Alternatively referred to as the Minimize box or Minimize button, Minimize is an action available in all GUI operating systems that allow a user to hide a window, but keep the application running and accessible. In the picture below, is an example of a Microsoft Windows window with the minimize in the top-right corner of the window.

Minimize button on a window

In all recent versions of Microsoft Windows, the minimize button is represented by an underscore in the top-right corner of the window. When minimized, the program will remain on the taskbar, but not visible. In the early versions of Windows 3.x and other operating systems and software programs, the minimize may be represented by a small down arrow. When minimized, the program can be accessed by the icon behind the file manager.

Tip: To minimize only the current window press Alt + Space bar. Once the window properties is displayed press N to minimize the window.

Tip: Microsoft Windows users with a Windows keyboard can press the Windows key + M shortcut key to minimize all open windows. To undo the minimize all open windows, press Shift + Windows Key + M.

Tip: Windows 7 users can also use the Windows key + arrow down to resize and then minimize a window.

Apple computer users

MacOS minimizeIn Apple MacOS X, the minimize action can be done by pressing the green circle button in the right or left corner of the window. As can be seen in the picture to the right the window has a red, yellow, and green circle.

Also see: Close, Maximize, Operating system terms, Restore, Window