If I have a window on my desktop in OSX Mountain Lion, I see an icon in the top right corner o the window, made of two diagonal arrows pointing away from each other. I can click this to put the app in "full screen" mode and give it its own space.

Once I've done that, I can hover my mouse near the top edge of the screen and the menu bar will slide down. There's a blue icon on the far right that looks like the opposite of the first: two diagonal arrows pointing toward each other. That will take the app out of full screen mode.

I'm being so specific because I want to be clear about which "fullscreen mode" I mean.

What is the universal keyboard shortcut to toggle fullscreen mode in Mountain Lion?

I'm aware of a few application-specific shortcuts, but they're inconsistent.

  • In Google Chrome, Command+Control+F toggles fullscreen, and Command+Shift+F toggles "presentation mode", which is the same but without showing the tabs.
  • In Firefox, Command+Shift+F toggles fullscreen.
  • In iTerm2, Command+Enter toggles fullscreen.

I'm looking for something universal, like how Command + M minimizes the window for any app.


You can try this tutorial.

IMPORTANT NOTE: for me it's not working with the shortcut Command+Escape as suggested by this tutorial, but it is working with Command+Shift+F, for example...


  • Open System Preferences and click on the Keyboard icon
  • Select the Keyboard Shortcuts tab and choose Application Shortcuts from the list on the left
  • Click on the + icon to add a new keyboard shortcut for all applications and type the following exactly:

Enter Full Screen

  • Now you need to assign it a keyboard shortcut, I chose Command+Escape because it serves no purpose in OS X, but it’s the old keyboard shortcut for entering into Front Row
  • Click Add and then click on the + icon again, this time typing:

Exit Full Screen

  • Choose the same keyboard shortcut as you chose before, in this case Command+Escape, and click onto Add again
  • Close out System Preferences
  • Give it a try!

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  • 1
    Works for me! Caveats: This is based on matching the name of the menu item. Eg, in iTerm2, it's "Toggle Full Screen", so I had to add another one with that name for it. Also, Firefox didn't respond to the new mapping, so I tried giving all apps its mapping of Command+Control+F, and that worked for me (at least for the three I mentioned and for MacVim, which calls its menu item "Toggle Full Screen Mode"). Oct 18 '13 at 12:29
  • Waiting to accept in case there's a native way that someone can point out. Oct 18 '13 at 12:31

I'm using Mavericks, and MikO's method didn't work for me, at least not in Terminal, which was how I came to this post. BetterTouchTool, on the other hand, completely works, and, in fact, has a "Enter Fullscreen" action. Also, it's awesome.

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