Five Ways to Quickly Show the Desktop in Windows

When working on your Windows PC sometimes in the middle of editing a document or some other task, you have to to go back to the desktop to launch another program from the desktop shortcuts. Many people who do not know all the different ways that can be used to quickly jump to the desktop go through minimizing all the windows one by one until they see the desktop. But it is both time consuming and frustrating. So here are five different ways you can view or open the desktop in Windows:

Note: Some of these might not work in earlier versions of Windows, but they have been tested to work in Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

  1. Show Desktop Button in Taskbar: In Windows 7 and later versions, you can hover your mouse pointer over the small button in the bottom-right corner of your screen towards the right edge of the taskbar to see a preview of the desktop window. Clicking on this button will switch you to the desktop instantly. Clicking on it again will restore the windows as they were before. You can also right-click on to customize whether you want to enable or disable the Desktop Peek function which shows a preview of the desktop window. Switch to Windows Desktop
  2. Win+D Hotkey: This hotkey does exactly the same thing as the Show Desktop button mentioned above. You press the hotkey once, you are switched quickly to the Windows desktop. Press this hotkey again, and all the windows are restored like before.
  3. Win+Space Hotkey: This hotkey shows only a preview of the desktop window. It is same as hovering your mouse pointer over the Desktop Peek button in the taskbar as mentioned above. It is perhaps the quickest way to have a glance of the Windows desktop for any reason.
  4. Win+M Hotkey: This hotkey instantly minimizes all the open windows. By minimizing all the open windows to the taskbar, you are able to see the desktop window. But the windows that are minimized need to be restored manually one-by-one.Switch to Windows Desktop
  5. Alt+Tab Switcher Hotkey: This is a well known hotkey and can be used to switch to any open window. Since the Windows desktop is also a window, you can use the Alt+Tab switcher to quickly switch to the desktop window.

Conclusion: There are many different ways you can switch to the Windows desktop. Some of these methods require the use of your mouse while other use special hotkeys.

2 thoughts on “Five Ways to Quickly Show the Desktop in Windows

  1. I use windows 7 and the win+d, win+space, win+m do not work for me.
    Alt+tab used to work until yesterday. Now it shows all windows EXCEPT the desktop. It doesn’t work anymore and I don’t know why.

    1. I just tested in Windows 7 SP1 32-bit, it all works. Run MSConfig Utility and choose Diagnostic Startup and then reboot. See if these hotkeys work then. If they do, some auto-start program or service is interfering with your keyboard input. Do not forget to run MSConfig againto choose Normal Startup and then reboot.

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