How do you undo Minimize All and Show Desktop?

Date:May 28, 2004 / year-entry #210
Orig Link:
Comments:    18
Summary:It seems it's not well-known how to undo a Minimize All or a Show Desktop, two operations which I discussed briefly yesterday. To undo a Minimize All, you can right-click the taskbar and select "Undo Minimize All", or at least you used to be able to do that. Minimize All is no longer on the...

It seems it's not well-known how to undo a Minimize All or a Show Desktop, two operations which I discussed briefly yesterday.

To undo a Minimize All, you can right-click the taskbar and select "Undo Minimize All", or at least you used to be able to do that. Minimize All is no longer on the menus, presumably because it ended up redundant with Show Desktop.

So after you do your ÿ+M to Minimize All, you can type ÿ+Shift+M to Undo Minimize All.

To undo a Show Desktop, just click Show Desktop again. If you used the keyboard accelerator ÿ+D, just press it a second time.

Comments (18)
  1. Travis Chase says:

    I haven’t really dug that hard yet, but I was wondering if there is an easy way to call the windows key functions form a .NET desktop app? For instance if you wanted to launch Find via the Window Key + F when a person clicks a search button.

  2. Andy says:

    It would requiring using P/Invoke, but would it be possible to broadcast the WM_HOTKEY message?

  3. Raymond Chen says:

    Travis: I’ll cover this in a future article – or you can use google if you’re impatient.

    As for the Windows-specific fonts: What do you recommend, then? I want to get the Windows flag character from the Wingdings font and the "Minimize" icon from the Marlett font, if available.

  4. Duncan says:

    The only cross platform solution would be to do them as images. Or just resort to referring to as "WinKey" or some variation thereof.

  5. David Candy says:

    Travis (I’ll let you port it to that stupid net.

    Create a text file called something.vbs. Create a shortcut to it and place the shortcut on the desktop or Start menu (only places windows looks for shortcuts with shortcut keys), right click it, Properties, and set it to a keystroke. This will do all open windows.

    Paste this in

    Set wshshell = CreateObject("Shell.Application")


    Choose one from below

    CascadeWindows Cascadess all of the windows on the desktop.

    EjectPC Ejects the computer from its docking station.

    FileRun Displays the Run dialog to the user.

    FindComputer Displays the Find: Computer dialog box.

    FindFiles Displays the Find: All Files dialog box.

    Help Displays Microsoft® Windows® Help.

    MinimizeAll Minimizes all of the windows on the desktop.

    RefreshMenu Refreshes the contents of the Start Menu.

    SetTime Displays the Date/Time Properties dialog box.

    ShutdownWindows Displays the Shut Down Windows dialog box.

    Suspend Suspends the computer.

    TileHorizontally Tiles all of the windows on the desktop horizontally.

    TileVertically Tiles all of the windows on the desktop vertically.

    TrayProperties Displays the Taskbar Properties dialog box.

    UndoMinimize ALL Restores all of the windows on the desktop to the

    same state they were in before the last MinimizeAll command.

    To tile/cascade specific windows ctrl + click them on the taskbar, then right click one and choose cascade or tile.

  6. Scott says:

    Speaking of Marlett, what that name?

  7. Seth says:

    So, what’s the key chord for Maximize All?

    (B/c I have 14 IE windows open (plus a few other apps) and I’d rather not cycle through each maximizing them..)

  8. David Candy says:

    Win + D is a toggle

  9. Marc Wallace says:

    Christoffer: Think of "ÿ" as meaning "the Open Apple key" (or "the Windows Logo key" if you prefer).

    When I look at the blog in IE, it *does* show a tiny Windows logo. But Raymond is assuming you have a font named "Wingdings" (and that your browser displays it — even though I can see it in IE, Opera shows just a bolded ÿ).

  10. ATZ Man says:


    I’m not sure *how* you are typing in the windows-key commands, but it results in an html font element for the wingdings font, and in the span of that font element there is a ydieresis character (Unicode 0xff). There are a number of ways that this would not work on other platforms. For example, on a Linux box with the Wingdings font installed, the problem would be that the ydieresis code is 0xff and the windows key character’s Unicode code in Wingdings is actually 0xf0ff. The stuff that Windows does with symbolic fonts like Wingdings is pretty strange. There isn’t going to be a way to use font tags and text to display those characters in a document that works everywhere.

    In Firefox on Windows XP, the windows key image that I get is ugly, because the size is too small for the intricate details of the design.

  11. David Candy says:


    I don’t understand the tooltip under taskbar thing. This is a common issue in NGs (and I bugged in ME and XP betas). If the Z order is messed up surely that would only affect existing windows. A tooltip is a new window (isn’t it) therefore why doesn’t it automatically go to the to of the ontop Z-order. So what data structure is being messed up and what API function controls that DS. Would setting a tooltip on top through showwindow (or setwindowpos whichever) cure it. Because taking ontop of the taskbar and reenabling it doesn’t cure it.

  12. Raymond Chen says:

    No, a tooltip is a window that you create ahead of time, and it automatically hides and shows itself. Check out TTM_ADDTOOL.

  13. Brad C. says:

    Not to mention Microsoft is dispensing with the trails on the Windows logo such that now it’s just the 4 wavy squares. See if *your* keyboard is from the "pre-XP" or "post-XP" era.

  14. David says:

    Unfortunately Outlook 2003 doesn’t play well with that… Unlike all other applications that have an icon in the tray area (like messenger etc.) it minimises to the tray when one minimises that window, not when one closes the window (talking about user interface inconsistency here… I believe Outlook should just have followed Messengers standard here, since that was widley used earlier). That also means, that when you undo the show desktop command, Outlook won’t be visible anymore.

  15. Raymond Chen says:

    Messenger and Outlook have very different usage patterns. Messenger stays closed most of the time (so you can think of the status icon as the "primary" icon and the Messenger window as "temporary"), whereas Outlook stays open most of the time (so the status icon is just "fluff" and the main window is "primary").

  16. Centaur says:

    Messenger is an abomination that should not be quoted as an example for anything. It’s ok for an instant messenger to run hidden with only a notification area icon, but when Outlook Express starts it every time you show the address book pane, it becomes annoying to the point of global-replacing ",HIDE," with ",," in sysoc.inf and uninstalling Messenger.

    I wonder… Is OE tied to MSN Messenger, or to the “default instant messenger” as specified in Start | Set program access and defaults?

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