How To Use F5 On Mac

For those who’ve transitioned from a Windows PC to a Mac, you may have been confounded trying to refresh your webpage or perform other functions using the F5 function key, only to discover that it doesn’t work quite the same way on a Mac. This guide will help you understand how to use the F5 key on your Mac.

Understanding Function Keys on a Mac

On most Mac keyboards, the function keys are assigned to system controls like brightness, volume, mission control, and more. When you press a function key on a Mac, it generally triggers the system function displayed on the key. For instance, pressing F12 will increase the volume. However, it’s not the same story with the F5 key because it’s not assigned to any system control. Instead, it might have different uses depending on the application you’re currently using.

Using F5 in Various Applications

In many cases, the F5 key won’t have any effect unless the application has specified a use for it. Here’s how F5 is used in some common applications:

Microsoft Word

In Microsoft Word for Mac, pressing F5 opens the “Go To” window, which allows you to navigate to a specific page, section, line, bookmark, comment, or other locations in your document.

Google Chrome

Want to refresh a webpage in Google Chrome? Unfortunately, you can’t just press F5 because it won’t work. Instead, you will need to press Command + R. This shortcut performs the same function as pressing F5 on a Windows machine when using a web browser.

Changing the Functionality of F5

If you’re not happy with the default functionality of the F5 key, or if you’d prefer it to work the same way as on a Windows machine, you can modify its function. This can be done by remapping the keyboard settings. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open System Preferences and click on Keyboard.
  2. Click on the Shortcuts tab.
  3. Choose App Shortcuts from the left menu.
  4. Click on the “+” button to add a new shortcut.
  5. Choose your application (for instance, Google Chrome), enter the menu command (like “Reload This Page”), and set your shortcut key (like F5).
  6. Click on Add.

Now, when you press F5 in the application you’ve chosen, it will perform the function you’ve assigned.

Note: Please remember that remapping keys can make your Mac behave differently than expected in certain scenarios, so proceed with caution.


While the F5 key might not work exactly as it does on a Windows machine, you can always customize its functionality to suit your preferences. We hope this guide has been useful in helping you understand how to use the F5 key on your Mac. Happy computing!