Facebook Hotkeys for the Home Page, Notifications, and Photos

Facebook users can navigate several areas of the site using hotkey keyboard shortcuts rather than a mouse. As part of the recently expanded rollout of the light box photo viewing design, Facebook showed prompts announcing some hotkeys. These join the existing set that allow for rapid browsing of a user’s home page, notifications, search bar, account and privacy settings, Help Center and a few other areas.

With users spending an average of 46 minutes a day on the site, these hotkeys, especially one for returning to the home page / news feed, could save users a lot of time.

Search, Home Page, Notifications, and Settings Hotkeys

Each internet browser and operating system combination uses a different modifier to activate the keywords.

  • OS X with Chrome, Safari, and some other browsers: Ctrl + Option
  • OS X with Firefox:  Ctrl + function
  • Windows with Internet Explorer and Chrome: Alt
  • Windows with Firefox: Alt + Shift

While holding down the appropriate modifier keys, you can hit the following keys to trigger the corresponding actions:

  • ? – Move the cursor to the Facebook search bar
  • m – Open the “New Message” composer pop-up
  • 1 – Open the Facebook home page
  • 2 – Open your profile page
  • 3 – Open the Friend Requests drop-down menu
  • 4 – Open the Messages drop-down menu
  • 5 – Open the Notifications drop-down menu
  • 6 – Open the My Account settings page
  • 7 – Open the privacy settings page
  • 8 – Open Facebook’s official Page
  • 9 – Open Facebook’s Terms of Service
  • 0 – Open the Facebook Help Center

Photo Browsing Hotkeys

While browsing photos in either the light box view or the standard view:

  • Right arrow key – View next photo
  • Left arrow key – View previous photo

While browsing photos in the light box view:

  • Refresh (via mouse clicking your browser’s ‘Refresh’ button, Ctrl + r for Windows, or Command + r for OS X): View the same photo in standard view
  • Esc – Close the light box view and return to the previous Facebook page you were viewing

The refresh trick can help users looking to save photos from Facebook, as users can’t drag and drop or right click to save photos from the light box view, but they can from the standard view.