Keyboard Shortcuts to Minimize and Hide Applications in Mac

For Mac users, if you have plenty of applications running, you might find that your desktop is cluttered with all sort of application windows. Here are several keyboard shortcuts that you can use to quickly de-clutter your desktop.

Access the desktop

If you just want to quickly access the files in the desktop, simply press F11 (Fn + F11 for laptop) to move all the windows to the corner and reveal the desktop. Pressing F11 again will restore the windows. Note that this function does not minimize or hide the application windows. They are moved to the corner temporary and they will restore to their original position when you open another application.

Hide all applications, except for the active one

Hiding an application is different from minimizing it. Hiding the application just make it disappear on the screen, and it will reappear when you do a "Command + Tab" selection. Minimizing an application will bring it to the dock and require you to manually reactivate it from the dock (the "Command + Tab" selection won't work).

To hide the active application, simply press "Command + H". To hide all applications except for the active one, press "Command + Option + H".

To hide all applications, you just have to make sure that no application window is active. Clicking the desktop will usually do the trick. Click the desktop first and press "Command + Option + H". All applications will be gone.

Hide all applications and minimize the active application

Another useful keyboard shortcut is "Command + Option + H + M". This will hide all the application and minimize the active application, instantly de-clutter your desktop.

Note: For an even faster solution, simply install and place the DisplayDesktop app in your dock. With a single click, all your application windows are gone.

Damien Oh

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox