I've been using Windows since the version 3-something and showing the desktop by Wind is an old trick.

How do you minimize all the windows except the active one using only the mouse?

  • 10
    99.9% of the time, I do this by accident. I struggle to even imagine what a legitimate use case would be...
    – sapi
    May 3 '15 at 23:44
  • Trying the hold & shake since morning. Not working. The co-workers who can overlook at my monitor must thing I've gone crazy. May 4 '15 at 6:34
  • 1
    @sapi True, it's not very useful. Maybe except when in a meeting when you want to entertain while staling for time and you tell the audience you'll shake down your screen. Cool doesn't need to be useful, hehe. You're right. May 4 '15 at 7:50
  • 1
    @sapi If you still have the active window held with your mouse then you can just shake again to bring them back up. Although it seems like you be 300% more spastic when shaking.
    – MonkeyZeus
    May 4 '15 at 12:47
  • 1
    This question is far too close to (if not outright in) the "every answer is equally valid: 'What’s your favorite ______?' " category specifically forbidden in the help. "Coolest" is too subjective, as evident by the fact the keyboard shortcut is beating out the answer you were looking for. This could be reworded into something like, "Is there a mouse based way to minimize all windows except the active one?" and become a useful question.
    – jpmc26
    May 5 '15 at 2:01

The cool way is called Aero Shake. Use the mouse like you would move a Window, but shake it (move left and to right very fast).

  • 3
    someone gave it to you. Next time, use the checkbox when creating a question, that you want to self answer your question, so that we no longer post the same answer the same time May 3 '15 at 17:59
  • 13
    @KonradViltersten - Please don't beg for reputation. The only way to receive reputation is to post good answers and questions.
    – Ramhound
    May 3 '15 at 18:20
  • 3
    @Ramhound You missed the sarcasm. It was meant as a joke. :) May 3 '15 at 21:38
  • 4
    @Ramhound I quite easily saw the joke in it. Serious sites can have fun too, you know!
    – HarryCBurn
    May 4 '15 at 0:12
  • 5
    @fixer1234 when you select the checkbox, the question is not published until you wrote your own answer. May 4 '15 at 4:19

The keyboard combo Win + Home minimizes all windows except for the active one.

  • 10
    This is amazing. Thanks for sharing, I knew about the Aero Shake mentioned in the other answers, but as someone who tries to use the mouse as little as possible this is so much better.
    – Windos
    May 3 '15 at 21:00
  • 4
    @Windos I'm a keyboard shortcut prone too. However, this was a cool nice thingy - I've never heard about this shaky feature before. Pressing WIn+Home isn't nearly as cool. However, it's far more efficient and pro-like. :) May 3 '15 at 21:42
  • 1
    @KonradViltersten for me, anything that is efficient and pro-like is cool
    – Ooker
    May 4 '15 at 12:00
  • 3
    This doesn't do anything for me :( May 4 '15 at 13:22
  • Doesn't work for me, maybe because I'm using a French "AZERTY" keyboard layout (though I still have a home key)..
    – user256743
    May 4 '15 at 14:13

The coolest way to minimize all the windows except the one that's active is to literally shake the window. Yes, as in:

  1. click and hold on the frame of the window
  2. move repetitively and quickly to the left and right

Tada! (Credit goes to 9Gag for this.)

  • 2
    That's Aero Shake. May 3 '15 at 21:16
  • 3
    This is actually the annoying way. If I've had too much coffee or can't decide whether I'm going to throw the window to the left or right monitor (and thus moving the window left and right a little bit), Windows thinks I'm doing the shake, then I have to shake again to get my windows back up.
    – ps2goat
    May 4 '15 at 16:25
  • @ps2goat True... Didn't think of that. But if you keep on shaking (which should be easy, since you're having too much coffee), the windows are actually shaken back in place. :) May 4 '15 at 16:26
  • 2
    Unfortunately, stupid applications like Chrome have left us little or no titlebar. :( May 4 '15 at 19:44
  • 1
    @LightnessRacesinOrbit I suggest you use a less stupid application such as FF. It lets you have enough of graspable area to do the trick. May 4 '15 at 21:30

To piggyback on user1016274's answer a bit, I used AutoHotKey (from AHKScript.org). So this does use third party sofware, but it seems you've been willing to try such solutions. I put this in the script file:

    Send #{Home}

Now my 4th mouse button sends Windows+Home. I tested this and confirmed that this does accomplish the goal that your question asked for.

If your mouse doesn't have 4 buttons, you could specify MButton (instead of XButton1) for the "Middle" (third) button. Hopefully in today's day and age you have at least 3 buttons (possibly including pressing down on the scroll wheel) if you're using a peripheral device (rather than a built-in track pad).

If you have a spare button on your mouse, this approach might be a far simpler way (compared to trying to shake your mouse in a certain direction) to initiate your requested action, using just your mouse, as your question asked.

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