Back in the earlier days of the Mac, OS X used to have a built-in feature that let you focus in on a single window while hiding all the others. For whatever reason, Apple decided to get rid of that. As a result, it’s also now difficult to hide all your open windows to protect against wandering eyes nearby.

Fortunately, a new Mac app called Hides restores these features. The app lets you use your Mac in “Single App Mode” as well as quickly hide all of your windows with a single click or keyboard shortcut. Hides is $4.99 in the Mac App Store but well worth it if you’re often in a busy environment but need to get some private browsing done.


When you turn on your Mac, various apps, add-ons (such as menu extras), and invisible background processes open by themselves. Usually these automated actions are exactly what you want, but you. On Mac or Windows, you can use virtual backgrounds in meetings and events using the Webex Meetings desktop app. Before You Join. Click Change Background and then do one of the following. When you're ready for everyone in the meeting to see your background, click Apply. Webex remembers your selection for your next meeting. Normally, if you want to close all of the open apps on your Mac, you'd have to either quit them all one by one or restart, shut down, or log out while making sure to deselect “Reopen windows when logging back in.' The latter option is great, but it doesn't always work in Mac OS X, and what if you don't want to restart, shut down, or log out? Step 6: A new ChromaCam window will pop-up on the screen allowing you to choose a background and adjust a number of parameters including Filters, Slide and Blur level. Select a background and make the adjustments, if required. Step 7: Once you have set a new background, just minimize the popup window and you’re done.

Hide Your Entire Desktop

If you want to hide your entire desktop with Hides, utilize the Preferences panel that opens upon first launching the application. You can decide whether you want to hide every running application or just use Single App Mode. For our purposes, make sure Single App Mode in the left sidebar is switched off.

Tap Settings General Background App Refresh, then scroll down the list of apps. If you see anything that you don’t want refreshing itself in the background, go ahead and flip the appropriate.

While Hides sits in your menu bar for easy access, you might want to set a keyboard shortcut hide the windows even quicker. Select Hide All Apps in the Preferences to do this. Then click Record Shortcut and choose your key combination to set.

From there, either click Hides in the menu bar and choose Hide All Apps or just use your keyboard shortcut. All your windows will click vanish from the desktop.

Tip: The application icons will still appear in your dock even if the windows are gone. A good way to quickly get rid of this is to hide the dock too by using the shortcut Command+Option+D.

Hide Individual Applications

To hide individual applications on your Mac, you’ll want to head back into the Hides preferences, accessible via the menu bar option. This time, click the switch on the left that turns on Single App Mode.

Single App Mode essentially only lets you use one application at a time and it will automatically hide the rest. If you have Safari, Messages, Calendar and Mail open and Single App Mode is enabled, you’ll only be able to see one of the four that you choose. If you decide you only want to see Safari but then attempt to open Messages, the Messages window will open and Safari will automatically minimize.

This is a great tool if you need laser focus on a specific application and don’t want the distracting clutter behind it on your desktop. Hides lets you pick a keyboard shortcut to enable Single App Mode too, so take advantage of that if you want quick access.

If you need even more privacy on your computer, do check out our handy guide to not only hiding files and folders on your Mac, but password protecting them too.

The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.Also See#OS X #privacy

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