Front Row Key Commands

Although Front Row is designed for use with the Apple Remote, it’s easy to control it with the keyboard as well. For those of you who may be interested, I’ve compiled this list of keyboard shortcuts for Front Row.


Enter Front Row Command + Escape
Quit Front Row Command + Option + Escape

Note that if Front Row is not officially supported on your Mac, it may not always be running in the background, and the Command + Escape shortcut will not activate it. Launch Front Row manually on unsupported systems before using these shortcuts.

Menu actions

Up Up-arrow
Down Down-arrow
Select Space
Previous menu Escape

Playback controls

Play/Pause Space
Rewind Left-arrow
Fast-forward Right-arrow
Previous track Command + Left-arrow
Next track Command + Right-arrow


Volume Up Command + Up-arrow
Volume Down Command + Down-arrow

Interested in controlling Front Row with a third-party remote? See my notes here.

14 Responses to “Front Row Key Commands”

  1. walkingmac Says:

    question, while I don’t have a Front Row compatible mac nor access to one easily, can you navigate your media using your keyboard. Now I know you can (obviously looking above), but can you type the name of the file/folder you are looking for and have it jump to there?

  2. John Says:

    Good question, but unfortunately no. The letter keys don’t seem to do anything. An excellent feature to request, though.

  3. Alvin Says:

    Another good suggestion would be to add keyboard shortcuts to rate the songs and showing ratings. :D ex. hit num 5 to rate it 5 stars.

  4. John Says:

    That’s actually doable with Applescript, and there are tons of scripts around for that. Use iKey or something similar to map the script to your number keys while in Front Row or iTunes and off you go.

  5. Marvin Says:

    Exiting Front Row is done the same way as entering Front Row (Command + Escape) if you press (Command + Option + Escape) you will force quit Front Row!
    Selection can also be done by pressing Return key.

  6. Marvin Says:

    TIP: You can also control Front Row with a Sony Ericsson (.hid files) or by using Salling Clicker.

  7. William Penn Says:

    A better way to quit Front Row:

    Just quit like you do any other app: Command-Q

    This quits out properly without using the force quit combination and without traversing up the menus.

  8. GanjaManja Says:

    My findings:

    I was actually looking to find the shorcut to set the rating on a song (and find that there isn’t on unfortunetely… sucks, I’m not installing 3 programs/softwares just for that) and found that:

    Apple-Esc: turns on Front Row
    Apple-Option-Esc: *Immediately* quits front row
    Any non-binded key: Quits Front row nicely (with spinny effect etc.)

    Up: Vol up
    Down: Vol Down
    Right: next track
    hold right: fast forward
    Left: Prev. track
    hold Left: rewind

    space/enter: pause/select

    this is just for the iTunes/music control though. Basically totally intuitive. Not a single hidden feature either, like Ratings!

  9. Kenneth Says:

    if one were to purchase a USB IR adapter, could one use the apple remote to control Front Row on a 12″ powerbook G4?

  10. John Says:

    One no.

    One is better off with one Keyspan DMR.

  11. Brad Says:

    Anyone know how to rate songs while in FrontRow?

  12. Mark Robinson Says:


    Anyone know the shortcut for sleep via the apple remote (hold down the play button for a few secs) I need a keyboard alternative.

  13. John Says:

    Option-Apple-Power or Option-Apple-Eject will sleep the machine.

    Additional keyboard shortcuts can be found here:

  14. Mark Robinson Says:

    Thanks for the reply john. I’m looking for the delayed sleep with animation that the apple remote gives you so i can program my sony ericsson phone with it. I need the delay to disconnect the bluetooth remote link before sleeping otherwise if i try to exit the remote software on my phone it wakes the mac up again.

    complicated i know :)