How to resize a window

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

Before a window can be resized, make sure it is not maximized. A maximized window cannot be resized. If the window is maximized, click the Maximize / Resize button, as shown in the example below. Also, keep in mind that not every window can be resized.

Windows window resize

Tip: If you do not see the minimize, maximize, or close buttons, try moving your mouse to the top of the screen. With newer versions of Windows and programs, some developers hide these options for a cleaner look.

macOS maximize buttonNote: With Apple macOS, the maximize/resize button is represented as a yellow button found in the top-left corner of the window.

Resizing a window using the mouse

Once a window is not maximized, you should be able to move the mouse cursor to any edge or corner of the window until a double-headed arrow appears. When this arrow appears, click and drag it to make the window larger or smaller. If this double-headed arrow does not appear, the window cannot be resized.

Below is an animated example showing a double-headed arrow on the bottom, left, and corner of a window and how clicking and holding the mouse with this arrow allows you to resize a window. If you only want to make the window horizontally bigger, move the cursor to the left or right edge of the window until it turns into the double-headed arrow. If you want to make the window vertically bigger, do the same thing at the top or bottom of the window. If you want to resize both horizontally and vertically, use one of the corners of the window.

Resizing a window

How to resize a window using the Windows key and keyboard

If you are running Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10, you can use Windows key keyboard shortcuts to resize and arrange windows on your computer.

For example, press the Windows key and the left arrow key to resize the window to the left of the screen. Next, open another window and press the Windows key and the right arrow key to resize the window to the right half of the screen. Resizing the windows this way lets you have two perfectly shaped windows without having to manually resize them.

Another way to resize a window using the keyboard

A window can also be resized using a series of keyboard shortcuts. Below are the steps for resizing a window only using the keyboard.

  1. Press Alt+Space bar to open the window menu.
  2. If the window is maximized, arrow down to Restore and press Enter, then press Alt+Space bar again to open the window menu.
  3. Arrow down to Size.
  4. Press the up or down arrow key if you want to resize the window vertically or the left or right arrow key if you want to resize horizontally.
  5. Once an arrow key is pressed, you can press the same arrow key or the opposite arrow key to resize the window.