How to resize a window

Updated: 08/02/2020 by Computer Hope

Resizing a window can be useful in many situations. For instance, when you need to fit more than one on the same screen. The following sections show you how to resize a window in using both Windows and macOS.

Note

A window that is maximized cannot be resized. Furthermore, certain types of windows cannot be resized at all.

Basic resize in Windows

As you can see in the image below, there are two buttons for resizing a window automatically.

  • Minimize - Clicking this button, which looks like a dash, collapses the window onto the Taskbar.
  • Maximize / Resize - Clicking this button, which looks like a box or two boxes, toggles the window between full and nearly full (not maximized) screen.

Windows window resize

Custom resize in Windows

When the upper-right section of the window looks like Resize panel in Windows., your window is now in "resize mode," meaning you can use the mouse cursor to make the window any size you want. To do so, move the 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.

The below animation shows a double-headed arrow on the bottom, left, and corner of a window and how it resizes a window. 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. To make the window vertically bigger, do the same thing at the top or bottom of the window. 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, pressing the Windows key and the left arrow key to resizes it to fit only the left half of the screen. Windows key and the right arrow key to resize the window to fit the right half of the screen.

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 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.

How to resize a game window

When playing a computer game, it most likely defaults to a fullscreen mode that prevents the game from resizing. To resize a game window, the game must first be capable of being played in a windowed mode. If available, the setting is found in the game settings and may be labeled "borderless fullscreen" or "window mode" or be a checkbox. Once in a window mode, it may be possible to resize the window using any of the methods mentioned on this page. However, keep in mind that some games only have a window mode for performance reasons and may still not support the ability to be resized.

How to resize a window on a Mac

Buttons used to close, minimize, and maximize a window in macOS.

A Mac window can be resized using the mouse and the buttons located in the upper-left corner of the desktop.

  • Minimize - Clicking this button (yellow circle), which looks like a dash, collapses the window into the Dock.
  • Maximize / Resize - Clicking this button (green circle), which looks like a box or two boxes, toggles the window between full and nearly full (not maximized) screen.
  • Custom size - First, make sure that the window is not maximized. Then, hover your mouse cursor over the corner, bottom, or top of the window. Click and drag to resize the window to the size you desire.