The ever-present Help menu in your Mac's menu bar is an easily overlooked aspect of macOS, but it's home to some surprising and extremely handy features that every user can benefit from.

how to use macos help menu
Apart from being a useful first port of call for any queries you may have about the application in use or your Mac in general, it also serves as a menu navigator. Let's take a closer look.

How to Use the Mac Help Menu

You can use the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-/ to quickly access the macOS Help Menu. At the top of the Help menu is a Search field for typing in the subject you need help with. Below this, you'll also see a direct link to the help documentation for the currently active application, which is useful for looking up topics manually.

how to use macos help menu 2
If it's an Apple app you're using, search results come from the official macOS User Guide, while the direct help link below the search field takes you straight to the relevant section of the guide, or in the case of Finder, the main contents page.

how to use macos help 3
It's important to remember that if the active app is a third-party one, the contents of the Help menu can differ depending on how much effort the developer has put into it. For example, some apps may include FAQs, manuals, or links to online help, while others may offer very little.

How to Use Help's Action Search Feature

Another neat built-in feature of the Help menu is its ability to point to available actions in other menus for the currently active app.

how to use macos help menu 4
Next time you type into the Help menu's Search field, check to see if the results include any Menu Items. Hover over one of these with your mouse, and macOS will locate the action for you by pointing an arrow at it in the corresponding menu. Hit Enter, and the action will be performed for you.

how to use macos help menu 5

Depending on the app, this feature can even extend to contextual menu functions. For instance, you can use Safari's Help field to search your bookmarks and recent browsing history for keywords to quickly navigate back to web pages. Next time you're in your favorite app, try out its Help menu functions to see how deeply they've been implemented.

Top Rated Comments

edgonzalez32 Avatar
44 months ago
How to call Apple Support.
How to read MacRumors help articles.
How to read English.
Don't bash. When I first got a Mac In 07, after graduating hs, I had no one to show me how to do the simplest of tasks. And I know my way around a computer.

Tips like these are valuable to almost anyone. If they're not to you, there's no reason to be rude.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacHiavelli Avatar
44 months ago

You can use the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-/ to quickly access the macOS Help Menu. At the top of the Help menu is a Search field for typing in the subject you need help with. Below this, you'll also see a direct link to the help documentation for the currently active application, which is useful for looking up topics manually.
According to Apple, you're inadvertently giving key commands incorrectly. For Help, it should be COMMAD QUESTION MARK, not COMMAND SHIFT SLASH. This (1) makes sense as the user wants to ask a question in looking for help, and (2) the slash and the question mark aren't always positioned together on all keyboards, so telling people to type COMMAND SHIFT SLASH might well lead them up a blind alley.

https://developer.apple.com/design/human-interface-guidelines/macos/user-interaction/keyboard/



Attachment Image
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
44 months ago
How to call Apple Support.
How to read MacRumors help articles.
How to read English.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sailmac Avatar
44 months ago
These articles may seem trivial to users who already know the commands, tips, and tricks being explained. In my case, I've been using Macs regularly since 1990 and appreciate learning things I didn't know, along with reminders about things I've forgotten. Thanks, MR.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
szw-mapple fan Avatar
44 months ago
The help menu search is one of my favorite things about macOS. You can just hit the keyboard shortcut and start typing what you want. Really handy when you want something quickly without knowing which menu it’s under.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheFluffyDuck Avatar
44 months ago
This is pretty meta guys
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
apple music

Apple Increases Apple Music Subscription Price for Students in Several Countries

Sunday May 22, 2022 1:57 am PDT by
Apple has silently increased the price of its Apple Music subscription for college students in several countries, with the company emailing students informing them their subscription would be slightly increasing in price moving forward. The price change is not widespread and, based on MacRumors' findings, will impact Apple Music student subscribers in but not limited to Australia, the...
iPhone 13 Face ID

'High-End' iPhone 14 Front-Facing Camera to Cost Apple Three Times More

Monday May 23, 2022 7:05 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 will feature a more expensive "high-end" front-facing camera with autofocus, partly made in South Korea for the first time, ET News reports. Apple reportedly ousted a Chinese candidate to choose LG Innotek, a South Korean company, to supply the iPhone 14's front-facing camera alongside Japan's Sharp. The company is said to have originally planned to switch to LG for the iPhone...