Two Shortcuts for Mac Photos in macOS 10.14 (Mojave)

Updated June 12th, 2019.

The Mac Photos app in macOS 10.14 (Mojave) changes the keyboard shortcut for toggling between a zoomed-in view and the thumbnails. It used to be Spacebar— tap spacebar to pop open a selected thumbnail, tap it again to go back to the thumbnails. Spacebar doesn’t do it anymore. Now you use the Return key.

In practice you’re likely to double-click a thumbnail to open it. That’s the easiest.

Mojave Photos thumbnail view
Mojave Photos thumbnail view

You can “return” to the thumbnails three ways:

Three ways to return to Thumbnail view
Three ways to return to Thumbnail view

1. Double-click again
2. Click the “back” button at top left
3. Hit the Return key

If you’re used to using the Spacebar it will take some re-training before the Return key feels natural. I think it’s a good change though: when you’re in Edit mode, one tap of Return clicks the “Done” button, and the next tap of Return “returns” you to the thumbnails. Sort of makes sense.

Mojave Photos Edit mode
Mojave Photos Edit mode

Bonus: Command-Return (⌘-↩) takes you from Edit mode back to Thumbnail mode without requiring the second tap of Return. Similarly, if you’re in Thumbnail mode, and you have a picture selected, Command-Return takes you straight to Edit mode, saving a click.

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