Un-minimize windows via keyboard command

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Reader Brad Dahr is annoyed that the Mac's Minimize command appears to be a one-way street. He writes:

I often minimize application windows to clear my visual space as I focus on a single app. How can I de-minimize an application just using the keyboard? I use Command+Tab frequently to switch between apps. It will switch to the app but it won’t make the app window pop back up. I hate having to use the mouse for everything!

I sympathize. It is a little clumsy having a perfectly fine keyboard command to minimize the active window (Command-M) that works in many applications (and the Finder) yet no equally fine keyboard command for bringing it back. There are, however, ways to do this without touching the mouse.

The free way is to press Control-F3 (or Fn-Control-F3 on a laptop). This highlights an item in the Dock. You can then let go of these keys and use the left and right arrow keys to move through items in the Dock, highlighting them along the way. When you reach the minimized window you want to expand, press Return.


The more-efficient paid way is Peter Maurer’s €9.95 Witch. This highly configurable window switching preference pane lets you assign keyboard shortcuts to a wide variety of windows navigation actions, including selecting specific windows to un-minimize.

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