On Windows based computers it is very easy to show the desktop quickly. Many of the Windows users use ‘Win + D’ shortcut keys for viewing desktop. Otherwise, you can just move the cursor to the bottom right corner on taskbar to hide all open programs and show the desktop. But on Mac, you won’t find any such option to show desktop. However, you can use multiple other options to show desktop in Mac.
6 Ways to Show Desktop in Mac
Whether you are using iMac desktop or MacBook laptop, you may want to quickly view the desktop for many reasons. For example, you have many open app windows and want to quickly check a file or folder located in desktop without minimizing the windows one by one. Or you want to check the status of weather, latest news or Reminders in desktop widgets. Fortunately, there are 6 different ways you can quickly show desktop in Mac.
1. Click on Desktop
Apple added a new function in macOS 14 (Sonoma) to hide all other open apps when you click on the desktop screen. You can simply click on any empty area on the desktop to hide all the apps. Again click on the desktop area to view the app windows on the same positions as before.
If this function is not working on your Mac, then go to ‘Apple menu > Settings…’ and navigate to ‘Desktop & Dock’ section. Scroll down to ‘Desktop & Stage Manager’ section and select ‘Always’ option for ‘Click wallpaper to reveal desktop’ option. You can also enable this option only when you use Stage Manager instead of always.
2. Create Hot Corners
Hot corners is one of the simplest ways to show desktop on your Mac. This will be useful especially you like the bottom right corner button in Windows to show desktop. Follow the below instructions to set hot corners:
- Click Apple logo and select ‘System Settings…’ menu.
- Go to ‘Desktop & Dock’ section and scroll down to the bottom of the settings page.
- Click the ‘Hot Corners…’ button.
- On the next popup window, you will see four dropdown boxes.These dropdown boxes indicate the four corners of your Mac as shown in the center picture. Click on the lower right dropdown and choose the ‘Desktop’ option.
- You can choose any of the dropdown and set other options like Mission Control, Application Windows, Notification Center, Launchpad, Quick Note, Start / Disable Screen Saver, Sleep or Lock Screen.
- Click OK button.
Now move you the cursor using trackpad or mouse to the lower right corner. You will see all the windows will slide and hide to show desktop screen of your Mac. Again move the cursor back on right corner to view all windows back. You can toggle show or hide desktop using the hot corners option.
If you are using macOS 12 (Monterey) or earlier, the option is available in different location.
- Go to ‘Apple Menu > System Preferences…’.
- Open ‘Desktop & Screen Saver’ button and go to ‘Screen Saver’ tab.
- Click on the ‘Hot Corners…‘ button as shown below:
- After that, you can add hot corners as explained above.
3. Use Fn + F11 or Simply F11
Generally F11 key on your Mac keyboard does the trick of hiding all the windows and show the desktop. But F11 key on most of the MacBook Pro’s keyboard will do reduce volume function. In that case, press ‘Fn + F11’ keys to show or hide the desktop in your MackBook. This is similar to ‘Win + D’ shortcut keys in Windows computer. You can always press the keys again to show all the hidden windows again or go back to the previous window on you are working. This works exactly like clicking on the desktop.
4. Use Trackpad Gesture
Apple has all types of gestures to play around on the trackpad. If you are a finger specialist, use your thumb and three other fingers in diagonally opposite direction. This will slide all the open windows and show you the desktop. You can also use one finger from left hand and three fingers from right hand to do the gesture.
In order to enable this gesture, click on “Apple menu” and go to “System Preferences…” (or System Settings…) section. Click on the “Trackpad” and go to “More Gestures” tab. Enable the last “Show Desktop” option to view desktop by spreading thumb and three fingers.
5. Show or Desktop in Screen Sharing
If you want to show or hide the desktop screen of source Mac while screen sharing, click the “Desktop” icon in title bar. This helps to access the desktop with single click instead of minimizing and maximizing the app windows.
6. Use F3 to Access Additional Desktop Screens
Mac allows you to have many virtual desktops to arrange your workflow. By default, F3 is not meant for viewing desktop and is used to show all open applications which is basically called Mission Control in macOS. You can also press ‘Command + Spacebar’ to open Spotlight Search, type ‘mission control’ and press enter. You will see all open applications similar to pressing F3. Although, F3 is used to choose any of the open apps, you can go to the other virtual desktops by selecting it from the top. If you have multiple virtual desktops then this is an easy way to access other desktop screens.
Remember, if you have open windows on additional desktop then this will not minimize the windows. You can simply access additional desktop screens using F3 Mission Control.