I have owned a MacBook Pro for a year, however at work I use a Windows laptop. Since I really like the functionality to maximize a windows by just pushing it to the top of the screen, I would like to have that on my Macbook too.

I am using Spectacle to assign shortcuts like "windows" to maximize a window, which works well and I recommend it.

However, is there any application to maximize a window like the way you can do it on a Windows laptop/pc, just by pushing the window to the top of the screen?

Note: I mean maximize window, not fullscreen.

  • 1
    It's worth noting that this used to be how it worked in OS X, too - the all-knowing apple decided that the users clearly wanted fullscreen instead with a recent OS X update. I'm stuck on 10.7 so I still have the old functionality, at least. Also, holding 'option' (alt) while clicking the fullscreen button should do it. – Wyatt8740 Feb 24 '16 at 15:47
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    @BenS As long as consistent means bloody annoying and change for the sake of change, I'll agree. I called the green button maximise because that's what it does for 99% of programs on old versions of OSX. – Wyatt8740 Feb 24 '16 at 16:31
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    In Mac OS Sierra you can also double click on the window corner to automatically expand it to maximum size, I hope this helps. – Kubuntuer82 Jan 21 at 14:42
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    Thanks @Kubuntuer82, that was the exact functionality I was looking for. This is similar functionality to Windows. Double click on window border when the resize mouse icon appears. – Ligemer Apr 29 at 20:54
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    @Ligemer You are welcome, and because of your feedback I decided to add it as an actual answer, since it also does not depend on any 3rd party software. – Kubuntuer82 Apr 30 at 7:10

11 Answers 11


There's a www.bettertouchtool.net app which does exactly what You need. You can download a trial and check it.

enter image description here

There's also Better Snap Tool from the same developer on the MacAppStore which does only window snapping.

  • They also have a simple version just for snapping called 'Better snap tool' although it breaks some of my apps and crashes occasionally. – Oliver Dixon Oct 3 '18 at 10:57

Hold shift option ⌥ and click the green maximise button on the top left part of the window.

enter image description here

NOTE: not every OSX application is eligible for maximize (example: maximizing the Finder doesn't work)

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    This is the only answer that correctly address the question and without any third party sowftware – Lucas Gabriel Sánchez May 9 '18 at 12:07
  • However it doesn't work. – Sasha Shpota Jul 26 '18 at 13:13
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    I have OS X 10.13.6. If I do what you proposed it just zooms a window a bit, but doesn't make it fill the screen. Try testing it on Finder window. – Sasha Shpota Jul 26 '18 at 13:48
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    @OleksandrShpota you were right, the combination changed. It's opt + alt + shift and click. I've also updated the answer with a gif. – Jonathan Argentiero Jul 26 '18 at 20:04
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    @JonathanArgentiero your answer still mentions Option + Command, which only zooms vertically. You need to include Shift in order to maximise the window across the entire screen. – Marcello Romani Dec 16 '18 at 23:29

If you are still looking for an alternative way, have a look at Spectacle.

  • You can select from the menu or use a keyboard shortcut.
  • There are many resize options but your requirement is "Fullscreen ⌥⌘F"
  • It is not like OS X full screen but Windows like maximum.

enter image description here

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    "I am using Spectacle to assign shortcuts like "windows" to maximize a window" @Thijs Kempers already mentioned about it. – Mateusz Szlosek Feb 24 '16 at 15:53

There is a simple, but annoying standard way: hold alt/opt when clicking the green button on the top bar. It will change into a plus instead of the double arrow, and after clicking your window will be maximized.

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    Yes but not on the whole screen, just the height. – Thijs Kempers Feb 24 '16 at 12:03
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    That's strange. On my Yosemite it does maximize both width and height, with the curious exception of Safari on large external monitors. – akaasjager Feb 24 '16 at 12:39
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    This actually invokes the zoom command, which is not the same as maximise. Zoom is supposed to enlarge the window such that it makes best use of the available screen space for its content. What this means is left to the application to decide. Safari won't enlarge horizontally if the webpage already fits in the window without a horizontal scroll bar. Some applications do just maximise the window. – MJeffryes Feb 24 '16 at 13:05
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    I have not enough point to answer but I found an interested way: hold alt key and double click on window edge to maximize horizontal or vertical, on window corner to maximize both! – yelliver Aug 18 '17 at 14:27

There is an app called Cinch that mimics the Windows behavior you've described. You can run it in demo mode, indefinitely, to see it does what you want before purchasing it.

Cinch gives you simple, mouse-driven window management by defining the left, right, and top edges of your screen as 'hot zones'. Drag a window until the mouse cursor enters one of these zones then drop the window to have it cinch into place. Cinching to the left or right edges of the screen will resize the window to fill exactly half the screen, allowing you to easily compare two windows side-by-side (splitscreen). Cinching to the top edge of the screen will resize the window to fill the entire screen (fullscreen). Dragging a window away from its cinched position will restore the window to its original size.


A workaround without any 3rd-party software:

In Mac OS Sierra you can also double click on the window corner (when the resize pointer appears) to automatically expand the corner to maximum size. Therefore, if you double click on the top-left corner and then on the bottom-right corner, the window will expand completely, that is it gets maximized.

Update: I have recently realized that for many apps, in my experience around 60%/70% of them, you can also just double click on the title bar and the window gets maximized as well. For the apps where this does not work (e.g. iTunes or some apps which have no title bar) you can still double click on opposite window corners as explained above.

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    After using this for a while, I think it is better functionality than Windows IMO. Much nicer experience to be able to expand the side or to top corner of screen. Definitely more Apple Like and gives the user more control. – Ligemer May 3 at 21:32
  • @Ligemer Better functionality than Windows? You've got to be kidding. MacOS has the absolute worst window management functionality of any desktop OS. Hence, this huge thread of people trying to figure out how to make it more like Windows. – Wayne Bloss Aug 13 at 14:25
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    Actually @Ligemer is right, being able to maximize only horizontally or only vertically provides more freedom than Windows, where you are forced to maximize on both directions. The only issue with MacOS is that people don't know these things, and they have to learn them as secret "tricks". Perhaps Apple people should find a way to let people know about these "tricks", without forcing them to do very hard searches on the web to find them. – Kubuntuer82 Aug 14 at 10:30

On El Captan, and maybe earlier, you can double click the top bar to make the window larger. It's similar to the Windows double click but some apps don't fill the whole screen. Not exactly click and drag like you were asking, but this way you don't need to install any third party apps.


Option-click the green traffic light button on the title bar


I use SizeUp for window management in OS X. I've used it for about 4 years now. SizeUp allows you to use keyboard shortcuts to move windows to different quadrants or halves of the screen. There is also a shortcut for maximizing the window. I used to miss the Windows gestures for window management, but once I got used to the keyboard shortcuts, I came to prefer OS X + SizeUp over the "drag to the top to maximize" gesture from Windows 7.



You can do that using Split Screen Ultimate.

When you press Control key and move the window to the top section of the screen, it will maximize the window - the way you want.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Disclosure: I own this app.


I'd also like to suggest you Moom: https://manytricks.com/moom/

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protected by nohillside Feb 3 '17 at 8:45

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