Uk Macbook Air, Unable to Use Hash Key in Chrome or Brave (#ItsBroken)

If you’re unable to use hash key in Chrome or Brave Browser on your UK Macbook Air then you probably have a keyboard shortcut set up somewhere. This post will help you find it and fix it

Unable to Use Hash Key in Chrome or Brave
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The Macbook Air in the UK has the hashtag symbol as an ‘option’ key on the number 3. That is to say, to get your Macbook Air to produce a you need to hold down the Option key and press 3. If you are unable to use hash key in Chrome or Brave then this might be the answer for you.

You might want to do this when using Twitter (now known as X…) or Mastodon for example.

A Clash Of Extensions

I’ve just discovered quite by accident that this was down, in my case, to a particular extension I have installed to help me create these web posts. In my case, the extension is the ‘Change Case’ extension.

Unable to produce # symbol in Chrome on Macbook
Change Case Extension uses Option 3 – the same as the # symbol

This extension allows keyboard shortcuts to be defined so that you can highlight text, then press the defined shortcut to change the case.

The default that’s chosen is Option 3. This means that if you have this extension loaded and don’t change the default keybinding you’ll lose the ability to produce the # symbol in the browser.

Change the Default Key Shortcut

To change the default keyboard shortcut you’ll need to open the extensions settings page. On Brave this is done by typing brave://extensions into the address bar. It’s probably chrome://extensions on Chrome but I don’t use that very often so I don’t know.

Then you need to look for the Change Case extension in the list like the picture below;

Uk Macbook Air, Unable to Use Hash Key in Chrome or Brave (#ItsBroken) 1

Click on the Details, then look for the Extension Options and then Open Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts. You can then change any of the keyboard shortcuts to something that makes more sense for your keyboard layout. I use CMD-Shift-T but you might prefer something else.

Uk Macbook Air, Unable to Use Hash Key in Chrome or Brave (#ItsBroken) 2
Change the Keyboard Shortcut in Change Case Extension to restore the # Symbol on Macbook Air in the UK

The Change Case Extension defaults to using Option-3 for the Title Case setting. If you’re not on a UK Macbook this is probably a reasonable default. But in the UK the £ Symbol is used on Shift-3 key and so it clashes. Other countries keyboards probably won’t have this problem.

I discovered this by accident today and since I couldn’t find the answer anywhere else on the web when I went looking a week or two ago I thought I’d put out here in case it helps anyone else.


If you can’t use your keyboard to create the # symbol on a UK Keyboard layout Macbook it may be because something has overridden the Option-3 keyboard setting. In this case it was an extension called Change Case on Brave, but it could be any extension that overrides this keyboard sequence. In this post I’ve shown you what the cause might be and how to change the shortcut in Chrome and Brave to fix the problem.

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