How to Select All on MacBook: Quick Guide

Selecting all items on a MacBook is a fundamental skill that enhances your efficiency, whether you’re organizing files, editing documents, or managing data.

Understanding this simple but powerful command can save you time and streamline your workflow.

Selecting All on Macbook

Selecting all on your Macbook highlights every item within a window or a list, be it files in a Finder window, text in a document, or icons on your desktop.

Getting used to using this command is one of the best ways to speed up your navigation when using the macOS operating system, providing a consistent user experience across various applications.

The quickest way to select all items is through a keyboard shortcut:

  1. Click inside the window or document where you want to select all items.
  2. Press the `Command` key (⌘) and `A` simultaneously.

This command instantly highlights all items or text within the active window or document.

This means it will also select all the files if you’re currently in the Finder window.

Alternate method – Using the Menu Bar for Selection

Though the shortcut is the quickest way to select multiple files on Mac, you can also select all the files by using the menu bar.

  1. Click on the `Edit` menu at the top of your screen.
  2. Choose `Select All` from the dropdown options.

This method achieves the same result as the keyboard shortcut and is particularly useful for beginners or those who prefer using the mouse.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Select All

As we’ve mentioned, the standard shortcut for “Select All” is Command + A.

If this isn’t working, your keyboard might be malfunctioning or the Command key could be remapped or disabled.

It should also be noted that some applications or text fields might not support the “Select All” function and won’t allow you to do this.

This is particularly common in certain software or web applications where text selection might be restricted.

It could also be that the settings have been changed from within System Settings > Accessibility, where you can change keyboard shortcuts.

Finally, a temporary software glitch can cause keyboard shortcuts to stop working. Typically, restarting your Mac can resolve this issue.

Knowing how to select all on a MacBook is a simple yet essential skill. Whether through a keyboard shortcut or the menu bar, this command is useful for efficient file management and document editing.



Full-time writer, Apple fanboy and macOS supremacist. Currently running: 16" Macbook Pro w/ 64GB RAM & M1 Max. Already wants to upgrade to the M3 😫😭

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