Hide all Windows on a Mac

Oct 26, 2010 - 7 Comments

If you need to quickly hide all windows within a Mac OS X application, hit Command+H and all the apps windows will become hidden. You can then manually retrieve the windows of through the applications Dock icon.

Hide all windows except the currently active window

Another great alternative is to hide all the windows on screen except for the currently active window. To do this, hit Command+Option+H at any time. This is a great trick to help focus on the task at hand.

I would recommend combining both of these tips with the ability to make hidden application icons translucent within the Dock, it’s a simple Terminal command to activate and it helps to determine which apps are hidden by the use of the aforementioned commands.

You can also hold down the Option key and click away from a Mac application and it will hide the application or windows being clicked away from.

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Posted by: Jeff Hurst in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

7 Comments

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  1. riddletr says:

    When recommending this sort of trick, it would be helpful if you would specify which versions of OS X this works in and how it works, if you know. I just tried it in 10.5.8 while my active window was Safari. I also had other Safari windows open plus a Text Edit window and a Preview window open. The only windows to dissapear were the non-Safari windows. All the Safari windows (not tabs) stayed open. Is there a way to get them back as quickly as they are killed?

  2. riddletr says:

    Forgot to mention. Command+Option+H did not merely “hide” the non active applications, the windows in those applications were gone. The applications themselves were not closed though because they were still active in the Dock. I don’t find this trick of much use if you can’t back to the killed windows easily. Perhaps it should be called “Kill What You Are Not Using” trick. OR, maybe I’m missing something here.

    • Paul says:

      The shortcut hides all non-active application windows. You can just click on the active applications in the Dock to retrieve the windows again.

  3. Brad says:

    So you have to click on each app one at a time to unhide them again? Not much of a shortcut is it.

  4. […] combining the Hide All shortcut with the minimize keyboard shortcut in Mac OS X Lion, you can use a third ‘Minimize […]

  5. […] Inactive Apps – Use Command+Option+H to hide all applications and windows except for the active app, also you can Option+Click out of a specific […]

  6. Nathan says:

    You can also use CMD+TAB to switch back to any open (and hidden) app. I use that all the time and almost never use my dock since I hate clicking too much with my mouse.

    My workflow: CMD+H to hide apps I’m not using for a while and use CMD+TAB to quickly get them back if I need them.

    I find minimizing to the dock and having to click the icon in the dock to get the window(s) back too cumbersome, slow and too reliant on the mouse.

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