Quickly Minimize Windows in Mac OS X with a Keyboard Shortcut or Double-Click

May 21, 2012 - 16 Comments

Faster methods to minimize windows in Mac OS X

Virtually everyone knows you can click the yellow pill button in the upper left corner of a window to minimize a window in Mac OS X, but there are actually a few other ways minimize windows faster than that. The first is my preferred method which is a quick keystroke, and the other lets you double-click anywhere to send a window hiding.

The Minimize Window Keyboard Shortcut: Command+M

By far the fastest way to minimize windows is the Command+M keystroke, which 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 Command+Option+H+M

Double-Clicking Title Bars to Minimize Windows in OS X

Longtime Mac users should be familiar with this feature which lets you double-click anywhere in the titlebar to minimize a window. To do this in OS X, you’ll have to enable the feature in preferences:

  • Open System Preferences and click on “General”
  • Look under the scroll bar section and check the box next to “Double-click a window’s title bar to minimize”

Double Click a Window Title Bar to Minimize it in Mac OS X

This feature has been around in various forms since the early days of Mac OS 7, 8, and 9, long before OS X came along.

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

16 Comments

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  1. Tim says:

    Window shading was a much more elegant and handy approach, at least for some situations. I rather wish Apple had never dropped that feature. It’s also annoying that Mission Control does not show minimized windows.

    • Luke says:

      Agreed, window shading was great! It’s a shame no third party has come through with an implementation of that, it was genius in OS 8!

  2. John says:

    I like the keyboard shortcut command+m. I just wish there was a keyboard shortcut to bring the window back from the dock. This is the missing feature that has kept me from using command+m, since you need to double click the windows to re-expand them.

    • Alexey says:

      Will be happy to know this too!

      • Alexey says:

        Cmnd + Tab to choose application, Cmnd + Alt to un-minimize minimizes window!

        • John says:

          Thanks for the tip Alexey.

          Unfortunately for me the command + alt does not un-minimize windows on 2 iMacs i’ve tried this on. One running Lion and the other Leopard. I even checked in system prefs under keyboard>keyboard shortcuts to see if I could assign this myself but cannot.

          • Mario says:

            First use CMD+Tab to give focus to the application, then press Option key without releasing CMD key. Then release CMD key while still holding Option key.

          • lewstherin says:

            @Mario: Worked for me. Thank you so much!

            @John: Switch to another program using cmd+tab first. Now switch back using cmd+tab holding it for a little time. You hold until your list of active programs pops up. Once your program comes into focus (a box appears around the icon), do as Alexey told you. Press the option key and then release the command key. Vioala!

        • cassiofm says:

          Doesn’t work for me either. I totally agree with John, wish there was a shortcut do undo it

  3. Scott says:

    “Double-click a window’s title bar to minimize” does not work on Twitter.app for me. So far it is the only app that will not allow me to do so. Anyone else having this issue?

  4. John says:

    I meant single-click to re-expand, but you still need to use the mouse.

  5. Bojan says:

    It doesn’t work for me at all. I can’t seem to find that option in general. I am running Mountain Lion.

  6. John M. says:

    It doesn’t work in Mountain Lion for me either. It was quite a search to find this thread, too! Are we the only ones who used double-click to minimize the Title Bar?

  7. kad says:

    it’s Under The Dock Preference Pane Now.

  8. Puntre says:

    Took me a ridiculously long time to give up trying and search for this issue (10.8, couldn’t find double-click to minimize); time to get up and make some coffee. Thanks all for thread.

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