Mac OS X’s Finder: Getting rid of that pesky Bluetooth keyboard shortcut

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
September 7th, 2004 • 4:36 am

The Finder in Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) has an undocumented keyboard shortcut to access Bluetooth-related features, which are of absolutely no use to someone (like me) who doesn’t have any Bluetooth devices. The shortcut in question is command-shift-B.

The trouble with this shortcut is that it’s dangerously similar to the very important shortcut for creating a new folder, which is command-shift-N. On my Canadian-French keyboard, the B key is right next to the N key and, of course, sometimes when I type command-shift-N, I hit a bit of the B key as well, and Mac OS X registers a command-shift-B shortcut instead.

Even though I am not using and have never used a Bluetooth device, Mac OS X insists on launching the Bluetooth File Exchange utility, displaying an alert saying that I don’t have a Bluetooth device connected to my machine, and requiring my attention. What a pain!

Fortunately, Panther also lets you add user-defined keyboard shortcuts to Mac OS X applications, including the Finder. So I solved this problem by going to the “Keyboard and Mouse” control pane and adding a command-shift-B keyboard shortcut for a less intrusive Finder command such as the “Show Clipboard” command, which does not have a keyboard shortcut by default. Since the “Show Clipboard” command comes before the Bluetooth command in the Finder’s internal keyboard shortcut hierarchy, the “Show Clipboard” command takes precedence and now, when I accidentally hit command-shift-B, I get a Finder window with the contents of the Clipboard, which is far less intrusive and easier to dismiss.)

It’s not a perfect solution (I’d rather get Mac OS X to do nothing when I hit command-shift-B by accident), but it’s better than the intrusive Bluetooth File Exchange utility!

Still, I don’t think that Apple should add such keyboard shortcuts by default to the Finder, which are of no use to people without Bluetooth devices. Or at the very least, the command should be inactive when no Bluetooth device is detected!

6 Responses to “Mac OS X’s Finder: Getting rid of that pesky Bluetooth keyboard shortcut”

  1. Pierre Igot says:

    Evan: My confusion came from the fact that this command-shift-B shortcut only appears to be working from within the Finder. But I can see now that it’s also supposed to be available in other applications — although it doesn’t seem to be working right as far as I can tell (which is fine with me, of course, since I don’t want it to work).

    I’ll give this Service Manager util a try… even though it’s only beta stuff.

  2. Olivier says:

    Command-Shift-B is not exactly an undocumented Finder keyboard shortcut but a Service keyboard shortcut. If you look in [Application Menu] > Services, you’ll see the Send File To Bluetooth Device menu item (along with its shortcut), which is registered by Bluetooth File Exchange.

    You can use Service Manager to deactivate it. I used it do deactivate Nisus Thesaurus’ shortcuts that conflict with Command-< for window switching on a Swiss French keyboard.

  3. Pierre Igot says:

    Interesting… There must still be some connection the Finder, however, because the “Send File to Bluetooth Device” command only has the command-shift-B shortcut when you are in the Finder. If you are in another application, the command is still there in the Services menu, but the keyboard shortcut is no longer there — hence my assumption that the keyboard shortcut was part of the Finder feature set.

    Thanks for the link to the Service Manage tool! The page does say that it cannot modify the Finder, though…

  4. Evan Gross says:

    It’s not a Finder-related thing at all. It’s a service provided by the Bluetooth File Exchange utility. You will only generally see it in the Services menu while in the Finder because it operates on files, not on text or images. You’ll see it in other apps that deal with files (for instance, it’s active in Interarchy 7).

    I use that Service Manager utility – on Panther it’s easy to get a totally overloaded Services Menu…

  5. luca says:

    The application (actually it is a preference pane) Service Manager is quite handy. I’d like to understand how MacOS X manage the different services. I often find services that I don’t need and just take away hefty room. So, the question, are the services managed like the preference.panes, through folders or in some other way?


  6. Marc says:

    Services are stored in an app’s info.plist file in the Contents folder of the application package. When you log in, LaunchServices scans all your applications and looks for ones that offer services (as listed in the info.plist). You can manually remove a service by editing that info.plist file and removing any NSServices entries, or just use Service Manager at It works perfectly fine. What’s nice about the manual edit is you can do it as superuser to even remove the finder services, etc. Note that you have to log out once you modify an info.plist in order to get it to register in the services menu (because of the initial scan by LaunchServices). I’m not sure how ServiceManager forces that menu to refresh without a logout.

    Some services are stand-alone (not related to an app). Those are put in a Services folder in your library or /Library (or /System/Library) and can be deleted, e.g. I hate spellcheck so just deleted AppleSpell.service from my services folder.


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