How to Minimize All Windows on Mac

It’s a common occurrence that happens to almost all of us. We are busily working on our computers, multitasking, doing many different things, and after a while, our screen is full of different windows. Each one just sitting there cluttering up our screens.

Sometimes there can be so many it can take a fair amount of time and be somewhat difficult to minimize all of them. Did you know there is a way on your Mac to minimize all of them at once? There really is and I can show you how to easily do it.

My name is Eric and I have been a software engineer for over 20 years. Over the years I have found many shortcuts and ways to make computer tasks quicker and easier. Sometimes little things like being able to minimize all your windows at once can be a real time saver.

If you would like to learn how to do this, just follow along and we will go through the simple steps that almost anyone can do.

Minimizing Windows

If you found this article because you are looking for a quick way to minimize all your windows, you have come to the right place, so let’s get right to it and see how to do this. Just use the simple command below. 

Press the following keys all at once.


It’s that simple! But there are other variations of minimizing multiple windows on your desktop. Let’s take a look at some of those as well.

Minimize All But Your Current Active Window


Minimize All Instances of the Current Active Window


Minimize All Windows Except for Your Finder Window

Press the Option+Command keys and use your mouse pointer to click on the desktop.

After doing this all of your windows should be minimized unless you had a Finder window on the screen which will remain open.

Why Minimize All Windows

If you found this page looking for a way to minimize all the windows on your Mac’s desktop, then you probably have a good reason for doing so. If you ended up here for some other reason, you may be wondering why someone would want or need to minimize all their windows at once.

Well, there are some good reasons to do this. None of them are technically required or needed for anything specific other than convenience. But convenience is one of the reasons we use computers and technology so why not find easy and quick ways to do things on them.

If you find your desktop is cluttered with numerous windows, opened from many different applications, it can be hard to find what you are looking for. You can go through and minimize them one by one, but that may take a lot of clicks and some time to do.

Why not just use a shortcut like the ones we have described above. You will be able to do this quickly and efficiently without the hassle of going through every one of the windows you have opened.

The point here is to use your computer efficiently and effectively. Think of it as a tool. This is what it is for, to make your life easier, so why not take advantage of its power.

Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

As we just discussed in the last section, you should be taking advantage of all your Mac has to offer. Learn the shortcuts and automated processes that you can use to make life easy. Many people do not know that there are keyboard shortcuts for many things.

You can do all kinds of things like cut, copy, paste, open windows, search, and do many other everyday tasks that you do on your computer. These actions are right there under your fingertips and you can see a complete list of them from Apple Support.

If you find that there is not a shortcut available for what you want to do, you can even assign function keys ( the F keys at the top of your keyboard ) to do things. Using shortcuts like this is using the power of your Mac to do things for you and make your job or tasks more efficient.

Closing All Windows (Applications)

What if I want to close all my windows, instead of just minimizing them? There is a difference. Minimizing the window, leaves the app running in its current state while closing it, shuts the application down and it will no longer be running in your computer’s memory.

Once it has been shut down, if you click on the app again, it will start back up fresh as a new instance. If a window has just been minimized, and you click on it again, it will reappear on the window in the same state that it was when you minimized it.

There are many reasons why you might want to close all applications. Your computer may be running slow because it is low on memory, you might be getting ready to shut down your computer and want to close them, or various other reasons.

Let’s take a quick look at how to do this. It does not have a keyboard shortcut, but there is a keyboard shortcut to open the Force Quit Applications window. Once you have that opened it is quite simple to select all the applications and close them. Just follow the two steps below.

Step 1: Hit the Option+Command+Esc keys at the same time. This will bring up the Force Quit Applications window.

Step 2: Select each application listed and click on the Force Quit button. You can select all the apps at once by holding down the shift key and clicking on each one.

This will close all running applications. One thing you may want to be cautious about is that you should save any information that specific applications may need to store. For example, if you are editing an image, you will want to make sure to save your changes before killing the apps.

Final Words

The ability to easily minimize all applications on your desktop can be useful in many situations and using keyboard shortcuts is very simple to do. Keyboard shortcuts can also make many other tasks quick and easy to do, which makes use of the power of your Mac.

If you know of other cool keyboard shortcuts are, let us know some of your favorites. I would love to hear from you.

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