I sometimes hook up my macbook to a windows keyboard. The annoying thing is that on windows keyboards the modifier keys at the lower left are layout as

ctrl - windows - alt

while apple keyboards use

ctrl - alt - apple

The windows key functions as the apple key, the problem is that they are located at a different location, and my muscle memory is so set on finding the 'command' key next to the spacebar that I keep executing my shortcuts with alt i.s.o. apple key (and vice versa)

Short of buying an Apple keyboard, does anyone know a way to remap both keys in osx?

3 Answers 3

  • In System Preferences | Keyboard | Modifier Keys you can swap these two keys.
  • Double Command is a PrefPane that offers many options for using Windows-keyboards (see the 3d & 4h checkboxes in the screenshot on that page). I'm not sure it offers advantages over the standard keyboard preferences, but perhaps it includes automatic sensning or a quicker way (hot key?) of changing back and forth.
  • 15
    What I find interesting is that you can change it per keyboard (so you can make it different for the laptop keyboard and the external keyboard) May 23, 2012 at 10:56
  • 5
    This solution may no longer be effective - I could not get the built-in Modifier Keys solution to work on Yosemite (OS X 10.10) with a Corsair K70 keyboard. This answer provides an external solution which I found worked well, and is the suggested replacement for the linked Double Command.
    – Adam S
    May 25, 2015 at 13:37
  • 1
    For what it's worth, making the changes under Modifier Keys worked for me. I'm using a Logitech K350 and running OS X El Capitan 10.11.4. Apr 6, 2016 at 18:31
  • Working for Sierra, too.
    – Benjamin R
    Aug 19, 2017 at 0:55
  • 1
    Working for me in Oct '20 and Catalina for my external keyboard. With that setup it is actually essential to select the keyboard you are modifying.
    – tishma
    Oct 20, 2020 at 6:53

Under the Keyboard System Preferences pane there is a button for "Modifier Keys" which allows you to remap command/option/control on a per-keyboard basis. There is no need to use an external tool to switch the keys.

Modifier keys screenshot

I'm using OSX El Capitan and Microsoft Sculpt keyboard.

  • 1
    This is a great answer, nice that this is a mac native option.
    – windmaomao
    Mar 11, 2022 at 21:09

This question still pops up when searching today. Steps seem to have changed slightly in newer versions of macOS.

You need to go to System Settings > Keyboard Keyboard settings in System Settings

Click on Keyboard Shortcuts... then select Modifier Keys Modifier Keys in Keyboard Shortcuts

Make sure you have selected the right keyboard from the dropdown on top. From there, you can manually swap Option key to be Command, and Command key to be Option.

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