Mac Minimize All Windows: Quick Tips and Tricks for a Clutter-Free Desktop


Michael Collins

Ever find yourself with a cluttered desktop full of open windows that you need to minimize quickly? Whether you’re trying to clear your screen for a presentation, or you just like a tidy workspace, here’s how to minimize all windows on a Mac in a flash.

Step by Step Tutorial to Minimize All Windows on a Mac

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to understand that minimizing all windows on a Mac can help you quickly declutter your screen, and get to the desktop without closing any apps or losing any progress.

Step 1: Use the Command + Option + M Shortcut

Press the Command (⌘), Option, and M keys on your keyboard simultaneously.

This keyboard shortcut instantly minimizes all open windows into the Dock, which is the bar of icons usually found at the bottom of your screen. This is the quickest way to clear your screen without closing any applications.

Step 2: Use Mission Control

Swipe up with three or four fingers on your trackpad, or press the F3 key or Control + Up Arrow on your keyboard.

Mission Control provides an overview of all your open windows, desktop spaces, and any full-screen apps. When you’re in Mission Control, you can click the ‘Show Desktop’ bar on the top right of your screen, or swipe your trackpad with three fingers to quickly push all windows aside and show the desktop.

Step 3: Right-click on the Dock

Right-click (or Control-click) on an application’s icon in the Dock and select ‘Hide Others’.

This method won’t minimize the windows, but it will hide all windows except for the app you’re currently using. It’s a great way to focus on one task and clear away distractions.

After completing these steps, your Mac’s desktop will be clear of all windows, giving you a clean slate. You can then click on any app in the Dock to bring it back up, or click on the desktop to start fresh.

Tips for Minimizing All Windows on a Mac

  • If you have multiple desktops, this method will only minimize windows on the current desktop.
  • If you hold down the Option key while clicking the green ‘zoom’ button on any window, all windows from that application will minimize.
  • To quickly show the desktop without minimizing windows, use the Command + F3 shortcut (also known as ‘Show Desktop’).
  • For an uncluttered Dock, right-click on the Dock separator and choose ‘Turn Hiding On’ to hide the Dock when it’s not in use.
  • Customize your trackpad gestures in System Preferences to create shortcuts that work best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I minimize a single window on a Mac?

Click on the yellow ‘minimize’ button in the top left corner of the window, or use the Command + M shortcut.

Minimizing a single window is straightforward. This sends the window into the Dock, where you can click on its icon to bring it back up.

Can I undo minimizing all windows on a Mac?

Yes, by clicking on the app icons in the Dock or using the app switcher (Command + Tab).

If you accidentally minimize all windows, don’t worry. You can quickly restore them by clicking their icons in the Dock or cycling through your open apps with the app switcher.

What’s the difference between minimizing and hiding an app on a Mac?

Minimizing sends an app’s windows to the Dock, while hiding makes an app and its windows invisible without minimizing.

Hiding an app is like making it temporarily disappear from your screen. It’s still running, and you can bring it back by clicking its icon in the Dock or using the app switcher.

Do minimized windows on a Mac still run in the background?

Yes, minimized apps are still active and can perform tasks in the background.

Just because you minimize a window doesn’t mean the app stops working. It’s still running, and you can usually tell by a dot or light under the app’s icon in the Dock.

Can I minimize all windows from a specific app only?

Yes, right-click on the app’s icon in the Dock and choose ‘Show All Windows’ then minimize them.

If you want to minimize all windows from one app, using the right-click method is your best bet. Then you can minimize each window individually or use the Option key trick mentioned in the tips section.


  1. Use the Command + Option + M Shortcut
  2. Use Mission Control
  3. Right-click on the Dock


Minimizing all windows on a Mac is a breeze once you know these simple tricks. Whether you’re a multi-tasking pro or you just need a clear screen from time to time, these steps will help you declutter your digital workspace in no time. Remember, a tidy desktop can lead to a more focused and productive work session, so don’t underestimate the power of this nifty feature. And if you ever feel overwhelmed by too many open windows, just hit Command + Option + M, and watch them whisk away to your Dock. Happy decluttering!