Hiding vs. minimizing

macOS and Mac Apps

What is the concept difference on the mac in Big Sur with hitting Command+H to hide a window, vs. hitting command+M to minimize? It seems like hitting Command+H to hide is putting things in the Command+Tab sequence and moving the app focus away from being in the foreground. Seems to me that this is doing exactly what minimizing with alt+Space then the letter n does on the Windows side of things. So, what's the difference? As a Voiceover user, is there any instant where I'd want to use Command+M to minimize instead of hiding?



Submitted by Cobbler on Saturday, May 15, 2021

I had never stopped to ponder this myself. So, taken from https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/339214/whats-the-difference-between-minimize-and-hide-between-maximize-and-fullscreen


A minimized window is moved to a small icon at the right or bottom end of the dock (depending on the dock's orientation). Do this with ⌘ cmd-M or the yellow light. Undo this by clicking on the window in the dock. Note if you switch to an app by clicking on its main icon in the Dock or with ⌘ cmd-⇥ tab, its minimized windows won't open, and if it only has minimized windows you will make the app active but will not open any windows.


An app and all its windows can be hidden. They appear nowhere. Do this with ⌘ cmd-H. When you hide an app, even the windows that were minimized in the Dock are hidden. Restore a hidden app by clicking on its main icon in the Dock, or ⌘ cmd-⇥ tab to it. When you restore a hidden app its minimized windows will still be minimized. You can also hide all apps except the active one with ⌘ cmd-⌥ alt-H. You can't undo that in one action.