Safari in OS X El Capitan Changes Common Shortcuts

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It wouldn't be an update from Apple without the loss of a feature you may have grown to rely on. Safari power users have long used the combination of the Command button and a number between 1 and 9 to pull up a bookmarked webpage (or trigger a bookmarklet). Now, though, the public beta of El Capitan has mapped that keystroke to a different function. Apple's browser treats the Command+number combo just like Google Chrome does, opening the first through ninth open tabs in the current window.

While many were upset to see the feature go, the good news is that bookmark-based key commands haven't gone away, they've only been re-mapped. The first bookmark in Safari's bookmark bar can now be triggered by Command+Option+1, and so on and so forth. Get ready to re-train your muscle memories. 

Apple did not explain this change to users, so it took some trial and error to figure it out. Folks looking to make their own shortcuts have been left to rely on third- party software, since such customization isn't available in OS X.

MORE: How to Get OS X El Capitan Public Beta

While it's frustrating to lose a feature without any warning, at least Apple made this change in a beta release, and not an easily downloaded consumer-facing update. Take, for example Home Sharing for music, which mysteriously vanished in the recent iOS 8.4 update.

That option gave users the ability to easily share their iTunes music collections with other members of their households. Fortunately, there was enough outcry online to get Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue to publicly state the company was working to restore the feature in iOS 9, which is scheduled to be released this fall.

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Henry T. Casey is a staff writer at LAPTOP. Follow him on Twitter @henrytcasey. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.



Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.
Henry T. Casey, on
Add a comment
  • SadMac Says:

    Oh, Dan LaSota, just saw you comment, that's what we need, thanks)))))

  • SadMac Says:

    Oh, Thank You, Henry)) Just today i was forced to update to El Cap from Mavericks. And i was upset to see this bookmarks shortcuts change in Safari, but your post helps me : )

    Hence, now when you hit Command+T for New Tab the address bar highlights as previously, but it's not allow anymore do Command+Option+1 to pull up first bookmark from there!
    Before El Cap you were able to do that and it was so smooth&quick to open bookmarked webpages in the next tab to the current. I'll be missing this so much because my fingers do that reflex action everytime

  • Andyy Says:

    Wow. Thank god! This was one of the most annoying discrepancies between Safari and basically every other program on the Mac planet. I hated accidentally typing Cmd-1 thinking I was going to the 1st tab, only to see my web page get obliterated by whatever happened to be bookmarked.

    Welcome to the modern world, Safari.

  • hadubard Says:

    A thing worth noting is also that the new Command+Option+1 only works if the address bar has no focus, whereas the old combo (change your preferences) still works exactly the same as before, so even if the address bar is currently focused. That's one major advantage for me, because you can COMMAND+T to open a new tab and then COMMAND+OPTION+1 to open the first bookmark - thats 2 keystrokes. Compare this to COMMAND+T then TAB then COMMAND+OPTION+1 - 3 keystrokes.

  • Evan Rose Says:

    Thanks, @TeeOh! Now to get this comment to 30 characters!

  • Dan LaSota Says:

    There is now a pref in Safari v9 for this. I detailed this on my work blog:

  • TeeOh Says:

    The Safari CMD+1....9 can be reverted.

    Go into Safari Preferences>Tabs>

    Uncheck the option to use the CMD+1....9 to switch tabs. Now it'll act as it did before and load bookmarks.

  • Dave G Says:

    Only one problem. Command Option 1 was the key command to open your favorites window. Hopefully it was just changed and not removed.

  • Lin Chou Cheng Says:

    Thanks for writing about this Henry! I was wonder what happened to my command+1 after my MacOS!

  • Tom Powers Says:

    Chaddy is correct, just go to tabs part of settings in safari and uncheck this *feature.

  • chaddy Says:

    There is an option under Tab now to disable the cmd+number to select the tab. Deselecting this turns it back to how it was previous.

  • Daniel Says:

    Yes they are different, but if you look in the bookmarks menu, they are still listed as command-1, command-2 etc. What's the new shortcut for the top sites?

  • REHAN Says:

    One easy hack for this is as follows:
    One just need to press the caps lock key and then try using the old shortcut. That is, cmd+1...9 for going to your bookmarks!


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