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The Mac Terminal Commands Cheat Sheet


macOS is an intuitive operating system, so you don't have to spend lot of time learning the basics; Knowing this, why should you learn and take advantage of the Unix command line available on your Mac? We have four good reasons:

There are dozens of open source and freely available Unix-based apps. You don't have to spend money on these.

When you're having difficulty searching for files in Spotlight, you can turn to Unix search tools. They're way more powerful than Spotlight.

You can manage files, folders, and file archives in an automated manner. Setting up a cron job will handle this automatically.

It gives you more power and control over your system.

With so many Mac commands, it's often difficult to remember and use them all. We're here to help with a detailed cheat sheet of Mac Terminal commands you can use to unlock enhanced productivity on your system.

Launch the Terminal app from Applications > Utilities or search for it via Spotlight. Then you can get started with some of the powerful commands below.

The Mac Terminal Commands Cheat Sheet

Command Action
Tab Auto-complete file and folder names
Ctrl + A Go to the beginning of the line you're currently typing on
Ctrl + E Go to the end of the line you're currently typing on
Ctrl + U Clear the line before the cursor
Ctrl + K Clear the line after the cursor
Ctrl + W Delete the word before the cursor
Ctrl + T Swap the last two characters before the cursor
Esc + T Swap the last two words before the cursor
Ctrl + L Clear the screen
Ctrl + C Kill whatever you're running
Ctrl + D Exit the current shell
Option + → Move cursor one word forward
Option + ← Move cursor one word backward
Ctrl + F Move cursor one character forward
Ctrl + B Move cursor one character backward
Ctrl + Y Paste whatever was cut by the last command
Ctrl + Z Puts whatever you're running into a suspended background process
Ctrl + _ Undo the last command