Handy Hotkeys: Areo Shake (or Win+Home)

Ever wanted to minimize everything but the Window you are working with? I often do. When I end up with too many Windows maximised on the screen.

To do this back in the days of Windows XP or Vista you had to use good old Win+D to minimise everything and clear the desktop, and then click back on the application you wanted to re-maximise it.

Well not anymore. Just make sure the application/Window you want to keep on the screen has focus and then do Win+Home and all the open Windows will minimise except for the Window with focus.

Following are two screen captures to try and illustrate what happens.

(1) Before Areo Shake. Notice the Live Writer window in the middle has focus (is the active window).


(2) After Areo Shake (Win+Home).


All Windows except the Live Writer window have been minimised.

So … I can hear you saying … why is it called Areo Shake?

Well it is called Area Shake because you can make the same thing happen by shaking the focus Window from left to right to left, or right to left to right (if you prefer), using the mouse—instead of using Win+Home. Seriously. I kid you not. Just grab the Window you want to keep on the screen using the mouse by clicking on it anywhere that it can be ‘grabbed’, such as in the title bar area. Then go left-right-left as a ‘shake’, and all the other open Windows should minimise. Do it again and they will come back (re-maximise).

This only works with Windows 7 and only works if Aero is enabled (which it will be on any ‘modern’ PC but it might not be if you have Windows 7 installed on an older slower PC).