Errordomain=nscocoaerrordomain&errormessage=could not find the specified shortcut.&errorcode=4

Have you ever tried to use a keyboard shortcut on your Mac and got a cryptic error message instead? If you’ve seen something like “errordomain=nscocoaerrordomain&errormessage=could not find the specified shortcut.&errorcode=4,” you’re not alone. This message indicates a problem with your Mac’s ability to recognize a specific keyboard shortcut. But fear not, there are ways to fix it!

The Error Breakdown

This error message can be broken down into three parts:

errordomain=nscocoaerrordomain: This identifies the source of the error as the Cocoa framework, a foundation for many Mac applications.

errormessage=could not find the specified shortcut.: This explains the core issue – the Mac can’t locate the designated shortcut.

errorcode=4: This code provides a more specific reference for developers to diagnose the problem.

Common Causes of the Shortcut Error

There are several reasons why you might encounter this error:

Mistyped Shortcut: Double-check that your shortcut assignment is accurate. A single typo or misplaced modifier key (like Command instead of Option) can trigger this error.

Conflicting Shortcuts: Another application may be using the same key combination you assigned to your shortcut. Review your other programs’ shortcut settings for any conflicts.

Deleted or Moved Target: If the shortcut aims to open a specific file or application, and that file or app has been moved or deleted, the shortcut will become invalid.

Application Issues: In rare cases, a glitch within the application itself might cause it to forget or misinterpret your shortcut assignment.

Troubleshooting Steps

Here’s how you can try to fix the “could not find the specified shortcut” error:

Verify the Shortcut Assignment: Check the application’s settings menu to ensure the shortcut is configured correctly and matches your intended key combination.

Manage Conflicting Shortcuts: Review the keyboard shortcut settings for other programs and disable any that conflict with your desired shortcut.

Recreate the Shortcut: If the original target (file or app) has been moved or deleted, you’ll need to recreate the shortcut with the updated location.

Restart the Application: Sometimes a simple restart can resolve temporary glitches within the application.

Update the Application: If the issue persists, check for any available updates for the application that might address shortcut-related bugs.

Advanced Troubleshooting Optional

For more technical users, additional steps can be explored:

Reset Application Preferences: Some applications allow resetting their preferences to factory defaults, potentially resolving shortcut configuration issues. Be aware that this might reset other settings as well.

Check System Logs: Advanced users can navigate system logs to see if there are any detailed error messages related to the specific shortcut you’re encountering.


Don’t let the cryptic “errordomain=nscocoaerrordomain&errormessage=could not find the specified shortcut.&errorcode=4” error slow you down! With a little understanding and these troubleshooting steps, you should be back to using your favorite keyboard shortcuts in no time. By identifying the cause and taking appropriate action, you can restore efficiency and personalize your Mac workflow.


  • Q: I followed the guide, but my shortcut remains broken. What now?

A: If basic troubleshooting doesn’t solve the issue, consider the specific application. Search online for solutions related to that particular program and its shortcuts. You can also reach out to the application’s developer for direct support.

  • Q: Can I see all my Mac shortcuts in one place?

A: There isn’t a central hub for all Mac shortcuts. Instead, individual applications typically house their shortcuts within their settings menus. System-wide shortcuts can be viewed and customized under System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts.

  • Q: How can I avoid future shortcut conflicts?

A: Choose unique and intuitive key combinations that you’re unlikely to use in other programs. Many applications allow you to search for existing shortcuts before assigning a new one, helping you identify potential conflicts beforehand.

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