53

Is there a way I can get this behavior on Mac OS?

  1. alt + right-click-drag will resize the window, relative to where you've clicked within the window and the window's center

  2. alt + left-click-drag will move the window, regardless of where you've clicked within the window.

There's a Windows port of this behavior as well: http://www.codeproject.com/KB/DLL/wm.aspx

4
  • I never knew about this, sounds useful. +1 Oct 9, 2009 at 0:07
  • I use it all the time on my work Windows machine. Biggest missing feature for me since I moved to Mac. : ( If I can't find a solution, I'll have to write my own. : )
    – Aaron F.
    Oct 9, 2009 at 0:11
  • A considerable list of window management options is discussed at apple.stackexchange.com/questions/9659/…
    – duozmo
    Oct 28, 2012 at 16:43
  • Not really an answer to the question, but if you move the mouse to the right/left edge until you see the horizontal resize icon, then dragging vertically will allow you to move the window instead of resizing. Same goes for the bottom edge + horizontal drag. The advantage is that it does not require installing anything extra.
    – ccpizza
    Mar 22, 2016 at 10:49

8 Answers 8

38

Easy Move+Resize is a free and open source tool that does exactly that. I tested it first on El Capitan (update from 2022: it still works on Monterey).

Cmd + Ctrl + Left Mouse - anywhere inside a window, then drag to move

Cmd + Ctrl + Right Mouse - anywhere inside a window, then drag to resize

10
  • 1
    Just tried it. Works great. Just wish the icon had a little better resolution.
    – Saad Malik
    Apr 28, 2016 at 23:07
  • Yes, download the latest release and run. Very light and simple. Oct 26, 2016 at 7:28
  • A bit hard to resize windows on the touchpad: (1) hold configured modifier key(s) (2) I have to use two-finger tap (3) continue to press down one of the fingers to really "click" (in the bottom of the touchpad) (4) add the third finger tap and move it so the window is resized (Old MacBook Pro Retina, El Capitan.)
    – mike_k
    Jan 7, 2017 at 10:19
  • You're right @mike_k, it's not perfect
    – grebulon
    Jan 8, 2017 at 8:07
  • @mike_k this is probably not meant for touchpad. Nov 20, 2017 at 21:07
37

BetterTouchTool lets you do this. It's quite handy!

In BTT's prefs, click on the Settings button, the three dots at the top right.

Then select the "Window Snapping and Moving" item in the sidebar.

Tick the tickboxes for the keys you want to hold down for Moving and Resizing.

BetterTouchTool Settings

I selected all three: move, resize, and FN.

When I hold Function+Control the focused window will move when I slide around on the trackpad.

When I hold Function+Option the focused window will resize when I slide around on the trackpad.

I tested this on my macbook pro, OS X 10.6.5.

Note that you may get this message first time you try to actually move or resize a window:

message window if you haven't already enabled the Accessibility API

Click "Launch it for me!", then check the box for "Enable access for assistive devices" - you're in business.

3
  • Thanks for this. It's not quite what I was looking for, but it certainly is less work (no clicking to move/resize!) And it's free!!!!
    – codekoala
    Mar 22, 2012 at 21:42
  • moving windows without a click is quite unusual, but maybe it's just a matter of habit. thanks for the detailed answer Oct 18, 2012 at 10:20
  • Alt drag works on BTT but at least on Catalina window movement is not smooth. There used to an application called Zooom which was the best but was discontinued and doesn't work now.
    – trinth
    Oct 22, 2019 at 16:03
13
+100

I found this the other day, might be useful:

Although not Alt + left-click-drag but this would give you Ctrl + Cmd + Click natively (High Sierra or later), no 3rd party app required:

Run this command in terminal to enable Ctrl + Cmd + Click in any window to move. Restart after.

# to add
defaults write -g NSWindowShouldDragOnGesture -bool true   

Run this command in terminal to remove this functionality. Restart after.

# to remove
defaults delete -g NSWindowShouldDragOnGesture

sourced from http://www.mackungfu.org/UsabilityhackClickdraganywhereinmacOSwindowstomovethem

4
  • This is the right answer. No third party software needed. Just a simple change in some config.
    – meh
    Aug 20, 2019 at 13:24
  • Agree. This works with Catalina, the latest MaxOSX version, as I type this.
    – Rafe
    May 28, 2020 at 18:03
  • 2
    Disagree. Doesn't cover resizing Apr 7, 2021 at 5:27
  • 1
    great solution, but you need to restart the app for this hotkey to work
    – JLarky
    Dec 8, 2021 at 22:15
3

Tried them all and they are not as good as Flexiglass.

  • Afloat doesn't work with all applications (Firefox is one of them)
  • Zooom doesn't allow you to use the right click button
3

https://github.com/finestructure/Hummingbird is open source software with paid version for support.

Installing instructions:

brew tap finestructure/Hummingbird
brew install --cask Hummingbird
4
  • Saw this when it launched and didn't realize it was open source. Thanks for the tip!
    – David Gay
    Apr 16, 2020 at 19:57
  • This is the best option IMO as of Aug 17, 2020. Best successor to Zooom I've seen yet. Has key customizability and is pretty fluid in movement.
    – trinth
    Aug 17, 2020 at 17:05
  • FYI, this is a fork of "Easy Move + Resize" which uses only the modifier keys instead of modifier+click. It does not support using modifier+drag to resize/move like the original. Pick your poison.
    – Tullo_x86
    Oct 20, 2021 at 20:31
  • This worked great for me -- I was able to set modifier keys to both move and resize windows, just like I did with BetterTouchTool/BetterSnapTool in the past. Mar 26 at 3:47
1

Try holding fn + option and then move your mouse (10.6.4 2010 MBP)

My old mac used to do it using just option key along (10.6.2 MBA)

Oh and try the window snapping function on BetterTouchTool. If you've not used that app, its the greatest thing to happen to Apple Trackpads (and Magic Mouse) > lets you configure over 40+ different gestures to lots of different commands!

And its free too

0

There is also Maxsnap (10 USD), which I found to be smoother in movement than BTT.

-1

With the Afloat utility installed, holding control+Command moves a window.

6
  • Please elaborate - I'm not seeing that behavior.
    – JRobert
    Jun 15, 2010 at 14:09
  • Hold command and control and you can drag a window from anywhere, can you not?
    – Wuffers
    Jun 15, 2010 at 15:16
  • No on my 10.5.8 box. Nor do I find a system preference for it. Perhaps it was introduce in a fairly recent version of the OS or you have some helper wingding installed... Jul 8, 2010 at 21:57
  • Never mind, I apologize. It was with a third-party utility called Float.
    – Wuffers
    Sep 17, 2010 at 23:37
  • @DanielBeck: I updated my answer accordingly, thank you!
    – Wuffers
    Jan 4, 2011 at 22:19

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