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Is there a keyboad shortcut for the 'Show desktop' feature ? (Show desktop happens when you mouse over on the little taskbar demarcation to the right of system clock (on a typical task bar))

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@nixda, not really. That question is about adding a Show Desktop button to Windows 7 like the one in the Quick Launch bar in XP. This question is about using a hotkey to show desktop. Just some of the answers gave hotkeys instead of answering the question that was actually asked doesn’t make them the same question, it only makes those answers invalid (except for the accepted answer which actually points to the built-in Show Desktop button, and thus actually answer the question). – Synetech Sep 19 '13 at 22:41
@Synetech Bingo ! You are the only one who understood the question (????) Thanks to you, I was beginning to think this stack exchange site really has some weird user base. I believe since most people (with so many reps!) did not even understand the question, they were too quick to jump the 'google it' gun. Also, is superuser not a Q & A site ? Or do you shoo questions away saying, 'google it' ? – happybuddha Sep 20 '13 at 0:29
Unfortunately it does happen sometimes. Understanding what is being asked (especially by non-English speakers) is difficult for most people, and some unique or unusual questions can be ignored or closed. You can always appeal or edit to clarify. – Synetech Sep 20 '13 at 14:45
up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you click Show All on the Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts page, you can see under Windows logo key keyboard shortcuts the following related keys:

⊞ Win + Spacebar     -  Preview the desktop.
⊞ Win + D            -  Display the desktop.
⊞ Win + M            -  Minimize all windows.
⊞ Win + ⇧ Shift + M  -  Restore minimized windows to the desktop.

There is a small difference between how ⊞ Win+(⇧ Shift+)M works from how ⊞ Win+D works.

Pressing ⊞ Win+M stores the state of the windows before minimizing all windows so that you can see the desktop. Then pressing ⊞ Win+⇧ Shift+M restores them from that stored state (assuming the windows still exist at that point) as they were before you pressed ⊞ Win+M. If you minimize or restore windows between the two key presses, then ⊞ Win+Shift+M will restore any windows that had previously not been minimized and leave the rest as is.

On the other hand, pressing ⊞ Win+D minimizes all windows so that you can see the desktop, then pressing it again restores the windows to their previous state, if all windows are still minimized when you press it again. If you press it, then show some windows, then press it again, it will just minimize them all again (restoring a window basically resets the stored state).

So the D hotkey is a combination of the M hotkeys, but with the catch that it only restores them correctly if you have not done anything since you minimized. In other words, it is meant to literally be a shortcut to Show Desktop, especially for the Aero Peek feature, and is primarily to quickly access the desktop for a moment, whereas the M keys are for pausing what you are doing for a bit with the intention of coming back to it later on.

You can use ⊞ Win+Space to use Aero Peek to see the desktop without actually minimizing any windows. It will show the desktop as long as you hold ⊞ Win, but you can release Space.

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Would you know of holding down any shortcut keys which will mimic the Aero peek ? – happybuddha Sep 20 '13 at 0:34
Yes, I’ve added it to the answer. – Synetech Sep 20 '13 at 14:38

Well, a 0,25 second search on Google wielded this link. Quoting:

Simply use the Show Desktop keyboard shortcut by press Win + D keys, and all windows will be minimized and hidden to show the desktop.

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Perhaps Google doesn’t return the same results wherever they live as it does for you. – Synetech Sep 19 '13 at 21:41
True... but there are a lot of other search sites to go around. And Microsoft, don't forget Microsoft. @nixda on reading the link you gave I understand that I might have been somewhat harsh... but still, research effort is/should be appreciated. – Doktoro Reichard Sep 19 '13 at 21:45
@DoktoroReichard I agree that some questions don't show any research and that's frustrating, for anyone of us. But I tend to use downvoting and looking for duplicates – nixda Sep 19 '13 at 21:51
Like I said, just because you can Google it does not mean that the OP did not try to look it up. Someone got a bunch of flack when they asked this question for not bothering to Google it, but they had already tried. The problem is that because he is in Iran, Google did not return the results that the other people (ostensibly in other countries) were seeing—assuming of course that Google is even available at all in Iran, which I recall reading it was not. Had they (and you) bothered to check the OPs’ profiles, you’d see they don’t live where you do. – Synetech Sep 19 '13 at 22:33

Besides the mentioned key combinations by @Doktoro Reichard there are also:.

  • + M: Minimize all.
  • + Shift + M: Undo minimize all.

More details can be seen here.

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