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

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Picture this frustrating scenario: You have meticulously created an individual shortcut to help you accomplish a certain action faster in your favorite Mac app. But when you go to use it... an ominous error message pops up: “There exists no such shortcut.” Errordomain=nscocoaerrordomain&errormessage=could not find the specified shortcut.&errorcode=4.Don't panic! This annoying error usually points to a small solution, and this tutorial will have your shortcuts (and your sanity) working as they should be.

Deciphering the Error Message

Let's break down what that cryptic message is trying to tell us:Let's break down what that cryptic message is trying to tell us:

  • Errordomain=nscocoaerrordomain: This indicates that the fault is inside Apple’s Cocoa framework that is used as a base for creating Mac applications.
  • errormessage=could not find the specified shortcut: The crux of the matter – your Mac cannot find the shortcut you are attempting to use.
  • errorcode=4: Not known for being general, however, this code might provide some hints to a developer when the problem is closely related to a particular application.

Uncovering the Culprit: Possible Causes

What is the reason for this irritating error? Here are the prime suspects:Here are the prime suspects:

  • Human Error: Typos and Conflicts: Have you mistyped your shortcut by mistake? Do some other app or system function “steal” that key combination?
  • Application Glitch: The program in which you created the shortcut may have corrupted preference or settings files.
  • Compatibility Woes: The lack of update in an app or macOS can cause miscommunication and your shortcuts to be lost in the translation.
  • Rarer Scenarios: Occasionally file system issues or more profound preferences problems may be causing the problem.

Troubleshooting Tactics: Your Shortcut Rescue Mission

Let's reclaim your productivity! Follow these steps in order, eliminating the most likely causes first:Follow these steps in order, eliminating the most likely causes first:

Shortcut Sleuthing

  Make sure that you are using the right combination of a shortcut and recheck it two or three times.

 Check System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts for possible competing conflicts.

Resetting App Preferences

 The shortcuts made by the users are stored by most applications in a preference file. Exiting or resetting this file usually works.

   Always make a backup of the original preference file, just in case! See the app’s documentation for detail instructions.

The Reinstall Route

  A clean re-install of the problematic app should clear the corruption of its internal files.

System-wide Spring Cleaning: Updates

   Make sure your macOS is up to date and then look for the updates for the app in question. Most of the time compatibility problems go away with updates.

Advanced Investigations (if Needed)

If you still have the error, it is time for more detailed troubleshooting – file permissions or system-level conflicts that may be a problem. This is how online forums and tech support can be of great help to you.

Additional Tips for Shortcut Success

  • Choose Unique Combinations: Avoid overly common shortcuts to minimize conflicts.
  • Document Your Shortcuts: Keep a simple list of your custom shortcuts to avoid confusion and aid in troubleshooting.
  • When in Doubt, Seek Help: Don't hesitate to search online resources, your application's help guides, or reach out to the developer for further assistance.

Conquering the Error: You've Got This!

Keep in mind that “could not find the specified shortcut” error is rather bothersome but never indicates a serious problem. Do this in a methodical manner and with patience, and you will soon again breeze through Mac tasks by means of your personalized shortcuts.


The ‘cannot find the specified shortcut’ error looks like a challenging task, but be sure, it is usually an easy fix. With the knowledge of the error message, some most common causes, and the troubleshooting steps, you have the ability to bring the functionality of your custom shortcuts back.

Consider this not only as a technical problem, but a return of an investment in your productivity. An entire workflow would become more or less effortless with shortcuts that almost magically work with your Mac at your wish.

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