one of the shortcuts.


    This article indicates the Cmd-Opt-Spacebar command came with Spotlight, to open a Search window.


    And this one indicates the AppleScript/Automator solution as a workaround for the fact there isn't one: finder-window/


    Tapping the Finder icon in the Dock opens a Finder window if one isn't already opened.

    In the Keyboard Shortcuts, you can set a shortcut to go to the dock (I have ctrl-opt-D). It selects the first Item which is always the Finder, so just hit return after the shortcut.

  • diego chamy Level 1 Level 1



    On the comments to the second article you posted, some people confirmed they can use the Cmd-Opt-Spacebar as a global default shortcut to open a new Finder window (not Spotlight)  — mment-61887, users thesmarti and Bradley. Moreover, users CT and Avinash in this forum confirmed that too.


    I know that "tapping the Finder icon in the Dock opens a Finder window if one isn't already opened", but as you say, it only does it if one Finder window isn't open. If you have one open, then you have to right click on the icon, etc. And if you have an application in fullscreen, the icon is not there and it takes a while for it to appear... Not ideal.


    I guess I could solve this using Automator as you suggested, but I'm frustrated because this shortcut used to work on my Mac when I bought it and it stopped working who knows why after some months.

  • Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8

    No, they said they used as a workaround. It opens a Finder window that happens to be a Search.

  • diego chamy Level 1 Level 1

    Only CM says he uses the shortcut as a workaround to open a Finder window that happens to be a search. But he might be referring to the wrong shortcut, because on my Mac I do that by default with Ctrl-Option-Space and not with Command-Option-Space, which is the shortcut I've been speaking about. Command-Option-Space seems to work for others:  thesmarti just says, "….or simply hit: alt+cmd+space".  Bradley says, "I believe alt+cmd+space was added in Lion. I’m on Mountain Lion and it does the job."  avinash2603, "Option+Command+Space used to open finder. Now its opening spotlight."

  • jeffdata Level 1 Level 1

    I have the same EXACT problem -- Diego Chamy is right on the mark.  For 5 months Option-Command-Space used to bring up Finder like a charm (even if you were not in Finder)... w/OUT the extra step of pressing Ctrl-N.  Now the same key sequence brings up the blank Search window.  Incredibly frustrating!  Fyi I have os x 10.8.3, and have not installed the latest recommended updates.


    The only thing I can think of is that recently I actually used the Search window in Finder intentionally.  Shortly after that, it stopped the Option-Command-Space feature from working like it did before.


    Make it a Great Day :-) . . . and hopefully someone will find the solution and post it here.

  • Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8

    If it did, it worked on a system well prior to Nov 2011, the last time this page was updated:


    According to this site, cmd-opt-space opens a Spotlight Window all the way back to Tiger:


    Perhaps it worked that way because you had some third-party hot-key or launcher that did that for you.

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