How to snap your windows on MacOS and Windows

With the various monitor configurations available to us growing more diverse every day, and the number of apps we use on a daily basis keeping pace with all of that extra screen real estate we’re gaining, it’s vital to have a way to quickly and easily organize your work across multiple windows. Below, we’ve covered how to do exactly that in both Windows 10 an MacOS. 

Windows 10

Step-by-step guide for Windows 10 and 11

All of the methods below will work in both Windows 10 and Windows 11. The only difference is that Windows 11 adds a few extra configuration options for customized layouts and groups which can be seen at Microsoft’s Support site.

To snap windows to a side or corner via mouse:

  1. Click and hold the Title Bar at the top of the window you’re trying to organize.
  2. Drag that bar over to the left side of the screen to have it fill the left half, or the right side to have it fill the right half.
  3. Click on one of the other open windows presented in whichever half you did not choose to have that fill the remainder of the screen. 
  4. Alternately, drag the window to any of your display’s four corners to have it fill up one quarter of your screen. 
  5. You can also click any other active windows to fill the remaining unfilled quarters using this orientation as well. 
  6. When you want to re-maximize any single window, simply click-and-hold its title bar, then drag it to the top-center of the display and let go. 

You should see the visual cue of a small, expanding blue ring emanating out from your cursor when you’ve hit the correct spot for Windows to sense your attempt to snap the window in question to a side or corner. This is your cue to let go of your mouse button. 

To Snap windows to a side or corner via keyboard

  1. Select the window you’d like to move and make sure it’s the current focus. 
  2. Hold the Windows key on your keyboard and tap the left arrow to snap it to the left half of the screen, or right arrow for right half. 
  3. Holding the Windows key and tapping the opposite arrow once will bring the window back to its previous position, while tapping it a second time will swap it to the opposite half. 
  4. You can also tap Windows + up arrow to maximize, and Windows + down arrow to minimize any active window. 


Step-by-step guide for MacOS

  These tips work on macOS Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, or El Capitan. 

  1. Place your cursor over the green button located at the top-left of the window you want to resize/move. 
  2. Either click and hold, or hover over the button without clicking for a few seconds. 
  3. You’ll be presented with choices to snap fit the window to the left half or right half of the display. Click on whichever you’d prefer.
  4. Click on the other open windows that appear within whichever half you did not choose to have that window fill the remaining half of the screen.
  5. To restore either window, bring your cursor to the top of the screen and wait for the three buttons at the top left of it to appear. Once present, you can click on the green button once again to restore the window to its previous state.

Once you’ve got the two windows of your choice ready, you can also click and drag on the center bar to vary the amount of screen each is allowed to take up. How wide or narrow a window can get will be determined by MacOS and its parameters for the apps being used. 

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