How to Minimize Windows With a Keystroke

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"Hotkeys" and shortcut keys are some of the many popular features offered by Microsoft's Windows operating systems. By simply pressing a key, or a combination of two or more keys, a window opens, a program starts, a diagnostic begins or any other actions for which hotkeys can be programmed will begin. Minimizing a window with a few simple keystrokes is one of these features. The ease of use and improved productivity make this and many other Windows features part of what makes the operating system so popular.

With Focus on the Taskbar

  • Click on any empty space on the Windows taskbar (such as the middle). This is the bar, usually located on the bottom of the screen, where the Windows "Start" button, clock and open programs are displayed.

  • Press and hold the "Alt" key.

  • Press the "M" key while continuing to hold the "Alt" key. All open windows will minimize and the desktop will be displayed.

Using Natural Windows Keyboard Keys

  • Press and hold the "Windows Logo" key. This key is located immediately to the left of the "Alt" key and two keys left of the spacebar on Windows compatible keyboards and laptops.

  • Press the "M" key while continuing to hold the "Windows Logo" key. This will minimize all open windows.

  • Press and hold the "Shift" key, then press the "Windows Logo" key and the "M" key to restore the minimized windows.

Minimize Active Window Only

  • Press and hold the "Alt" key.

  • Press and hold the spacebar. This will open the Action menu for the current active window.

  • Press the "N" key while holding both previous keys. This will minimize the active window only. This can be done repeatedly to close several windows in succession.

Tips & Warnings

  • These steps will work on any Windows-compatible keyboard and Windows laptops equipped with a Windows logo key.

References

  • Photo Credit Robert Kirk/Photodisc/Getty Images
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