Hide All Applications

Most of us tend to simultaneously keep many applications open. Consequently, we sometimes get lost or overwhelmed by having too many windows open. Would you like to quickly hide all windows so you can see your Desktop? Here are two ways to accomplish this:

You can use the Hide command or Mission Control to manage your windows.

The Hide Command

To quickly hide all windows to view your Desktop, follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on the Finder icon on your Dock.
  2. At the top of your screen, click on the Finder menu and select Hide Others.

This will hide all other open windows. You can then view all the files on your Desktop. I often want to do this so I can copy a file that is on my Desktop and attach it to an email message. In fact, I use the Hide command throughout the day. I tend to hide an application and its window(s) rather than clicking the red dot to close the window(s). To unhide a hidden window simply click on the application’s icon on your Dock. Read more about this in my tip How to Hide and Switch Macintosh Applications.

Mission Control

Mission Control is a long-time feature of the Mac operating system with a number of capabilities. To use it to view your Desktop try one of these:

  • Press the F11 key on your Keyboard.
  • If that doesn’t work hold down the fn key while pressing the F11 key. The fn key is typically located in the lower left corner of Apple keyboards.
  • Press Command F3 on newer Apple aluminum keyboards or the MacBook keyboard.

You can customize the keyboard shortcut by doing this:

  1. Click on the Apple menu and select System Preferences
  2. Click on Mission Control
  3. In the Show Desktop section select one of the listed keyboard shortcuts

Mission Control was formerly called Expose. Apple added Expose to Mac OS X 10.3 and redesigned it and renamed it Mission Control in Mac OS X 10.7. If you’d like to learn more about Mission Control read this tutorial from MacWorld.

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