The default behavior when you drag a window to a new desktop is to make it fullscreen. Is there any way to have it maximized instead of going full screen.

Referring to the following:

  1. ^+Up
  2. Drag a window to the mission control bar and make the new desktop show up
  3. Drop it at the new desktop. (it becomes fullscreen here, but I want it to be maximized, not fullscreen, which is the default action.)
  • I can't repro that method. I can invoke Mission Control & drag something to the + icon top right to generate a new Space, but I can't make it change window size by dropping it there; it lands just the same as it was when it started [just in the new Space instead of its old Space].
    – Tetsujin
    Sep 5, 2018 at 18:57
  • @Tetsujin when you take a maximized window from an existing space to a new space, it becomes fullscreen and occupies the whole space. If you drag the window between 2 existing spaces, a new space pops up.. If that makes sense.
    – Gaurav
    Sep 5, 2018 at 19:03
  • Hello Gaurav, welcome to Ask Different. I didn't know of this functionality existed, thank you for sharing it. I could reproduce the behavior you describe and I'm afraid it can't be changed. I see it as is an alternative way to make a window full screen that let's you position it in a (new) space of your choosing (instead of defaulting to the last space). When leaving full screen, the newly created space gets deleted as you would expect with a regular full screen window.
    – jaume
    Sep 5, 2018 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


Dragging a window to the Spaces bar as you describe will always create a full-screen space for that app, but there's another method to add a space, drag a window to the Add Space + icon on the right side of the Spaces bar:

enter image description here

This method, described in this support article, will create a new space with the window you dragged.

The window will retain its size and won't be maximized, though. However, you can maximize it yourself before or after dragging:

  • either by using Window>Zoom (doesn't always work as you'd expect)
  • or as follows: while pressing Option, drag a corner of the window to the nearest corner of your screen. It will expand the window in all directions, until the window takes up the full screen.
  • I have the opposite problem. How can I prevent this hugely frustrating behavior of maximizing windows I just want to move?
    – tripleee
    Sep 17, 2021 at 9:24
  • @tripleee I don't have an answer to that, I'd suggest that you post a question clearly describing your issue, and hopefully someone will post a fix or workaround.
    – jaume
    Sep 17, 2021 at 13:17

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