How to Remap the F4 Key on M1 Macs to Something Else Than Spotlight

January 23, 2022

I don’t use Spotlight anymore for many years already. I don’t find it fast enough and the way it keeps re-organizing the results all the time makes me miss often what I want to select. I used to use Alfred instead, but I started using Raycast a few months ago and sticked with it so far.

Fast forward to last week, I finally received my new M1 Pro MacBook Pro and it has the new keyboard layout that Apple is progressively bringing to its laptop range.

The new keyboard (source Apple)

The F4 key on the new layout allows to quickly[1] access Spotlight. Logically, I wanted to replace this with Raycast and found it very easy to do using Karabiner.

To install it, just run brew install karabiner-elements.

After the initial launch, I just had to add the following section in the config file ~/.config/karabiner/karabiner.json (under profiles/fn_function_keys):

    "from": {
        "key_code": "f4"
    "to": [
            "shell_command": "open -a '/Applications/'"

[1]: even though I guess nothing beats the speed of ”⌘ + space” for me