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Is there a free app that I can use to move a window from one monitor to the other monitor (assuming only two monitors) via the keyboard? I shouldn't have to use the mouse at all (e.g., for selecting the window or the monitor, or for dragging).

I know this can be done in Linux using compiz; I'm surprised there isn't a (free) option for OS X.

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up vote 31 down vote accepted

I ended up using BetterTouchTool to do this. Overall I found it to be the most configurable. Here is a screenshot of my configuration, whereas Cmd+Ctrl+W moves a window to the next monitor.

If you have a 3 monitor setup (2 external monitors and the Mac monitor), you can set up the "Move Window to Next Monitor" to the right by doing the following:

  1. set up a new shortcut, specify "Move Window to Next Monitor" as the Predefined Action
  2. click Attach Additional Action and again specify "Move Window to Next Monitor" as the action
  3. Voila, you can now move a window to the monitor on the right (a little hacky I know, but it works until the developer of BTT updates the app)

BetterTouchTool keyboard configuration

The only shortcoming of BetterTouchTool is poor Lion support (not all features are available) but it is available as an alpha release. This specific keyboard shortcut should work fine in Lion with the stable version, I reckon.

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Oh, and it's freeware. – adamrmcd Nov 6 '11 at 3:50
I've gotten rid of Moom (almost ran out of trial clicks) and am using it BTT now. I feel like BTT can be slimmed down and polished but it does move windows from one monitor to another for free, so I can't complain. – volni Nov 8 '11 at 21:15
It's not freeware now. Donationware. – vr_driver Mar 15 at 2:19
As far as I could tell, BTT is no longer free (there's a free trial though) – gMorphus Jul 4 at 6:05

I just tried Spectacle, great app and it's free.

This is what it can do with the selected group of windows.

enter image description here

You need to activate accessibility support.

System Preferences > Accessibility > Enable access for assisted devices

As per comments: The accessibility option in Mavericks is now in

System Preferences > Security and Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility

enter image description here

enter image description here

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Worked for me without having to enable assistive devices in accessibility options. – Adrian Spinei Mar 3 '13 at 13:49
With OS X Mavericks, the option to enable access for assistive devices has moved to System Preferences -> Security and Privacy -> Privacy -> Accessibility, where you will see Spectacle listed and can allow it to control your computer. – nathan Oct 28 '13 at 14:54
To specifically identity the shortcut, Spectacle use the shortcuts, ⌃⌥⌘← & ⌃⌥⌘→ to alternate windows to each display. – Shawn Conn Jan 8 at 5:19
I use Spectacle already, so I tried this... unfortunately the first thing I tried (my own Java / OpenGL app) – PeterT Feb 28 at 8:14

Moom can do this. It is not free, but Moom is a fantastic window management app. It lets you assign keyboard shortcuts to a variety of windows movements (including move to other display) and gives you an overlay of the OS X standard window controls.

Here are some screenshots:

mouse usage keyboard usage

Here is a list of window management apps from another AskDifferent post, What Window Management Options exist for OS X?. The only free option is Shiftit, and I'm not sure if it offers the functionality you are looking for.

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+1 for Moom. Discovered it a few months ago, I love it. Great value at only $5 too. – robmathers Oct 20 '11 at 19:25
I've been using ShiftIt for arranging windows within the same monitor. It's an excellent tool for that. However, it offers no move-to-other-display functionality. – volni Oct 20 '11 at 20:12
I'd check out Moom then. I know you wanted a free app, but it's quite inexpensive compared to many other Mac window managers. Plus, the overlay they designed for close/min/maximize buttons is so spiffy that they deserve the $5. :) – chrismanderson Oct 20 '11 at 20:14
@ArtemShnayder no longer true, ver 1.6 released this year now supports it; check out @WilfredSpringer 's answer – tutuDajuju Oct 30 '14 at 8:06

I was using ShiftIt for ages, but thought it didn't support dealing with multiple displays. So I started looking for alternatives. I installed Spectacles, changed the key bindings to be the same as ShiftIt's, and then when I wanted to deinstall ShiftIt, I found out it does actually support moving windows to different screens, using CtrlOptionCommandN

So I uninstalled Spectacles; still a happy ShiftIt user.

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BetterSnapTool also has this feature (as a shortcut). I think it was a free app, and its been a great one.

There is a shortcut where you can maximize the window in the next screen (among other shortcuts or ways of doing this). See the screenshot of the related shortcuts.

enter image description here

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wish they had "full screen on next monitor" too! – Eksze Feb 13 '15 at 14:40
it is called BetterTouchTool the free version and the option is found under window resize and move – Ryan Heitner Aug 3 '15 at 5:35
As far as I could tell, BTT is no longer free (there's a free trial though) – gMorphus Jul 4 at 6:05
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BTT is no longer free – reergymerej Apr 28 at 12:31
I would add Spectacle to this list. – gMorphus Jul 4 at 6:04

Just wanted to mention that there's a setting in System Preferences > Mission Control called "Group windows by application" that shows the app icons and allows you to drag the icon into another desktop/monitor. It's amazing for apps that have 10+ windows.

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