Using a PC Keyboard with OSX (Command Key Switch-er-oo)

June 16, 2013 // Tech Help

I recently started using a Macbook Air as my full time computer, so I needed to hook up a keyboard and mouse to it. Automatically, OSX assigns the “Windows” key on the keyboard to be the “Command” key in OSX, which will drive you insane.

After doing a lot of digging, I realized there is a very easy solution to this built right into the Keyboard settings section in OSX System Preferences.


1.  Go to System Preferences > Keyboard


2.  Hit the “Modifier Keys” button


3.  Select your USB keyboard from the drop-down menu (there should be two keyboards listed), make sure to not change the built-in keyboard settings.

4.  I found that turning my keyboard’s CTRL key to the Command key made it intuitive for me to CTRL-C and CTRL-V and perform the other command options.

5.  Since you do need to sometimes access the CTRL key in OSX, I made the function of the “Windows Key” (Command Key) on the external keyboard map to the CTRL key in OSX.

For reference, this is the “Windows” key on a PC keyboard:


Hope this helps!

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