Skip to main content

Send us a Topic or Tip

Have a suggestion for the blog? Perhaps a topic you'd like us to write about? If so, we'd love to hear from you! Fancy yourself a writer and have a tech tip, handy computer trick, or "how to" to share? Let us know what you'd like to contribute!

Thanks for reaching out!

QuickTip – Keep Front Row from Accidentally Launching While You Work.

frontrowSince about OS X 10.4 or so, Apple has included an application—Front Row—that allows you to play movies and music stored in your iTunes library, in your Movies folder and DVDs with a simple, easy-to-read interface similar to the one on the AppleTV. This is great if you have, say, a Mac mini attached to your home entertainment center or are using an iMac in place of a television in a dorm room. (I’m sure there are other combinations as well, but I’m not going to waste half an article rattling them off…)

However, there is a somewhat annoying aspect to Front Row. Command-Esc, the command used to launch Front Row from the keyboard, is very close to Command-`(just to the left of the 1, underneath Esc), which allows you to switch between the windows in a single app.

As I use the latter command often (I usually have 2 or three browser windows open at once), and I am (for lack of a better term) a klutz, I often hit Command-Escape by accident, which of course sets off Front Row, which is usually then followed by a rather colorful stream of expletives.

Finally, I had enough. It was time to stop Front Row’s unintended launching once and for all. Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to do.

In your System Preferences is the Keyboard & Mouse preference pane. Under the “Keyboard Shortcuts” section, there is a list of System-wide shortcuts (there’s also a section for applications, but that’s a different article altogether).


Near the top, you should see an option to “Hide and show Front Row.” All you need to do is uncheck this option, and you don’t need to worry about accidentally launching Front Row any more.

Of course, should you wish to launch Front Row intentionally, you can find it in your Applications folder.

Now, stop watching videos of cats and get back to work.

OWC Chris S.
the authorOWC Chris S.
Be Sociable, Share This Post!

Leave a Reply


  • This doesn’t sound like any of the standard US keyboards we have hanging around the office here; it sounds more like a UK keyboard, which I unfortunately, don’t have for reference.

    However, for the purposes of this tip, which is to disable Front Row’s Command-Esc key command, unchecking the option in System Preferences as described above should still work.

  • Can’t figure what exactly may, or may not be, the problem here Chris. In my book, – MBP of course ;) – the US key board places the sign `next to the cap key, not under escape which is used for the sign §.
    What am I missing?.