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Something that bothers me as Windows user on OS X is that I can't minimize an app window by clicking the dock icon of the application. Is there a hidden setting for enabling this behavior or a utility that someone could recommend?

  • Click on the icon brings the app to the front - are you saying you want to change this behaviour? – mmmmmm Sep 5 '11 at 10:47
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    On windows the behavior is to toggle the visibility. – Oliver Weichhold Sep 5 '11 at 11:18
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    Elementary OS can minimise apps by clicking their icon in the Plank. – SE13013 Jul 11 '15 at 14:42
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    Hey, I think here is a cool tool which does exactly what you want! brawersoftware.com/products/ubar – Code Farmer Mar 9 '17 at 20:52

10 Answers 10

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You can hide an active application by option-clicking (alt-clicking) its icon in the dock. You can also hide the active window and open another window by alt-clicking whatever application you want to open in the dock.

But I agree with you that it would be more symmetrical to be able to click to minimize all the open windows in an application. I am a long-time PC user and this is one area where PCs got it right. That and combining closing and quitting (and the related window management issue).

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    This should be marked as the solution. Nicholas answer is keyboard related. This one is mouse/trackpad related. That's why i think this one should be marked as the solution. Thanks Michael! – Jo Smo Sep 10 '15 at 22:53
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    Thanks man! Getting started with Mac and your answer was helpful. – Omar Tariq Apr 4 '19 at 7:07
  • It is amazing how unintuitive macOS is in terms of window management. Thanks for the option trick though. It helped. It's the opposite of "simple" and "easy" in macOS. – Pirate X Jul 15 at 6:42
  • As already said double clicking the top margin of the window is the most convenient way of doing this without the keyboard. With many tabs in browsers the area to click becomes limited to the upper-right part. (And the window must NOT be in full-screen; ctrl-cmd-F to exit full-screen). – cipricus Sep 24 at 21:25
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Simple answer is it'll bring the window to the front. Command H hides the window however, so that might be a bit more useful to you.

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+M or double-click the window title bar to minimize the window.

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    Double click doesn't work for me... maybe works on older versions of OSX? Edited to add: According to @Tapan's answer, this is a System Preference that must be enabled. – Muhd Nov 5 '14 at 23:02
  • Double clicking the window title Maximize it not Minimize. – Emadpres Oct 29 '16 at 8:34
  • Double click performs a Restore/Maximize like it happens on Windows – Sparker0i Mar 5 '19 at 19:13
  • double-click works on Mavericks, the setting has to be enabled in System Preferences - Dock – cipricus Sep 24 at 20:55
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Right click on the Icon and choose Hide

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    you can also hold the left button. – bdecaf Jan 15 '12 at 10:44
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    That's correct. For the "most usable" software in this world the correct way to hide the current window is to right click (which has to be perfectly timed by clicking two fingers simultaneously) and then move your cursor up to choose "Hide" menu which is next to "Quit" Menu. – Ganesh Krishnan Jul 28 '15 at 1:01
  • @GaneshKrishnan I love your irony! – Marecky Dec 19 '15 at 20:08
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    That is too much clicking. – MirecXP Feb 7 '18 at 8:13
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click and hold on the applications icon in the dock and choose hide

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    That's if you're a Zen practitioner, but for us on a tight schedule, that's way to slow :-) – Martin Nov 20 '13 at 15:50
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As you can see, there isn't a way to click the dock. Another option past the accepted answer of using a keyboard shortcut is to enable hiding from clicking the window's title bar.

Open System preference, select General, select Double-click a window's title bar to minimize'. On Lion this is above the control for Sidebar icon size.

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  • It's not available in MacOS Siera – Emadpres Oct 29 '16 at 8:39
  • MacOS title bars lack contrast and Chrome's is too small to quickly double click. – Cees Timmerman Apr 7 '17 at 17:33
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One thing that is significantly different between Windows and OSX is how OSX treats, well, windows in an app. An application can have more than one individual window. Each window is treated independently of the application itself.

So, if you want to minimize a specific window, instead of the Dock icon (which is for the application) you want to use any of the options for window minimization:

  • Click the yellow ball in the title bar
  • Command + M

You can't actually minimize an application (you can get that effect if there is only one open window and you minimize that window). The "Hide" effect is probably what you are looking for.

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    This is just wrong. I can have multiple windows open on a PC for each app. I can even have multiple versions of an app open, if necessary. This is a design decision on the PC, not some kind of OS decree. – Dirk Bester Apr 28 at 7:09
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The trouble is, if you hide (ALT-click or CMD-H), you hide all windows of that application. You probably don't want to do that, just to minimize the current window.

In OS X you don't have the Title Bar, with an item for each open window (eg. 3 different items for 3 windows of the MS Word) - but instead, an indicator for applications that have open windows, but nothing indicates how many windows are open... so you don't actually know where to click in the Dock to minimize which exact window (if more windows of the same app are open). You can right-click on the app in the Dock, then you'll get the list of the open windows, but that's for people with muuuuch time to spend clicking. For Zen practitioners :-)

Some Windows-like behavior can be achieved with 3rd party tools like HyperDock, but I don't remember I had a way to click a window to minimize it. But frankly I tested it for a really short time.

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    I suppose ALT+Click should be the best answer here. I have no reputation to post it yet... – MirecXP Feb 7 '18 at 8:17
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Press and hold , use tab to select the application and then press H to hide it. Now release .

Do the same to unhide the application.

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    I suggest you sacrifice a chicken to the Apple Gods before start the window hide key stroke zen processess – Ganesh Krishnan Jan 29 '16 at 4:22
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In MacOS if you use HyperDock you can press Shift+Click on Dock icon, and it will Hide the application. It's equivalent to pressing keyboard shortcut Cmd+H - Hide. But realy it hides ALL the app windows.

HyperDock currently does not have option to Click to minimize/hide..

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