How to Snap Windows on MAC

Make multitasking your friend

Using a computer for various tasks is a thing we are accustomed to. These include day-to-day social media, mailing, taking notes, and other office work.

But if you are someone who manages all these windows simultaneously, you would know it’s a cumbersome task. Sometimes these windows overlap and take up the main workspace.

macOS has come a long way, but its default window manager is still primary and can’t solve the problems of many. Windows 11 brought a nifty shortcut built right into the system that lets you snap app windows wherever you’d like.

Unlike Windows, you can’t just drag a window to the edge of the screen without running into some issues. There are two default options, but they leave you wanting more.

So, I have endured the arduous task and found some excellent window management apps for Mac that will keep your desktop organized.

You can use mouse clicks, menu bar shortcuts, or keyboard shortcuts to resize app windows on your whim.

Now that MacBooks come in 13-inch to 16-inch sizes, you’d want to take advantage of the extra screen real estate. This way, you’ll not only be organized, but you’ll be more productive.

Let’s snap some app windows just like people do on Windows.

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How to Snap Windows on MAC

The default macOS Split View is a great option to have, but it is rudimentary at best. So, I have listed two default options and some amazing apps that provide full customization and flexibility that make snapping windows a breeze.

To make split-view work

In order to make split-view work, you’ll have to enable it. To do so, go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > click on Mission Control, and ensure that ‘Displays have separate Spaces’ is selected.

Default options

These are the options you’ll find built into the system.

Method 1: macOS Native Option

macOS does have some decent options now, one of which is using the splits view. You’ll have to follow the steps based on the OS of your Mac.

If you’re using macOS Catalina or later:

Step 1: Hover your mouse pointer over the full-screen button in the window’s upper-left corner. You can also click and hold the button.

How to Snap Windows on MAC

Step 2: Select’ Tile Window to Left of Screen’ or ‘Tile Window to Right of Screen’ from the menu. The window will then fill that side of the screen.

Step 3: Now click a window on the other side of the screen to begin using both windows side by side.

How to Snap Windows on MAC

If you’re using macOS Mojave, High Sierra, Sierra, or El Capitan:

Step 1: Hover your cursor over the green button located at the top-left of the window you want to resize.

Step 2: You can either click and hold or hover over the button for a few seconds without clicking.

Step 3: You’ll see a few choices to snap-fit the window to the display’s left or right half. Choose whichever you’d prefer.

Step 4: To restore any window, bring your cursor to the top of the screen and wait for the three buttons at the top left of it to appear. Soon you’ll see a green button that will restore the window to its previous state.

Method 2: Make your keyboard shortcuts to Snap Windows

Method 1 is built-in and easy, but many people would prefer keyboard shortcuts on Mac. You can create your keyboard shortcuts to snap windows on Mac.

To do so, simply navigate System Preferences> Keyboard> Shortcuts> App Shortcuts> Create New Shortcut.

Say you want to tile the active window to the left of the screen, you can simply register a shortcut that will swiftly move any active window to the left.

With this method, you can create four shortcuts – tiling and moving the window to either half of the screen.

Third-party applications

When default options don’t suffice, it’s better to look for third-party apps, and I have six different apps that will let you snap windows however you’d like.

Method 3: Rectangle (free)

How to Snap Windows on MAC

Rectangle is the first app on this list, and it is free. This is a must-have app if you quickly snap your active windows on macOS.

With Rectangle, you can snap windows using a keyboard shortcut or the Menubar shortcut. It also has handy presets like snapping to either side, top and bottom halves, corners, thirds, etc.

You’ll be happy to know that there are over 20 different positions and sizes that you can use for app windows. This nifty app runs from the Menubar and detects keyboard shortcuts without any hurdles.

Keep in mind that Rectangle doesn’t have the functionality of snapping windows by dragging the window using the cursor to the side.

You can also check out the $10 Rectangle Pro app. Even though Rectangle is already a fantastic app that takes care of your app windows, Rectangle Pro is for those who want more customization.

Main features

  • Free.
  • Rectangle Pro for more features.
  • More control over custom shortcuts.
  • Control+Option+Return to maximize an app.
  • 20+ list of shortcuts with different positions and sizes.

Download Rectangle

Method 4: Magnet ($7.99)

How to Snap Windows on MAC

Consider Magnet to be Rectangle’s paid version. This simple window manager is the only tool you’ll need to manage and organize windows by snapping them to different positions on the screen.

Unlike Rectangle, Magnet lets you window snap through the drag-and-drop option, Menubar, and keyboard shortcuts.

This means that app switching is instant, and you have a more efficient workspace.

The app is easy to use, and you simply have to drag your window to a particular position or use customizable shortcuts. When you drag the windows to your screen edges, the windows arrange themselves into horizontal or vertical halves; when you drag them to the corner, they hold a quarter of the screen.

Magnet is a paid app, but it’s worth it. But try it only if you did not get accustomed to Rectangle.

Main features

  • Snap windows to each of the four corners of your screen.
  • Restore windows to their original position.
  • Intuitive shortcuts to quickly move windows between the screens.
  • Support for up to six external displays with different orientations.
  • Exclude apps that you don’t want to snap.

