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.

  • 5
    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.
    – Wyatt Ward
    Feb 24, 2016 at 15:47
  • 3
    @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.
    – Wyatt Ward
    Feb 24, 2016 at 16:31
  • 4
    In Mac OS Sierra you can also double click on the window corner to automatically expand it to maximum size, I hope this helps. Jan 21, 2019 at 14:42
  • 3
    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.
    – akahunahi
    Apr 29, 2019 at 20:54
  • 1
    @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. Apr 30, 2019 at 7:10

13 Answers 13


There's a BetterTouchTool 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. Oct 3, 2018 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)

  • 12
    This is the only answer that correctly address the question and without any third party sowftware May 9, 2018 at 12:07
  • 2
    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. Jul 26, 2018 at 13:48
  • 1
    @OleksandrShpota you were right, the combination changed. It's opt + alt + shift and click. I've also updated the answer with a gif. Jul 26, 2018 at 20:04
  • 1
    @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. Dec 16, 2018 at 23:29
  • 6
    I don't this the Shift does anything extra. I think Option + Click does the same as Shift + Option + Click (as per @akaasjager's answer below)
    – stwr667
    Dec 5, 2019 at 4:51

A workaround without any 3rd-party software:

If you double click on any window corner (when the resize pointer appears) while holding the (option) key, this will maximize the window.

Alternatively, you can also double click on the window corner (when the resize pointer appears) to automatically expand that 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.

  • 2
    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.
    – akahunahi
    May 3, 2019 at 21:32
  • 16
    @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. Aug 13, 2019 at 14:25
  • 2
    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. Aug 14, 2019 at 10:30
  • 3
    This is the one that works and requires no additional software. What a ridiculous UI. Apr 13, 2022 at 22:44
  • 2
    Thanks for the trick with double click the corner of the window with pressed the Option key! This was the only way how to get back top part of the window with title bar that stuck ouside the screen after disconnecting from external monitor. I tried all the tricks I know from Linux or Window OS but MacOS is very ehm special and unfriendly in many ways.
    – ino
    Oct 19, 2022 at 11:34

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.

  • 6
    Yes but not on the whole screen, just the height. Feb 24, 2016 at 12:03
  • 2
    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, 2016 at 12:39
  • 14
    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, 2016 at 13:05
  • 3
    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, 2017 at 14:27
  • alt/opt does work with some apps, but not all. Especially not with the finder. Yelliver's solution works! without "alt", double clicking on any corner only maximizes in the direction of the two borders that match in the clicked corner(click top right to maximze the window from where it is to the top and the right, leavin left and bittoim as is, for example) - but adding the "alt" it maximizes everywhere! Thanks @yelliver
    – Henning
    Dec 26, 2019 at 16:55

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

  • 2
    "I am using Spectacle to assign shortcuts like "windows" to maximize a window" @Thijs Kempers already mentioned about it. Feb 24, 2016 at 15:53
  • @Mateus: but the original question said to be still looking for this functionality, so it obviously wasn't known that this is possible with spectacle.
    – Henning
    Dec 26, 2019 at 16:53
  • 1
    Spectacle is no longer maintained. I'm the developer of Rectangle, which is based on Spectacle. If I understand the original question properly, I think the ask is to be able to drag the window to the top of the screen to maximize. Spectacle did not have this behavior, but Rectangle does.
    – Ryan H
    Feb 10, 2020 at 20:36

⌥ Option and double-click a window's corner, when the resize pointer appears.

Thanks to Kubuntuer82 and their answer for giving me the idea of trying out their technique while holding ⌥ Option. It worked for me on macOS Catelina :D

  • 1
    Only this worked without installing third-party app. Thanks
    – rofrol
    Mar 11, 2022 at 12:03

I just had the same issue and found that Rectangle is a perfect free and open source solution: https://rectangleapp.com/

  • Perfect, exactly what OP asked for (and I was looking for as well).
    – ArSeN
    Aug 19, 2021 at 12:09

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.


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.

  • doesn't work with all apps - especially not with finder.
    – Henning
    Dec 26, 2019 at 16:57
  • Seems to do the same thing as the Zoom/+ mentioned in other answers above where it just expands to fill the height but not the width of the screen. Jan 25, 2022 at 18:13

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.



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


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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