Make Only One Program Window Visible at a Time – Mac Kung Fu, 2nd Edition

Tip 316Make Only One Program Window Visible at a Time

This is a tip for those who don’t find it easy to use computers (see also Tip 239, Make the Dock Show Only Running Programs). This tip makes only the currently active application window(s) visible at any given moment. Any other program windows are automatically hidden. You can switch between open applications as usual using the Dock.

Autohiding App Windows

To make this happen, open Terminal (open Finder, select the Applications list, and then in the list of applications double-click Terminal within the Utilities folder), and type the following:

defaults write single-app -bool TRUE;killall Dock

The changes will take effect the next time you click the Dock icon. Click any Dock icon to hide all other program windows.

Note that if you switch apps using the task switcher (Command+Tab), you can still have more than one program window visible on the screen. However, as soon as you next click a Dock icon, all the other windows will again disappear.

Restoring Default Settings

To deactivate the effect later, open a Terminal window, and type the following:

defaults delete single-app;killall Dock

You’ll need to click the Dock icons of your apps to unhide them one by one.