Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Oftentimes, I'll have my usual mess of programs open in windows 7, when at some point I need to open some file on my desktop. I'll hit the "show desktop" button, minimizing all the rest of my windows, and open the file on my desktop, which will create one new window. However, when I hit "show desktop" again, instead of restoring all my other windows, windows will minimize the new window I just created.

This happens in theory, anyway. Because windows won't restore all my previously used windows, I don't put anything useful on my desktop. However, if I can hit "show desktop" again before the file on my desktop opens a new window, I can get all the other windows to restore. It's a reflex game then, however.

Thus, is there a way to change windows 7's "show desktop" behavior to be less annoying in this case, whether by some hidden registry value, or an external program? Ideally, I think "show desktop" should restore all the windows it minimized when it was last used. Or, to avoid weird behavior when "show desktop" is activated only once, some sort of time clause so that windows will restore the minimized windows from any "show desktop" operation within 1 minute ago or so.

share|improve this question

5 Answers 5

I just tried something similar and it seemed to work. Instead of using the Show Desktop button, I used the Minimize All Windows shortcut Win+M, then when ready to restore the minimized windows use the Restore Minimized Windows shortcut Shift+Win+M

share|improve this answer

The answer to your question:

How do I make Show Desktop do

is:

you cannot

It does what it does. :/

share|improve this answer

An alternate solution is Shuric.com's "DESKonTOP" icon tray applet: it pops a scaled window of the desktop, upon which you can left/right click, etc.

enter image description here

I found this while looking for a Windows 7 equivalent of the old Windows XP "Desktop Contents" icon tray applet.

Usually one needs to show desktop only to get at some icon lying there, so DESKonTOP seems an ideal solution.

However I do like the Shift+Windows+M approach...

Windows+D will restore all the windows that were minimized.

share|improve this answer

I don't have an answer that does exactly what you ask, but what I do is use keyboard shortcuts to get things done. Win+D has the same behavior as the Show Desktop Button. Then once I'm ready to go back to another program or folder, I use Alt+Tab to scroll through the minimized windows to get to where I'm working at. This to me seems the best way to go about business, as I can put useful stuff on my desktop and all the open windows don't clutter my screen all the time.

share|improve this answer

AS an alternative, you can right-click on the taskbar, go to toolbars, and add the Desktop toolbar to the taskbar. That way, everything on your desktop can be accessed in a pop-up menu from the taskbar without needing to minimize anything to begin with.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.