Alt+Spacebar, N: Minimize an application

If you click on the icon in the upper left of an application (at the beginning of the title bar), a little menu opens, which is called the System menu:

[Image: Application system menu]

The keyboard method of opening this menu is Alt+Spacebar. Then you can press N to Minimize the application, or X to Maximize, or any of the other underlined letters.

So, to minimize any application: Press Alt+Spacebar then N.

19 thoughts on “Alt+Spacebar, N: Minimize an application”

  1. I just discovered that on my terminal running XP Home, Cntrl + Alt + an arrow key will change the orientation of the display. (e.g. Cntrl + Alt + the down arrow will cause the screen to display upside down)

    But, this does not work on my terminals running XP Pro. Is this a legitimate shortcut, a quirk of XP Home or a setting?

  2. It’s not an official Windows shortcut. My bet is that on your machine running XP Home, you have some software installed that came with either your monitor or your video card (or such software was preinstalled by the vendor of your computer). Check to see if you have an icon in the system tray (in the lower right) that has a name such as “Rotate” or “Orientation” and if you right-click on it, you can learn more about it. Then you can either change the shortcut keys or disable them (if that’s what yhou want to do), or have that same software installed on your XP Pro terminals if you want them to support the same shortcuts.

  3. I am working on linux right now and this works here too. I always used to wonder how the hell one accesses that part. ALT + Spacebar – good to know.


  4. I tried with an appl. calls Glovia and did not work.
    Pressing Atl+Space Bar shows an small screen. Then holding still Alt+Space bar I pressed N. Nothing happen. If I do the same in Firefox it works. Thnks

  5. Sorry George — never heard of Glovia, but apparently it uses non-standard keys. Contact the folks who make Glovia and tell them to get with the program!

  6. Hi, so I’ve recently discovered the shortcut Alt Spacebar N to minimize an active window but I doesn’t seem to work every time on winamp.
    Can anyone please help me on that xD

  7. When I did the Windows Key + down arrow (on my Windows 7 pro Machine), it did not minimize firefox. It just made the window take up last space on the desktop. Maybe Im confused but I thought minimize was to retire the window to the task bar (to hide things quickly from prying eyes).

  8. Trinity, you have to press down the down arrow twice. Or, with windows 7, by pressing Windows Key + Left, or +Right arrow, you can move the Window to split screen viewing. ….Very handy shortcut.

  9. For some reason my Alt, Space, N quit working! very irritating when you are used to using it often. Any idea how I can enable it again? Also, with R for restore and C for Close!

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