How to use Hotkeys in OBS

Written by on January 27, 2019

Here’s a great OBS tutorial video on Hotkeys with Paul Richards from the StreamGeeks. This video will demonstrate Open Broadcaster Software’s hotkey functionality for scene switching and more. If you are a one-man video production or simply want to make your life easier using OBS than Hotkeys are a must use option.

Hotkeys in OBS

Hotkeys in OBS

Inside the Open Broadcaster Software settings menu, you can access the Hotkeys area. Hotkeys can be assigned to basic video production tools such as scene transitions and cuts. You will notice that each of your scenes inside OBS can have multiple hotkeys assigned to it. For each scene inside OBS, you can create hotkeys for Switching to the Scene and quickly showing or hiding an input. This is particularly useful if you need to deal with overlaying multiple images inside a single OBS scene. For example, in the OBS hotkeys area, you could assign a show input for multiple .png files that are stacked one after the other inside your OBS scene. In this way, you can use the OBS layering system to reveal images inside your scene using shortcuts.

Default OBS Hotkey Shortcuts

Default OBS Hotkey Shortcuts

By default, OBS hotkeys functionality is effectively disabled. To use the hotkey function you will need to select a key you would like to define for use with the provided functions. Here is a list of default hotkey functions available to OBS:

  1. Start Streaming
  2. Stop Streaming
  3. Stop Streaming (discard delay)
  4. Start Recording
  5. Stop Recording
  6. Start Replay Buffer (if enabled)
  7. Stop Replay Buffer
  8. Studio Mode
  9. Transition
  10. Quick Transition (for all setup)

OBS Hotkeys Question:

Will hotkeys work if OBS is not the foreground application? For example, if you are using a browser or another application in the foreground and you want to switch scenes, do you need to click the OBS window so it’s in the foreground before the hotkeys will work?

OBS Hotkeys Answer:

Yes, on my Windows 10 computer OBS hotkeys work even with Chrome selected. Because is this the space bar isn’t great for transitions as it is used so frequently. Because of this setting up more advanced hotkeys may be important.


If you are serious about using Open Broadcaster Software effectively hotkeys are going to be an essential tool. When you are in the midst of live video production the value of quickly recalling a function is incredibly important. You can reduce the number of steps it takes to move through your custom video production workflow without the need for extra mouse clicks. Setting up your hotkeys in OBS will be a rewarding process and some upfront planning could go a long way. Hopefully, through watching this video and reading blog post, you can start to uncover easy ways to start implementing hotkeys inside of your video production.

Check out our other articles about Open Broadcaster Software below:

  • Updated - How to connect OBS and Zoom with VoiceMeeter and Headphone Monitoring - here.
  • Learn how to use OBS for remote production here.
  • How to connect OBS with Zoom, here
  • OBS vs vMix a complete review here.
  • How to use Zoom for Church Meetings and Worship here.
  • Here are the top 10 OBS features you need to know about
  • Getting dropped frames in OBS. Here are some new feature to help with that. 
  • Take a look at OBS 24 and all the new feature here
  • Increase your productivity with OBS and learn how to use hotkeys here
  • Learn how to setup animated stinger transitions in OBS here
  • Learn how to install the NDI plugin for OBS (and why you should) here
  • Learn more about the latest OBS user interface (UPDATED for 2019) here
  • Make your audio in OBS sound great with these VST 2 plugins here
  • Learn how to fix the most common OBS issues! Audio and Video Sync! here
  • Learn how to use OBS 20+ here
  • Learn how to use NDI Cameras with OBS here
  • Learn how to use the OBS Multiview here
  • Learn OBS quickly with our ZERO to SIXTY tutorial video here
  • Learn more about OBS settings and optimizing your settings for live streaming here 
  • Learn how to record videos using OBS here
  • New OBS 24 feature allows broadcasters the ability to pause and restart video recordings. Learn more here.
  • Learn how to add live annotations over your OBS productions here
  • Learn how to add a webcam and set up a picture in picture scene inside OBS here
  • Learn how to crop and rotate inputs inside OBS here
  • Learn how to use color correction tools and LUTs here
  • Learn the best way to connect OBS and Zoom here
  • Learn how to connect OBS and Teams here
  • Learn how to use countdown timers in Teams here
  • Learn where OBS recordings are saved here
  • Learn how to live stream to YouTube and Facebook with OBS for free here
  • Learn about OBS 27's new features here


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