I am aware that I can hide an app with +H or minimise it with +M. However my use case involves frequent toggling between hiding the app (to view the desktop) and then viewing that app again. For this I need to manually click on the app's icon in the dock.

So is there a way I can view the most recent app that I have hidden or minimised using only the keyboard?

  • Why don't you just keep one Space empty so you can see the desktop, instead of jumping through awkward hoops minimising, hiding & showing? – Tetsujin Jan 1 at 17:37
  • I find cmd+tab repeatedly steps theough open apps until I get the one I want. – Solar Mike Jan 1 at 17:47
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    I find cmd/tab to be a complete waste of my time. I literally never use it. Spaces removed the need for it over a decade ago. – Tetsujin Jan 1 at 17:58
  • @Tetsujin creating a separate space is a good idea. But I need to toggle between Finder and Desktop to view updated wallpapers frequently. Finder does not update the wallpaper when it is in a separate space. So I need to have Finder in the same space as my desktop. – Kewal Shah Jan 2 at 6:02
  • @SolarMike thanks for comment! Using ⌘+H and ⌘+tab in sequence solved the issue! – Kewal Shah Jan 2 at 6:06

There is keyboard shortcut for viewing Desktop:

System Preferences > Mission Control > Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts > Show Desktop

This should be F11 by default but alternative key can be chosen from options provided in drop-down menu.

Pressing key set shows desktop, pressing it again takes you back to the window you were.

Addressing border issue: in addition to Solar Mike solution to display desktop without borders and in case there are more than one app window open 'hide all except active and minimize last' approach can be taken.

There is keyboard shortcut for hiding apps except active: ++H

After that, while keeping + down press M (minimizes active app, it's enough to minimize with only +M too).

Desktop is now displayed. All app windows are hidden except last which is minimized (sadly there is not possible to hide all except active and after that hide active).

To restore last (minimized) window use +TAB to navigate to app, while holding press and after that release first and after - this opens minimized app window.

There are caveats if on other space(s) the same app is also open.

  • Thanks for this shortcut! Hovewer, when I use this shortcut a dark grey translucent border appears around the desktop which I do not prefer. I hoped there was a keyboard alternative where the entire desktop is visible cleanly. – Kewal Shah Jan 2 at 5:49
  • Added alternative to Solar Mike's solution if more than one app is open with displaying desktop without borders. – Aivar Paalberg Jan 2 at 7:50

Thanks to Solar Mike's comment, I was able to find the solution. To toggle between the most recent app and the desktop when you want both of them to remain in the same space:

  1. Hide the app with + H
  2. View it again with + tab
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    Using ⌘+H and ⌘+tab to view desktop works if there is only one application window open. This is not toggle between desktop and most recent app, it is 'hide app window, show app window' and if there is more than one app window open it does not enable viewing desktop. – Aivar Paalberg Jan 2 at 7:01

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