Download Magnet

Method 5: HazeOver ($4.99, free trial)

How to Snap Windows on MAC

If you have a plethora of app windows open, it can often be unsettling, mainly when you want to focus on one specific task. Here’s where HazeOver comes into play.

It is a unique app that acts as a distraction dimmer, highlighting the active window and keeping the other ones in the background.

As the name suggests, you are in control of the app’s hazing intensity and speed.

Take charge by going to Preferences > General. You’ll see a wheel here. Rotate it to tweak the dimming percentage. You can also set up a hotkey and a trackpad gesture to control the intensity in 20-percent increments.

Main features

  • Free trial.
  • Configure the effect intensity of apps – a soft, light dim to powerful black.
  • Tweak the dimness animation through the Advanced tab.
  • Option to highlight only one or all the open windows of any app.
  • Control the state and setting with the Shortcuts app for Mac.
  • Tweak the hazing intensity across multiple displays.

Download HazeOver

Method 6: BetterSnapTool ($2.99)

How to Snap Windows on MAC

BetterSnapTool is a superb, customizable window manager and a cheap alternative to Magnet.

With this app, you can instantly change the size and position of your windows by dragging them to the left, right, or top edges and the four corners of your desktop.

Customizable window size is the app’s best feature, as you can create a custom size and position for your windows.

Get to work by opening the app menu. Select ‘Change Window Position/Size.’ You can assign a shortcut to snap the windows to your desired position if you want.

The listed options in the snap locations are customizable, which means you can disable ones you will never use.

Main features

  • Limitless snap and resizing area options.
  • Desktop Spaces and BetterSnapTool can be used together.
  • Resizing options for the window control buttons.
  • Modifier key lets you move and resize inactive windows.

Download Better Snap Tool

Method 7: Moom ($10, free trial)

How to Snap Windows on MAC

Moom is another great customizable macOS window manager that lets you zoom and move your application windows around the screen.

The app is as easy as using keyboard shortcuts or clicking mouse buttons.

Moom uses a unique on-screen resizing grid. You’ll have to click in the empty box below the pop-up palette > move the mouse to where you would like the window to be, then click-and-drag out its new dimensions. Now release the mouse button, and the window will fill the outline you’ve drawn on the screen.

You can also swiftly move and zoom windows to certain areas of the screen with Moom’s ‘Snap to Edges and Corners’ feature.

Start by hovering the mouse over any green zoom button and selecting your desired position with a pop-up palette. Alternatively, drag a window to an edge or corner of the screen.

In a few moments, you will see a preview displaying the size and location of the dragged window.

You can configure a hotkey to trigger the Moom logo.

Main features

  • Free trial.
  • Can select a preset to position and zoom app windows.
  • Set up actions to move, resize, and snap across multiple displays.
  • Create and define custom controls through the ‘Customs’ tab.
  • Save the current window layout as a ‘Snapshot.’
  • Perform complex window management operations with chan custom controls.

Download Moom

Method 8: Swish ($5, free trial)

How to Snap Windows on MAC

Swish is yet another window management tool. If you want a superior split-view experience, this app is an expert.

What separates this app from others on this list is the use of gestures. You don’t have to drag around a window; simply use the gestures on the trackpad to snap windows wherever you’d like.

The gestures are intuitive, while the interface is extensive. You can snap multiple apps on the screen, and they will never overlap.

Swish has over 30 easy-to-use title bar, dock, and Menubar gestures which will make your workflow productive and you a trackpad power user.

You’ll find premade shortcuts for snapping a window into thirds, quarters, sixths, etc. With the trackpad gestures, you can also close, minimize, and quit any active window.

Moreover, the window grid easily adapts to dark mode and your dock setup.

The app truly feels native to macOS.

Main features

  • Free trial.
  • No need to drag, as swiping is the new dragging.
  • Gestures can be toggled on or off.
  • Works with WASD or arrow keys.
  • Use a 2×2 grid; Unlock 3×2 and 3×3 grids with a modifier key.
  • Grid adapts to your dock setup and dark mode.
  • Automatically detects your multi-monitor setup. Simply flick to move windows between screens.

Download Swish

FAQs

How do you snap three windows on a Mac?

macOS does have native snapping. To snap three windows, click and drag a window to one of the four sides or four corners of your display, and a translucent box will appear in front of it.

How do I manage multiple windows on a Mac?

You can manage multiple windows on a Mac with the help of the methods mentioned above. You can also hold down the full-screen button in the app window’s upper left corner. Now, drag the window to the left or right side of the screen. Then release the button, which will snap the window into Split View. You’ll have to tap on another window to bring it into Split View.

How do I minimize all windows on Macbook Pro?

First, you’ll have to view the front app and hide all the other apps. To do so, press ‘Option-Command-H.’ You can press ‘Command-M’ to minimize the front window to the dock. Now, press ‘Option-Command-M’ to minimize all windows of the front app.

Conclusion

These are some of the ways you can snap Windows on MAC.

Juggling multiple windows will waste your time and affect your productivity. The apps discussed above will definitely assist you in managing windows.

In this list, Rectangle is the only free app that lets you multitask by snapping windows and managing them. I recommend you try it first before turning to paid apps.

If you want to try a paid app, choose between Magnet and Rectangle Pro.

With macOS Ventura, Stage Manager is the right step toward managing multiple app windows. Still, its core functioning is simply managing those windows and not giving users better split view options.