This has been driving me nuts for close to a year. I hope someone can tell me what triggers it. I've searched many times over several months and have never found any mention of it.

I use an MBP running OS X 10.8.3 with external monitors, external keyboard and external trackpad. Occasionally while I am manipulating windows with the trackpad (usually moving them by dragging, I think) all of the open windows for all apps will begin minimizing to the dock, one at a time, using the genie effect. Depending on the number of windows I have open, this can take several seconds. I have no idea what, specifically, I'm doing that triggers this behavior.

It is NOT "show desktop" -- the windows definitely fly down to the dock and are minimized, they do not slide to the edges of the screen. The windows are not hidden -- they don't come back with cmd-tab, for example, and they don't disappear instantly -- they "genie" down to the dock. The closest I've found is option-cmd-M, except that it only minimizes windows for the current app -- the behavior I'm asking about minimizes ALL windows from ALL apps.

Help? Please? Thanks!

  • Check your Dock settings under Apple. – Ruskes May 9 '13 at 14:31
  • @ShaneHsu I'm not trying to enable the behavior -- it already works. I'm trying to figure out what triggers it. – Roger Mercer May 9 '13 at 14:41
  • @user49032 I am sorry about my misunderstanding. Try Activity Monitor to see if any new process launches itself when all those windows start minimizing. Also check the logs and maybe something will be logged if lucky. Another thing to do is creating a new account to see if the problem is account-specific. – Shane Hsu May 9 '13 at 14:43
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    @Buscar웃 My dock preferences have three settings that affect minimization (genie effect: enabled, double click title bar to minimize: disabled, and minimize into app icon: disabled). None seem to have anything to do with what I'm seeing. Am I missing something? – Roger Mercer May 9 '13 at 14:45
  • @ShaneHsu I'll check the logs, which I hadn't thought of. Catching it with activity monitor will be tough, since I trigger it by accident once every few weeks and so can't reproduce it at will. – Roger Mercer May 9 '13 at 14:47

I've found no default bindings that would make this occur, but I have found an application that possibly could be triggering what's occuring. There is a background application called MagicPrefs which allows for the addition of non-default bindings. MagicPrefs would also allow you to bind AppleScript to things like this as well.

  • Thanks for finding that. It looks like it could be pretty useful. Unfortunately, I don't have it installed, so it's not the cause of my problem :) – Roger Mercer May 9 '13 at 16:31
  • There's a keyboard shortcut to close all windows, Command-Option-W, but I can't imagine when you're dragging windows you're accidentally hitting that and I haven't found anything else under default. – George Spiceland May 9 '13 at 16:44
  • And command-option-W closes windows for the current app. My thing minimizes, not closes, and it's all apps not just the current one. – Roger Mercer May 9 '13 at 16:54
  • Hm. Well, Cmd-Alt-(Click on Desktop) hides all windows. Cmd-Opt-M minimizes the window genie style. Cmd-Opt-H hides all but the top window. The behavior you're describing is how AppleScript would handle a command to "Minimize" all windows (It would genie minimize like Cmd-Opt-M, and do them one at a time). I'd assume you would know if you had an AppleScript that was doing this with some sort of link. Is there any more info? – George Spiceland May 9 '13 at 17:11
  • So I think I understand that Cmd-Opt-M minimizes all windows for the current app. I just tried it and that's what it did. For the behavior in question, I'm seeing all windows for all apps minimized genie style. I assume what you're saying is that AppleScript could minimize all windows for all apps, not that Cmd-Opt-M does that by itself. Regardless, I don't have any reason to think that I installed a script on my system to do this, and I got the computer new from Apple. – Roger Mercer May 9 '13 at 17:47

I believe this is triggered when you have the cursor over the dock... three fingers down over a window shows all the similar windows open.. three fingers down when the cursor is over the dock hides everything including anything on the deskop.


BetterTouchTool, from http://blog.boastr.net, offers many window-related functions, such as minimize/maximize/resize and many more. Each action can be assigned to a different trackpad gesture (which you can choose!).

Just as an example: I set up my computer to maximize windows using three finger taps on the top of the window, four finger taps to drag windows, tiptaps to close windows any many more. Check it out!


three fingers swipe up will do what you are telling about, I think. it works on my Dell

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