How to Resize a Window That is Too Big or Off Screen in Mac OS
If you encounter a window on your Mac that is too big to manually drag or resize, try one of these techniques, and you will be able to move it back onto the screen again.
Resizing Windows That Are Off Screen in Mac OS X
We’ll share three different tricks that work to bring an off screen window back on screen again on the Mac:
- The first method you should try is to click the green button in the window titlebar, this will resize the window to fit to the available screen resolution. Of course, this is assuming you have access to the green zoom button.
- If you can’t access the green resize button because it is off screen, just click on the window you want resized and then navigate to the Window menu and pull down to ‘Zoom’. This will automatically resize the active window to fit on the screen.
- Finally, another option is to grab any portion of the window you can and hold down OPTION+SHIFT keys and drag, which will resize the window in any direction
Another option is to temporarily switch the display resolution to smaller than you’d typically use, since that resizes onscreen windows to fit the new screen resolution. This is possible from the Apple menu > System Preferences > Display section of settings.
The Window menu is available in virtually every Mac OS X application and will always be accessible for resizing and ‘zooming’ windows to fit onto the available resolution.
These tricks work to move off screen windows in all versions of OS X, regardless of what the Mac is running, whether it’s OS X El Capitan, Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion, Snow Leopard, or whatever else.
“Help! There’s a window on my Mac that is too big to resize, it’s hanging off the screen! How do I fix this?” – This is the phone call that spawned this post. I set a relative up with a dual-screen Mac setup recently and they love it, well, until they disconnected their MacBook Pro from the external display to find that a browser window sized at 1650×1080 was hanging way off the smaller resolution internal display running at 1280×800. The green resize buttons were inaccessible as well as the drag-to-resize portion of the window itself. I told them about the Zoom trick and they were quite happy with such an easy fix. Problem solved!
Know of another method to move off screen windows back onto the screen again on Mac OS X? Let us know in the comments!