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

Feb 7, 2012 - 27 Comments

Hide All and Minimize in OS X Lion

By combining the Hide All windows shortcut with the minimize keyboard shortcut in Mac OS X, you can use a third ‘Minimize and Hide All’ shortcut that both hides and minimizes all windows open on a Mac.

This hide and minimize all trick is accomplished by hitting the Command+Option+H+M keys together.

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

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.

Hide and minimize all Mac windows

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, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Rafael says:

    Oh my GOD ! Thanks for the tip, I’ve looked at it forever, I don’t care if I need to use 11 fingers, so useful !!.. Following you now =)

  2. Thanks for the tip. This is a contortionist shortcut though.

    • Paul says:

      You’re welcome Khurt! Admittedly the shortcut is a bitch of a stretch and could be easier, but it does the job.

      And unrelated but if I recall correctly, you’re a very longtime reader! I certainly recognize your personal webpage. Anyway, hope this helped and thanks for still reading from time to time…

      Cheers, Paul

  3. I says:

    doesn’t work when you active application in fullscreen mode. Given the fact I use my applications only in fullscreen, your trick doesn’t work for me in fact.

  4. ravindranath says:

    :( Doesn’t work on OSX El-Capitan.

  5. dklima says:

    Wasn’t the Command+Option+Click [on desktop] supposed to do the same?

  6. Morgan says:

    Thank you for this very useful tip!

  7. Kurt says:

    How do I get back/reverse to all my open windows, after using

    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

    • E says:

      Hi, Kurt,

      Did you ever find out how to do this :)!?!

      I’m in that very situation at present,
      (And it even happened inadvertently!)

      And would love to know how to get back to my current project :D.

      Thanks so much in advance to you,
      As well as to whomever can&will also say how to do so.


  8. […] 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 […]

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. jsherk says:

    Somebody finally figured out how to Show Desktop correctly:

  12. TJ says:

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

  13. 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.

  14. Davis says:

    Nice little trick

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