How to Change the Command Key for a Mac on a Windows Keyboard: A Guide

Changing the command key for a Mac on a Windows keyboard is a simple process. You’ll need to access your Mac’s System Preferences, select the Keyboard section, and modify the Modifier Keys settings. In just a few clicks, you’ll have your Windows keyboard functioning just like a Mac’s.

After completing the action, your Windows keyboard will work seamlessly with your Mac, allowing you to use the Command key as you would on a native Mac keyboard.


If you’re a Mac user who prefers or needs to use a Windows keyboard, you might find the different key layout a bit confusing. The Command key, which is crucial for shortcuts and essential functions on a Mac, is not present on a Windows keyboard. Instead, Windows keyboards have an ‘Alt’ key in its place. This can disrupt your workflow and muscle memory, making it challenging to work efficiently.

Fortunately, there’s a way to remap the keys on your Windows keyboard to match the Mac layout. This guide is perfect for anyone who uses a Mac but owns a Windows keyboard – whether you’re a programmer, designer, or just someone who prefers the feel of a particular keyboard. We’ll walk you through how to change the Command key for a Mac on a Windows keyboard so you can work without any hiccups.

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing the Command Key for a Mac on a Windows Keyboard

This tutorial will guide you through the process of remapping the keys on your Windows keyboard so that it functions like a Mac keyboard.

Step 1: Open System Preferences

Access the System Preferences on your Mac.

Once you’ve clicked on the Apple logo in the top-left corner of your screen, a drop-down menu will appear. From there, select ‘System Preferences’ to open the settings for your Mac.

Step 2: Select Keyboard

Choose the Keyboard section within System Preferences.

You’ll see various options related to your Mac’s settings. Look for the icon labeled ‘Keyboard’ and click on it to proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Click on Modifier Keys

Click on the ‘Modifier Keys’ button at the bottom-right of the Keyboard window.

In the Keyboard settings window, you’ll find a button labeled ‘Modifier Keys’ in the lower-right corner. Clicking this will bring up the key remapping options.

Step 4: Remap the Keys

Remap the ‘Command’ key to the ‘Alt’ key on your Windows keyboard.

In the Modifier Keys settings, you’ll see a list of keys that you can remap. Find the drop-down menu next to the ‘Command (⌘)’ key and change it to ‘Alt.’ This will switch the functionality of the Alt key on your Windows keyboard to act as the Command key for your Mac.


Improved WorkflowBy remapping the keys, you’ll be able to use your Windows keyboard with your Mac without having to relearn shortcuts or key placements.
CustomizationThis process allows you to customize your keyboard layout to your personal preferences, potentially increasing your productivity.
Cost-EffectiveInstead of buying a new Mac-compatible keyboard, you can use an existing Windows keyboard, saving you money.


Confusion for Dual UsersIf you switch between a Mac and a Windows PC using the same keyboard, the remapped keys could cause confusion.
Not All Keys are RemappableSome keys on the Windows keyboard may not have a direct equivalent on the Mac, and vice versa, leading to some limitations.
Temporary AdjustmentYou may need a period of adjustment to get used to the new key layout if you’ve been using a Windows keyboard with its default settings for a long time.

Additional Information

If you’re someone who frequently uses keyboard shortcuts, you’ll know how integral the Command key is to the Mac experience. Switching it with the Alt key on a Windows keyboard can make a world of difference. You might also be wondering whether this change is permanent or if it can be reversed. Rest assured, you can always go back to the Modifier Keys settings and reset everything to default.

Plus, this change is system-specific, meaning it will only affect the Mac you’ve made the adjustments on – any other computers or operating systems you use the keyboard with will remain unaffected. One nifty tip to remember is that the changes made in the Modifier Keys settings will apply to all user accounts on that Mac. So, if you share your computer, make sure everyone is on board with the new key configuration.


  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Select Keyboard.
  3. Click on Modifier Keys.
  4. Remap the ‘Command’ key to the ‘Alt’ key on your Windows keyboard.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I remap other keys besides the Command key?

Yes, you can remap other modifier keys such as Control, Option, and Caps Lock in the Modifier Keys settings.

Will this change affect my Windows keyboard when used with a PC?

No, the key remapping only affects the Mac’s interpretation of the keyboard inputs, not the keyboard itself.

Is it possible to remap keys on a per-application basis?

No, the changes made in the Modifier Keys settings apply system-wide and are not application-specific.

Do I need any third-party software to remap the keys?

No, you can remap the keys using the built-in System Preferences on your Mac without additional software.

Can I reset the keys to their default settings?

Yes, you can always go back to the Modifier Keys settings and reset the keys to their original functions.


Changing the command key for a Mac on a Windows keyboard is a straightforward process that can greatly enhance your productivity and comfort. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to create a more seamless and efficient working environment.

Whether you’re trying to save money by using an existing keyboard or simply prefer the feel of a Windows keyboard, this adjustment will make your Mac experience much more familiar and intuitive. Remember to take your time getting used to the new layout and tweak the settings until you find the perfect configuration for your workflow.

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