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I love my Mac eternally but there is one thing I miss from my former Windows days. When I want to toggle between maximize and restore window, on Windows I would double-click the title bar, and that would invoke the toggle.

However with older versions of OS X, a double click on the title bar causes the window to minimize, forcing me to hit F10, then locate the minimized window, then click on it. Too many steps.

Is there any way to make OS X perform the toggle on double-click?

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10 Answers 10

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  1. Choose Apple Menu → System Preferences, then click Dock.

  2. Select check box Double-click a window’s title bar to zoom.

    enter image description here

  3. Double click on window's title bar to maximise the window.

Zoom expands a window to fill the space between the Dock and the menu bar. If the Dock is along the side of the screen, the window fills the space below the menu bar and to the side of the Dock.


Up to macOS High Sierra 10.14:
Perform steps 1 and 2, then Shift + Double click on title bar to maximise the window.

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  • 1
    Sorry, it's already set to 'zoom' for me and enabled, but if I do the same for Finder (and some other windows), it just becomes 'slightly' bigger and double clicking again comes back to a smaller size - I don't know what exactly it is 'zooming' to when there's so much more space! Macs are funny. Jul 28, 2021 at 3:31
  • 1
    This stopped working for me with the upgrade to Big Sur (OS 11.x). Mine was set to Zoom but wasn't working. I had to toggle to Minimize and back to Zoom to get it to work.
    – KC Baltz
    Sep 20, 2021 at 16:35
  • To the action I expect, I had to set it to Minimize, double click to minimize the window I wanted to maximize and then set it to Zoom again and it started working as I expect...
    – cptully
    Dec 27, 2022 at 19:28
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Shift + Dbl-Click works perfectly!

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  • When I press shift and double click on the title bar, it does a slow animation that minimizes the application to the bottom right. On Windows a double click on the title bar maximizes the window Nov 22, 2015 at 5:34
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You can do it with third-party software

BetterSnapTool

App Store ($1.99)

Imgur

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  • 2
    To anybody coming across this post years later, it is now €3.49 (roughly USD $4.19). :)
    – TerranRich
    Jan 3, 2018 at 15:00
  • I have purchased BetterSnapTool and am well pleased.
    – ponies
    Apr 16, 2019 at 18:54
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I didn't find anything that makes double click to maximize available, but I found using http://hyperdock.bahoom.com/ a good alternative. (It also gives you active windows preview in your dock on top of window management.)

HyperDock brings advanced window management features to Mac OS:

Move & resize windows just by holding down keys and/or moving your mouse. Automatically resize windows when dragging to screen edges (Window Snapping).

By default you can snap window to sides/maximize with ctrl + cmd + arrow keys.


I also found a better alternative (even more convenient than the Windows feature you were asking about): Better Touch Tool from http://www.boastr.de/ (free)

Add your custom gesture like this (actually you can choose among tons of predefined actions and bind them to key combinations/ trackpad gestures):

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Go to Apple icon > System Preferences > Dock > Select "Double-click a window's title bar to" "Zoom", then it should work. As of now yours is minimize.

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  • 1
    I wish it would maximize to the full screen dimensions, but this is certainly better than nothing! Dec 24, 2015 at 23:49
  • Just realized, combining this answer with shift double click as per Anton Orel, does the job magnificently! Dec 24, 2015 at 23:57
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    I don't know if this was for an older version of macOS or what, but this no longer works consistently. I still have programs that, when I shift-double-click the title bar, it just goes to a previously-set size that it remembered.
    – TerranRich
    Jan 3, 2018 at 15:01
  • Or just select "Window" -> "Zoom" from the menu bar (since not all apps have a title bar to click on)
    – Wietse
    Mar 31, 2021 at 9:45
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If you move the cursor to a corner of the window (until ↔ appears) and double click, it will expand in that direction. Not a 100% solution, but still good.

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  • Similarly, if you move the cursor to a corner of the window, until the diagonal arrow cursor appears, you can hold down Option and double-click and the window will maximize in both the horizontal and vertical directions. Jul 6, 2022 at 15:14
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Moom and SizeUp allow setting up keyboard shortcuts for maximizing and restoring windows:

I never minimize windows, and I don't use any window management applications either. I think it's easier to just use ⌘H and to focus applications with keyboard shortcuts.

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  • 2
    this does not answer the question.
    – worc
    Jun 18, 2014 at 22:09
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On Big Sur, I had to re-enable the System Preferences > Dock > Select "Double-click a window's title bar to" "Zoom" option.

I.e. Uncheck > Check

enter image description here

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UPDATE 2022

For macos mojave and later -

One can click on the arrow that pops up on the corner of the window and then use option-double click to maximise it.

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I found Spectacle to be a great free tool for a lot of things "window resizing" - works like magic! 👍

The way Spectacle options look on my screen

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