The difference between Minimizing and Hiding apps on Mac

Minimize Chrome

In my daily workflow, I use the Hide command and the Minimize command to manage my applications and their corresponding windows. I definitely use the Hide command much more than Minimize, though, and there’s a simple reason behind my decision to do so. Have a look at our video walkthrough to see why.

As you can see from the video, I like to use Hide, because hiding an app is immediate, and it pertains to all windows associated with an app. But most importantly, hiding an app allows me to immediately recover it using a ⌘+Tab keyboard shortcut. Since I use this shortcut many times each day to switch between windows, it’s important that the apps that I need most cooperate with this command.

Minimize, on the other hand, is usually performed on a window by window basis, allowing you to hide one window from an application, yet still use other windows associated with the same application. While it’s true that you can minimize all application windows using a simple keyboard shortcut (⌥+⌘+M), I primarily stick to individual window minimization.

Hide Chrome

One factor that you should consider when minimizing windows is that minimized windows can’t be quickly recovered using ⌘+Tab. That’s a huge downside for me in a lot of cases, but it can also be a good thing if I want to put a particular app or window “on the shelf” for a period of time. That way, I can focus on what’s truly important to me and get back to the minimized material at a later time.

Obviously, there are other factors that you’ll want to consider when thinking about these two differing methods for dismissing applications and their windows. Factors such as dock management, Mission Control, etc. But I wanted to share my thoughts and methods on the two.

What do you think?