Instantly Hide Active Program Windows & Disable Sound with Magic Boss Key

Tina Sieber 12-05-2011

magic boss keyComputers are great tools that we use day in and day out for work and play. Often it’s hard to keep the two separate. So we end up checking Facebook at work, sneak in a little work email at home, and research the perfect birthday gift while the prospective recipient is watching TV right next to us. So what do you do when you suddenly find someone’s attention shifting to you, while you’re working on something you don’t want them to see? You need a quick way to hide the confidential material in an unsuspicious way! Magic Boss Key is your solution.


The tool can come in handy in a number of situations. You may use it to conceal extracurricular tasks at school, hide classified documents when a nosy colleague comes in to disturb, or keep generally keep your browsing habits private.

While you can use the [WINDOWS] + [D] keyboard shortcut to minimize everything and reveal only the desktop, Magic Boss Key actually hides only selected items. With the click of a single hot key, your choice of open windows disappears, for example running applications, browser windows, or open folders. At the same time, you can also hide desktop icons, the taskbar, and mute the sound.

magic boss key

The setup is straightforward. When you launch Magic Boss Key, you will see a list of currently open windows. Simply check all the ones you want to be hidden when you click the hot key and you are essentially done. The trick is to leave some harmless windows unchecked and hence open, so that your desktop will not be suspiciously blank in case of an emergency.

boss key


Remember to minimize the Magic Boss Key window, and then continue with your secret mission. Magic Boss Key automatically minimizes to the tray. Selecting the program window itself to be hidden doesn’t do too much or the behavior is buggy at best. The program remains visible in the tray, so it is recommended that you edit your system tray to hide this item.

Since some windows, although hidden, might still sit in the system tray, for example Magic Boss Key itself, or are pinned to the taskbar, you might want to hide the taskbar altogether. Click the > Options button and personalize the settings. Within the options window you can also pick your favorite hot key. You can choose between the [F12] button or the [Windows] button + left / right mouse button. Clicking the hot key again, will restore the hidden windows.

magic boss key

While you’re on your secret mission, you may open more windows that you will want to hide. To get a fresh list of open windows in Magic Boss Key, click the > Refresh button. Note that your previous selection will be lost, so you essentially start over.


Taken together, Magic Boss Key is an easy to use tool with a simple interface and plain options. It could be a little better if hiding the tray icon of the program itself would work and if it was possible to launch the program with some windows preset to be hidden, for example specific applications like the browser or an instant messenger. Overall, however, it simply works.

If Magic Boss Key sounds interesting, but is not quite what you are looking for, check out the following articles:

How do you conceal your secret computer missions from spying eyes?

Image credits: PashOK


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  1. andonin
    June 8, 2011 at 3:31 am

    On a mac I made a quick applescript that minimizes any titles i have written into a text doc on the desktop (i.g. if i write firefox on a line it hides firefox) hides the dashboard and opens a school report on biology from last year whenever i hit swirly thing + g + a.
    For the P.C.s at school i wrote a autoit script that blocks that nasty screen check program by throwing a loop on the exe, didn't end up working correctly though...

    • Aibek
      June 9, 2011 at 11:13 am

      that'sa pretty cool tip fro Mac users, thanks for heads up

    • Tina
      June 9, 2011 at 5:32 pm

      Thank you for sharing, Andonin!