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

Have you ever encountered a cryptic error message on your Mac that reads “errordomain=nscocoaerrordomain&errormessage=could not find the specified shortcut?&errorcode=4”? If so, you’re not alone. This error message can be frustrating, but fear not! This blog post will break down the message, explain its causes, and guide you through troubleshooting steps to get your shortcuts working smoothly again.

Decoding the Error Message

  • errordomain=nscocoaerrordomain: This indicates the error originates from Apple’s Cocoa framework, which forms the foundation for many macOS applications.
  • errormessage=could not find the specified shortcut: This clarifies the issue – the application is unable to locate a specific shortcut you’ve assigned for an action.
  • errorcode=4: This code within the Cocoa framework signifies a “file not found” error.

Potential Causes of the Error

Incorrect Shortcut Configuration: You might have mistyped the shortcut keys while assigning them within the application.

Conflicting Shortcuts: Another application might be using the same shortcut, causing a conflict.

Missing Resources: The application might be referencing a shortcut linked to a file that has been deleted or moved.

Application Issues: In rare cases, the application itself could be experiencing glitches causing it to misinterpret shortcuts.

Outdated Software: Outdated macOS or application versions can sometimes lead to compatibility issues with saved shortcuts.

Troubleshooting Steps

Verify Shortcut Configuration: Double-check the assigned shortcut keys within the application for typos or incorrect modifier keys (like Command, Option, Shift, etc.).

Review Conflicting Shortcuts: Check System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts and ensure no other applications are using the same keyboard combination.

Reset Application Shortcuts: Many applications allow resetting shortcuts to defaults within their settings. This can help eliminate any custom shortcuts causing issues.

Update Applications and macOS: Ensure your applications and macOS are updated to the latest versions to address any known compatibility issues.

Reinstall the Application: If the above steps don’t resolve the issue, consider reinstalling the application as a last resort. This can potentially fix any internal errors affecting shortcuts.

Additional Tips

    • If you’re comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, searching online forums or developer documentation for the specific application might reveal solutions tailored to that software.
    • Consider using a third-party application manager like Karabiner-Elements [Karabiner Elements] to manage and customize keyboard shortcuts across your entire system.


The “errordomain=nscocoaerrordomain&errormessage=could not find the specified shortcut.&errorcode=4″ error can be a nuisance, but understanding its meaning and following the troubleshooting steps outlined above should help you get your shortcuts back on track. By carefully checking your shortcut configurations and exploring potential causes, you can restore your workflow efficiency and avoid this error in the future.


Q: What if I’m still getting the error after following the troubleshooting steps?

A: If none of the basic solutions work, consider these options:

  • Search online forums or developer documentation specific to the application you’re experiencing the error with. There might be known workarounds or solutions specific to that software.
  • Contact Apple Support or the developer of the application for further assistance. They may have insights into the issue or offer additional troubleshooting steps.

Q: Is there a way to manage shortcuts across all my applications?

A: Yes! Third-party applications like Karabiner-Elements allow you to create and manage custom keyboard shortcuts across your entire system, providing more flexibility and customization options.

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