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

  • I never knew about this, sounds useful. +1 Oct 9 '09 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 '09 at 0:11
  • A considerable list of window management options is discussed at apple.stackexchange.com/questions/9659/…
    – duozmo
    Oct 28 '12 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 '16 at 10:49

BetterTouchTool lets you do this: http://boastr.net/ (it's free and quite handy!)

UPDATE: Since 2016 BetterTouchTool is not free anymore.

In BTT's prefs, click on the "Action Settings (window stuff etc)" button.

Then select the "Window Moving and Resizing" tab.

The bottom pane will have 3 options, choose whichever you like: image of window move and resize option fields

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

When I hold FN+CTRL the focused window will move when I slide around on the trackpad.

When I hold FN+OPTION the focused window will resize when I slide around on the trackpad.

I tested this on my macbook pro, mac 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.

  • 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 '12 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
    – Paul
    Oct 18 '12 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 '19 at 16:03

Easy Move+Resize is a free and open source tool that does exactly that. I tested it on El Capitan.

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

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

  • 1
    Just tried it. Works great. Just wish the icon had a little better resolution.
    – Saad Malik
    Apr 28 '16 at 23:07
  • Yes, download the latest release and run. Very light and simple. Oct 26 '16 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 '17 at 10:19
  • You're right @mike_k, it's not perfect
    – grebulon
    Jan 8 '17 at 8:07
  • @mike_k this is probably not meant for touchpad. Nov 20 '17 at 21:07

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

  • This is the right answer. No third party software needed. Just a simple change in some config.
    – meh
    Aug 20 '19 at 13:24
  • Agree. This works with Catalina, the latest MaxOSX version, as I type this.
    – Rafe
    May 28 '20 at 18:03
  • 2
    Disagree. Doesn't cover resizing Apr 7 at 5:27

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

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

Installing instructions:

brew tap finestructure/Hummingbird
brew install --cask Hummingbird
  • Saw this when it launched and didn't realize it was open source. Thanks for the tip!
    – David Gay
    Apr 16 '20 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 '20 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 at 20:31

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


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


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

  • Please elaborate - I'm not seeing that behavior.
    – JRobert
    Jun 15 '10 at 14:09
  • Hold command and control and you can drag a window from anywhere, can you not?
    – Wuffers
    Jun 15 '10 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 '10 at 21:57
  • Never mind, I apologize. It was with a third-party utility called Float.
    – Wuffers
    Sep 17 '10 at 23:37
  • @DanielBeck: I updated my answer accordingly, thank you!
    – Wuffers
    Jan 4 '11 at 22:19

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