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Desktop Keyboard Shortcut

Take Me to My Desktop! Superfast Shortcuts to Clear Your Screen

Whether it's to hide a Reddit addiction from your superior (it's OK, we've all been there) or quickly access a folder, shortcuts to clear all windows and show only the desktop can dramatically increase productivity — and save you from potentially hairy situations.

Check out these shortcuts to wipe away windows and clear the way for desktop access on Mac OS X, MacBooks/MacBook Pros, and Windows 8.

Show Desktop App

  • Show Desktop is a free app for Mac users that will hide all applications and show the desktop when clicked. It can run in the menu bar or dock.

Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) Hotkeys

  • Mission Control — In System Preferences by "Show Desktop," choose between a variety of F keys or mouse click + command shortcuts. Click on the "Hot Corners" button on the bottom left of Mission Control to enable show desktop. When you drag your mouse to the designated hot corner, the windows will clear, and you'll see your desktop. Moving the mouse back to that corner will make the windows reappear.

Mac OS X 10.7 and Earlier Hotkeys

  • Exposé — If you can't find Mission Control in System Preferences, then look for Exposé. You will be able to set the key or trigger of your choice to show the desktop.

Learn how to get unwanted windows out of the way when you're using your Mac laptop or Windows 8 device after the break.

MacBook/MacBook Pro Shortcuts

  • Use gestures on your trackpad to quickly navigate your laptop. A three-finger swipe up on the trackpad will show all the apps and windows currently open. Then select "Desktop."

Windows 8 Shortcut

  • Hitting the Windows key + D from the Start screen will take you to the desktop.
  • Or right-click on the task bar and choose "Show Desktop."
  • Clicking the lowest right corner of the screen, next to the time and date will also show the desktop. To bring the windows back, click that area again.
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