Tips and Tricks on Managing App Windows on Your Mac

Tips and Tricks on Managing App Windows on Your Mac

Hello, dear Mac users!
I'm going to speak about putting the things on your desktops in order. Let's go!

Macs give us an opportunity to manage multiple app windows at once, so you don't need to click at every app to close them, for instance. But if your working style with Mac is similar to mine, sometimes you may face the situation when 100 million windows in tens of programs are closed leaving you wondering where all this info has gone... It may seem that documents open and close on their own.
Thanks to Apple, macOS has built-in tools that are helpful in organizing and cleaning up app windows.
In this article, I'll show you how they work and how to using multiple applications with pleasure.

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1. Cycle through different windows

​A plenty of separately opened windows is a usual problem for Macs. Let's look at the example below. I bet you've likely faced such situation when you were browsing files and folders in Finder, and your Mac screen became looking like this:​

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​Don't panic! It's not necessary to use your trackpad or mouse to rearrange all those windows. Use the special command 'Cycle through windows'. It will show all of them one by one. Want to try?

Go to 'Window' and select 'Cycle through windows' at the top menu bar.

​If you want to save some time, use a shortcut 'Command+Tilde' (the key called 'Tilde' is a one above the 'Tab' button on the keyboard's left).

The result will be the same.​

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After you have done it, each window will jump in front ​of others after you perform that command again and again. You'll see the window contents quickly, without any excess browsing between them.


​2. Go directly to a necessary window

In fact, cycling through windows won't show you a specific app with the information you are looking for. ​If you are sure what file you need to open, use a handy trick to find it in a couple of seconds. When a necessary app is opened, go to 'Window' in the upper menu bar.

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​The drop-down box will show a list of files that were opened by that application. Look at the screenshot above and see 3 text documents that were opened in TextEdit. They are called Manage windows, Test and Test 2. Clicking on any file will open it directly in front of other windows.


3. Merge windows​

Do you remember how web browsers support tabs? Some Mac apps support tabbed interface as well. You can bring all opened windows to a single one in Finder, Mail, Pages. So, your desktop will be clean enough for comfortable working.

Do it with the command 'Merge all windows'. At first, ensure that the necessary app is launched, go to 'Window' in the menu bar and choose 'Merge all windows'.

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You'll notice that all opened windows really merged into one and tabs appeared beneath the toolbar. Now you can browse them comfortably without any problem or mess on your desktop.​

​Here is an example how it will look:​

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I want to remind once more that this trick will work only for those applications that support tabs. Check if the app you are interested in does this, and don't be upset, if it doesn't. Maybe Apple will come to fixing that in another version.​


4. Close several windows at once

​What should you do, if you don't want to close app windows one-by-one? Close a whole bunch of them!

Surely, you can click red 'stoplight' buttons in every app manually, but there's a quicker and better way to do it in a couple of seconds!​

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The first nice option​ is using the command 'Close all'. Go to 'File' in the menu bar at the top of your Mac's screen, hold the 'Option' keyboard button and then click 'Close all'. All the windows will be closed, but the app itself will be still working in the background.

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There is also a keyboard shortcut performing the same function. Press 'Option+Command+W' to do it. It may be handy enough, if you remember all these shortcuts. ​

The 'Option' button also participates in my last trick (and my favorite one at the same time). I already mentioned a 'stoplight' button above. So, holding the 'Option' key with clicking that red button will make a program close all its windows. Simple!

​So, that's how you can deal with the mess on your desktop in seconds! I bet you'll agree that it's much more pleasant to work with a clear screen. ​I hope that my article helped you to manage multiple windows on your Mac and this wasn't a problem for you!

​Please share it with your friends, maybe they need to clean up their desktops too! ;)​