Minimizing Windows Versus Hiding Apps

Many new Mac users try to use the buttons at the top of windows to minimize the window and send it to the Dock, when what they really want to do is to hide the whole app. It is usually quicker and more effective to hide an app using Command+H than to minimize a single document window. Learn the difference between minimizing and hiding and when to use each. Another option is to quit the app knowing that the document windows will reappear when you launch it again.

Comments: 13 Responses to “Minimizing Windows Versus Hiding Apps”

    Joel
    4 years ago

    I’m a 7-year+ user, but today I learned something new. Thanks, Gary!

    Jimmy
    4 years ago

    i am constantly amazed at how user friendly Macs are. Thanks for a great informative and easy to follow lesson

    Eileen
    4 years ago

    Constantly learning things I never knew about the Mac – Thank you for all your informative and easy to follow video lessons.

    Dave
    4 years ago

    Another fantastic video. Thanks Gary for the information. I have been using the middle button all wrong.

    Ron
    4 years ago

    Gary, I did not catch the difference in what actually happens between “Hiding” and “Quitting.” Are they the same, or does the App stay a little more live when “Hiding”?

      4 years ago

      The app is still running when you hide it. If the app is doing something in the background (Safari downloading something, for instance) then it will keep doing that. If you quit, then the download will stop. In the case of a word processor, there’s not usually anything it does in the background. But a hidden app can instantly be unhidden. An app that has been quit may take a second or two to launch. In the case of something like an image editing app, it may take even longer to launch if the open document is large.

    Tom
    4 years ago

    Hi Gary,
    Great video. I tried to use cmd H in pages and it worked as you described. Then I tried cmd q to close pages with 2 docs open and reopen it. It would not open with the files in it. Am I missing something? I have the latest version of Yosemite.
    Thanks

      4 years ago

      Perhaps you changed the default behavior? Check in System Preferences, General, for “Close windows when quitting app.”

        Rooster
        4 years ago

        I also noticed that when I quit a program such as Pages, and then reopen it, it did not reopen the document I was last working with. Also, it doesn’t automatically save a document
        when I quit, it always asks me first. I checked in System preferences under General. “Close windows when quitting an app”, and “Ask to keep changes with closing documents” were both checked. I’ve have never checked those items, so they were checked by default on my system. But its nice to have the choice on these.

        Tom
        4 years ago

        Thanks you were exactly right as usual. I have just become a bigger fan.

    Steve F.
    4 years ago

    Very useful video. I will send it to some others. Thanks!

    Mr. Krispy
    4 years ago

    I’ve been a mac user since 1989 and am constantly learning capabilities that aren’t readily known to the non-geeks. Not only did I not know about Command H, but also about the Switcher. Thank you Gary.

    Ken
    4 years ago

    I have been a long time Linux and Windows user and this tutorial was very helpful. The behavior you describe with the minimize button has been annoying me and now I know the _right_ way to do it. THANK YOU!!

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