need help resetting Sierra prefs

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I foolishly set a preference SOMEWHERE to hide the application windows that I'm not working on at the moment. Not close them, only hide the windows leaving only those I'm currently working on open. When I click on the application in the Dock, that app appears and all others are hidden. I've Google it to death and find nothing.
I want them all open, all unhidden, all the time, as was my life before!
What did I set to have them hide? I've looked at every preference including finder prefs and can't find where I set windows to hide.
 
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well, not really. First, I've been using a Mac since the 80s and that's how stupid I feel about this.
I want ALL application windows of ALL applications(open) to be visible at ALL times so I can switch back and forth between apps simply by clicking the window of an app I want to work in. It's kinda of the same as hitting "show all" but that's not permanent. Every time I open an app, it hides all others that are open. I changed a pref somewhere(System Prefs/Finder Prefs?) and now only one application's windows are visible at a time. I have to go to the dock to click on the other active applications to see those windows. That immediately hides all other applications windows.
Thanks for the reply anyway. It's one of those... why did I change that preference? Where the heck was that?!
 

Cory Cooper

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I have been at this since the same period of time. ;)

The only preferences that I know of that have to do with Finder windows is Mission Control. If Spaces are enabled, and you have Group windows by application and When switching to an application, switch to a Space with open windows for the application enabled, that may cause the issue you are describing.

Do you have any third-party apps/preference panes that control Finder windows installed - i.e. TinkerTool, Magnet, etc.?

C
 
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so I went again to System Prefs, Mission Control because I was messing around with this, Dock, "open in tabs" and a few others when this occurred. This was just last week and the first time I've encountered it.
So I unchecked ALL in Mission Control and then opened a new app and Safari disappeared. Not the problem.
 
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Hmm, strange, strange problem. As you most likely know, when you launch an application, you can "Hide Others" by clicking on the app name next to the black Apple symbol, and click "Hide Others". But why it is doing that at ANY time is certainly baffling. I also tried searching for your issue, but cannot find anything.

I am not having this issue, by the way. I am using OS 10.12.1, and right now, I am running Google Chrome. If I click on the Onyx icon the Dock, it launches, but Chrome is still open.
 
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thanks. yes, I'm running the latest version of Sierra but it's not an OS specific issue I don't believe. All was fine with my Sierra install until a changed some pref, somewhere, and as I say, now every time I open an app all the rest are hidden. I can "show all' going to the Finder but clicking on any Dock item hides all others again. I believe it may have been something to do with Tabs but I've tried turning off all options, turning on all options, and I'm getting no where.
 
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How did you "get to" Sierra? Did you just "upgrade in place", that is, did you do the upgrade while the prior OS was still active? Myself (and I've done this for the past 3 Mac "upgrades"), after going through my usual weekly disk cleanup/maintenance/repair, and SuperDuper! backup, tasks, I re-started the respective Mac (I have 2 Macs) from that recently made SuperDuper! backup, used Disk Utility there to Erase and Format (no need for me to partition) the internal SSD, launched the file "Install macOS Sierra", and proceeded with a clean, "virgin" installation of OS 10.12. I then used Migration Assistant to "migrate"/copy needed stuff from that SuperDuper! backup. When that finished, I restarted the respective Mac from the (now populated) SSD, and it went fine. Applied the OS 10.12.1 update, and a couple of more application-specific tasks, and all was/is good. I did not "touch" any of the System Preferences until this morning, when I added the Sierra-specific version of Onyx to Accessibility/Privacy piece of the Security & Privacy Preference. Things are still good.

Were you having this issue with the prior OS you were using?

Also, when you updated to Sierra, did you insure that any third party apps that you use are compatible with OS 10.12.x? I suspect that should make no difference with your issue, but it might be worthwhile to confirm that. A number of folks tend to forget that is one task that needs to be completed before "upgrading" the Mac OS.
 
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How did you "get to" Sierra? Did you just "upgrade in place", that is, did you do the upgrade while the prior OS was still active? Myself (and I've done this for the past 3 Mac "upgrades"), after going through my usual weekly disk cleanup/maintenance/repair, and SuperDuper! backup, tasks, I re-started the respective Mac (I have 2 Macs) from that recently made SuperDuper! backup, used Disk Utility there to Erase and Format (no need for me to partition) the internal SSD, launched the file "Install macOS Sierra", and proceeded with a clean, "virgin" installation of OS 10.12. I then used Migration Assistant to "migrate"/copy needed stuff from that SuperDuper! backup. When that finished, I restarted the respective Mac from the (now populated) SSD, and it went fine. Applied the OS 10.12.1 update, and a couple of more application-specific tasks, and all was/is good. I did not "touch" any of the System Preferences until this morning, when I added the Sierra-specific version of Onyx to Accessibility/Privacy piece of the Security & Privacy Preference. Things are still good.

Were you having this issue with the prior OS you were using?

Also, when you updated to Sierra, did you insure that any third party apps that you use are compatible with OS 10.12.x? I suspect that should make no difference with your issue, but it might be worthwhile to confirm that. A number of folks tend to forget that is one task that needs to be completed before "upgrading" the Mac OS.

I upgraded from El Capitan to Sierra. The upgrade went fine in Oct and Sierra was running as it should be until just last week when I "played" with some prefs. I just can't remember where and what I changed. It's not that somethings not running right, it's not running as it was or how I want it once again to be. More inconvenience than real issue. I'm sure there's a pref somewhere that says something like, "Hide other running applications when opening a new one" and I need to uncheck it.
 
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although I know I didn't check this box in Tinker Tool(haven't used it certainly since my Sierra install), unchecking it solved my issue. There. must be something similar somewhere in System or Finder prefs.

Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 7.05.17 AM.png
 
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I don't use Tinker Tool, nor any product like it. But, I've heard about the software before, and apparently it has been around for a while, with various OS-specific versions:

https://www.bresink.com/osx/TinkerToolOverview.html

As that chart shows, the latest, Sierra specific, version is V6.0. Were you using Tinker Tool before? How did you get to V6.0? If you downloaded it yourself, you would have needed to install it, and if you did nothing after that, that means the app gets installed with that Preference setting. Whether or not you had been using that software previously, maybe there is a bug with installing V6.0 and Sierra. I of course don't know how you would upgrade to V6.0. I know that for Onyx, one needs to download and install a specific version for each Mac OS.

Note the description of that product:

"TinkerTool is an application that gives you access to additional preference settings Apple has built into macOS. This allows to activate hidden features in the operating system and in some of the applications delivered with the system."

Hence, there are hidden preference settings, and to get to them without Tinker Tool would require some kind of combination of keys I guess. That's kind of akin to the hidden Recovery HD partition created by an installation of the Mac OS. In your case, I suspect that Recovery HD partition was already there with at least El Capitan, and it got updated with your upgrade to Sierra. To get to that partition, one needs to hold down the Command and R keys while booting up their Mac.
 
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Hmm, interesting post, Cory. I wonder what other preferences Tinker Tool allows one to modify that are hidden, and if there are similar Terminal Commands for those,
 

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