Whenever I start an application like Terminal or Preview, they are always opened as a small window on the top left corner of the screen. Is there any way to set them to open in the center of the screen? Preferably maximized too?


5 Answers 5


In Terminal you can change the default window size from Preferences > Settings > Window:

You can also use window groups to set a default position and size for the window opened when you launch Terminal (but not for new windows opened later).

I use Sequential and Skim as alternatives to Preview and iTerm 2 as an alternative to Terminal. All of them have an option to open windows in full screen by default, and all of them have their own (pre-Lion and actually usable) implementations for full screen windows.

The sizes of Finder windows are saved in .DS_Store files and there are no default window size settings in com.apple.Finder.plist or anything. I use a script like this to reset the properties of windows:

tell application "Finder"
    if number of Finder windows is 0 then return
    tell Finder window 1
        set toolbar visible to false
        set sidebar width to 0
        set statusbar visible to false
        set current view to column view
        set bounds to {960, 44, 1920, 1076}
        tell its column view options
            set shows icon to false
        end tell
    end tell
end tell
  • How can I change the default window size of an app, like Keynote?
    – Rain
    Commented Oct 12, 2023 at 21:50

Slate (a window manager) is extremely configurable, and using the JavaScript config file will allow you to do this. Events like a window opening can be handled with a JavaScript callback which moves the window to fill the screen.

An example of what you want: (taken pretty much directly from the wiki page)

slate.on("windowOpened", function(event, win) {
    if (win.app().name() === "Terminal" || win.app().name() === "Preview") {
        win.move("x" : "screenOriginX", "y" : "screenOriginY",
                 "width" : "screenSizeX", "height" : "screenSizeY");
  • 1
    And I gave you points for this one 2, in thanks for publishing the script :)
    – Ruskes
    Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 11:34

I'd like to help you with the correct answer which is given on SuperUser: What controls saved / default window sizes and positions in OS X?

Next to that, if you don't want to mess with the .plist files I can recommend you BetterSnapTool which can be used to drag a program to the top of a screen like you can do in Windows 7 by default.


On OSX 10.9, when I drag the Terminal window to a different spot, then quit, the new location is remembered upon relaunch. To change the size of the window, in Preferences -> Text, you can make the font size bigger, which will be remembered. In Preferences -> Window, you can set the number of rows/columns as well.


Get an app named SizeUp. It is not free but it pays for itself in productivity real quick.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .