The Option key on the MacBook keyboard allows users to do more with their Apple computer. It adds some extra options users can choose from, and makes doing things easier with the MacBook.

Cult of Mac noted that the Option key works everywhere. Pressing and holding down on the Option key while dragging a file to another folder, for example, will result in the file being duplicated, not just moved.

Pressing the Option key while clicking (an action called Option-clicking) on status menu icons on the menu bar, on the other hand, also gives users access to other options that won't be accessed otherwise.

Here's a quick look at some hidden menu options that can only be unlocked by Option-clicking on the status menu icons:

Notification Center

Option-clicking on the Notification Center icon automatically results in activating Do Not Disturb mode, effectively silencing all notifications until the feature is turned off, or when the toggle automatically resets the following day.


By Option-clicking on the Bluetooth icon, users will get a detailed view of the MacBook's Bluetooth radio address, have the option to toggle some Bluetooth settings (such as “Discoverable”) on or off, and send to or browse files on paired devices.


Option-clicking on the volume icon allows user to choose between available audio input and output devices.


A quick Option-click on the Wi-Fi icon opens up an extensive menu that includes available networks, an option to turn Wi-Fi on or off, and some more options helpful when troubleshooting problems related to Wi-Fi networks.

Time Machine

Normal clicks on the Time Machine icon allows users to enter the Time Machine. Option-clicking on it, however, allows users to browse other backup disks other than the one used by default. This feature is especially helpful for those who have an older backup connected to the MacBook, or those who back up to more than one Time Machine volume.

It works with third-party icons too

Pressing and holding down on the Option key while clicking on third-party menu bar icons works too. Some third-party apps may not offer additional options, but it won't hurt to try Option-clicking their menu bar icons. Option-clicking Dropbox, for example, results in opening up a different status menu. Indeed, the Option key on the MacBook keyboard does wonders.

Macbook Keyboard The Option key on the MacBook's keyboard does wonders. Photo: StockSnap/Pixabay