Minimize and Hide All Windows in Mac OS X with Command+Option+H+M

Feb 7, 2012 - 19 Comments

Hide All and Minimize in OS X Lion

By combining the Hide All shortcut with the minimize keyboard shortcut in Mac OS X, you can use a third ‘Minimize and Hide All’ shortcut by hitting the Command+Option+H+M keys together.


The effect is instantaneous and immediately clears the display of any and all application windows, without closing or quitting any of the apps. As the title suggests, rather than closing anything, this keyboard shortcut will hide all other applications and windows, in addition to minimizing the currently active application or window into the Dock, effectively clearing the entire screen and giving you a blank view of the desktop on the Mac.

If you have Dock icon translucency enabled as shown in the screenshot, the hidden apps will appear as translucent. Meanwhile, the minimized windows from the foremost app will be in the Dock separately, on the right-hand side of the Dock as minimized windows appear as usual.

This works the same in just about every version of OS X tested, from Lion to Mavericks to Yosemite. Heads up to @sambrowne for the great little keyboard shortcut tip. If you have any little-known yet awesome keystrokes like this for OS X, let us know!

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

19 Comments

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  1. Davis says:

    Nice little trick

  2. vdiv says:

    Or if you’ve been using Windows for the past 15 years it’s Win-D

    • James says:

      Maybe you’re new, or perhaps just stupid. I’ll clue you in on a little secret. We don’t give a rats @ss what Windows users can do, or for how long they’ve been able to do it.

    • SW says:

      That’s for showing the desktop, not minimizing and hiding windows. We’ve always been able to show the desktop on OS X, just like Win+D. But can you still see open windows/applications in the task bar. This shortcut minimizes all windows and hides them from the dock, so that it appears as if no windows are even open.

  3. TJ says:

    I’ve been trying to do this for ages! Thanks!

  4. jsherk says:

    Somebody finally figured out how to Show Desktop correctly:
    http://www.everydaysoftware.net/showdesktop/index.html

  5. Ricky M. says:

    It appears that this will not work unless you have single-app mode enabled (Dock icon translucency). Without it, the hotkey will hide all except the top window.

    Thanks for the great tip though, it’s very useful with translucency enabled.

  6. Rajiv S. says:

    In 10.7.x (don’t know about previous versions of OS X), an EASY way to toggle back and forth between a blank desktop & your current open windows is by pressing ⌘F3.

  7. […] works anywhere with the currently active window. You can modify it by adding an Option+H as well to minimize and hide everything including the currently active window with […]

  8. Kurt says:

    How do I get back/reverse to all my open windows, after using
    Command+Option+H+M?

    I know I can TAB through the windows, but I want them ALL back at the same time before doing the Command+Option+H+M command.

    Best KnockKnock

  9. Morgan says:

    Thank you for this very useful tip!

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