I know that how to maximize windows has been discussed in several places. I have a more specific question here:

Why, when I hit option + maximize\zoom (green button in the top left) do browsers not work the same as other windows? e.g. they don't fully maximize.

Other desktop native apps that I've tried (Spotify, Slack, Terminal\iTerm are examples) go fullscreen when I hit option+maximize. However, Google Chrome and Safari do not. Interestingly, Firefox does.

I really would prefer to not switch back to Firefox, but this has annoyed me for years. Does anyone know how to change the option maximize in Google Chrome?


  • Google Chrome 52.0.2743.116 (64-bit)
  • Safari 9.1.2 (10601.7.7)
  • OS X 10.10.5
  • Safari does for me
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 17:38
  • Safari and Chrome both maximize for me with option+maximize.
    – fsb
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 18:45
  • I'm using 10.11.5 with Safari 9.1.1 and when option-clicking the green button, Safari does not maximize to the full size of the Desktop (that is, its width and its height (less the height of the menu bar and Dock) as all other app windows do when option-clicking the green button. So I wrote an AppleScript that runs as an Automator service activated by a hotkey combo, which toggles between my defined default window size and truly maximized. It requires permission for assistive access however if interested I'll post it as a workaround answer, if you want. Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 20:46
  • @user3439894, yes, please post it. I'll try it out and see. Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 20:57
  • @Mark I'll update my post with versions for clarity. Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 20:57

1 Answer 1


I think you are mixing up keys.

This is in El Capitan - earlier versions behaved differently - I forget when it changed

I have tried this on Firefox, Safari, Numbers and iTerm2

  1. Cmd + green button makes the window full screen with no menubar
  2. Alt + green button keeps the menu bar and makes the window fill the rest of the screen

these are documented in this Apple knowledgebase article


  1. Alt + Shift+ green button seems to do different things.

Safari Nothing
Firefox same as 2
Numbers same as 2
iTerm Keeps the menubar makes the window full screen height but keep the same width as before.

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