Hide All Windows on a Mac with Keyboard Shortcuts
We’re going to share several approaches to hide app windows in Mac OS X by using keyboard shortcuts. This is a great collection of tips that will undoubtedly speed up your Mac workflow once you remember the keystrokes and understand how they work.
To be completely clear, hiding a window does just what it sounds like, it hides the app window(s) but does not close them. All of the hidden windows can be made visible again by choosing the application again.
How to Hide ALL Windows in the Active Mac OS X App Instantly
If you need to quickly hide all windows within an active Mac OS X application, just hit Command+H and all the apps windows will become hidden. You can then manually retrieve the windows of the app by clicking through onto the applications Dock icon.
How to Hide All Windows *Except* the Currently Active App / Window
Another great alternative is to hide all the windows on screen except for the currently active window or application. To do this, hit Command+Option+H at any time. This is a great trick to help focus on the task at hand, as literally everything but the most forefront app will be hidden instantly on the Mac screen. Again you can resurface those hidden windows by clicking on the apps Dock icon.
I would recommend combining both of these tips with the ability to make hidden application icons translucent within the Dock, which is activated through a simple Terminal command and it helps to determine which apps are hidden by a visual indicator that is quite obvious. It works great with the use of the aforementioned commands.
Hiding Apps & Windows from the Application Menu in OS X
Any active application menu item can also be used to either hide the current app, or to hide other apps. Just pull down the currently active apps menu bar item (for example, in Safari you would click the Safari menu) and choose either “Hide Appname” or “Hide Others”.
Those menu options are what the keyboard shortcuts are linked to.
Hide away from active apps by Option + Clicking elsewhere
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.
Remember, hiding windows is not the same as closing windows, though there is a keystroke to close all windows in Mac OS X too. Equally useful to know, just different!