Without a doubt, that’s one of my personal favorite features of Windows 7: You can minimize all your open Windows and switch back to the desktop by simply swiping the mouse in the lower-right corner and clicking blindly. This is great when your screen is full of windows and you simply want to switch to the desktop to start a program. It’s also quite handy when you have e-mails or browser windows open which you don’t want your boss, your spouse, or anyone else to see. Unfortunately, Windows XP and Vista users don’t have this option, but they can enjoy the same benefit (more on this in a moment). First, let’s talk about Windows 7.
If you’re an avid multitasker, you probably have dozens of windows open at the same time, cluttering up your desktop. To quickly go to your desktop to, for example, launch a program, just hit the rectangular area!
Or Imagine this: you’re checking Facebook, personal websites, chatting with friends, or bidding on eBay at work, and all of a sudden, your boss comes walking through the room. Quickly, hide all of these windows!
Without even aiming, you move the mouse to the most lower-right corner of the screen, click on the transparent rectangular area, and…your desktop looks nice and clean again! All your windows are minimized within a second. On Vista or XP, this feature doesn’t work quite as fast. To minimize all visible windows, Vista or XP users have to target the “Show Desktop” icon. If you’re quick with the mouse, this takes at least 2–3 seconds, but it can take even longer if you’re not a speedy mouse-clicker.
If you’re an XP or Vista user and would like the comfort and speed Windows 7 users enjoy when minimizing windows, there’s a way to get your hands on this “Aero Peek” nifty little feature. All you have to do is download WinShake.
WinShake is a small, totally free tool that replicates “Aero Peek” on Windows Vista and XP. Download it, install it, and restart your PC. Upon downloading, you will notice a new icon.
Right-click on the icon and click on “Enable PeekTopX” and select “QuickPeek/Fast.” This will make hiding windows much faster. After following these steps, you will have the following option:
Move the mouse cursor over the lower right-hand corner. This will make all windows fully transparent—the content is hidden, and only the outline of the windows is still there as long as you keep the cursor on the “WinShake” spot right next to your clock.
Then click with the middle mouse-button on the lower right-hand corner. This will minimize all open windows.
Easy, isn’t it?
Warning to all readers: During my research, I found a handful of programs that replicate “Aero Peek,” besides WinShake. One of these tools,”7Peek”, triggered a virus alert. During testing, the ESET NOD32 virus scanner detected a threat from this tool, which has been confirmed by IntoWindows. While this is probably a false alarm, as 25 other virus scanners didn’t detect anything and marked the file as clean, I advise you to be careful and use WinShake instead.