Organizing windows on macOS is a pain—you’ve got to drag and resize everything manually. Happily, there are a bunch of apps that can help.
Placing and resizing windows is tedious but necessary if you want to work with multiple windows at once, and macOS doesn’t offer a lot of ways to make things faster. It would be nice if Apple added features like window snapping and keyboard shortcuts for placement, but until that happens, we’ll have to rely on third-party applications. The good news: there are a lot of great choices.
Note that you’ll need to enable accessibility features to use any of these applications, so read up on that if you need a little guidance.
BetterTouchTool ($6.50): Window Snapping and So Much More
BetterTouchTool is the ultimate Mac customization tool. You can create custom trackpad gestures to do just about anything, design any keyboard shortcuts you want, and even add custom Touch Bar buttons.
With all those features it’s easy to overlook the window management offerings, but you really shouldn’t. This program brings Windows-style window snapping to macOS, meaning you can drag any window to the side of the screen to quickly make it take up half the screen.
You can also drag a window to the top of the screen to make it take up the entire space, or to a corner to make it take up one-quarter. Even better: move a window away from it’s snapped position and it will shrink back to its previous size.
This is all really nice, but BetterTouchTool also lets you design custom touchpad gestures or keyboard shortcuts for arranging windows even more quickly, and to a number of other specifications. I like to use a two-thirds one-third split, for example, and this lets me do that. There’s a lot more power you could dig into here, too, if you put the time in.
BetterTouchTool costs $6.50 for two years worth of updates or $20 for a lifetime. The app is also available on SetApp, if you have a subscription.
Spectacle (Free): Arrange Your Windows With Quick Keyboard Shortcuts
Spectacle is the only free option on this list, and it’s also the simplest. There’ are no drag-and-drop features; instead, you can rearrange your Mac’s windows with a keyboard shortcut or by using the menu bar. You can choose whichever keyboard shortcuts you want, and there are no gimmicks once everything is working.
It’s not the most powerful application here, but it’s free and it gets the job done.
Magnet ($1): Best Bang for the Buck
If you want access to keyboard shortcuts, dragging, and the menu bar, Magnet is a low-cost option that offers Windows-style snapping, customizable keyboard shortcuts, and a menu bar icon. Here’s a quick overview of how it works:
If you like Spectacle but want to add window snapping this is probably your best bet, and at $1 it’s not exactly going to bankrupt you.
Divvy ($14): Arrange Windows However You Want on the Fly
Most the applications we’ve outlined so far let you snap windows into place in a pre-set number of positions. Divvy is different because it presents you with a grid and lets you quickly define the area the current window should take up. Here’s what that looks like:
It’s not the quickest tool here, but it does give you a lot of flexibility on the fly.
Mosaic ($13): Endless Tweaking
If none of these applications work quite how you want Mosaic is probably the app for you. It offers seemingly endless opportunities for tweaking, allowing you to design your own favorite window arrangements. Then, when you drag windows, you’ll see a popup that lets you quickly arrange things just the way you want.
Just drag your window to the icon that represents your custom position and it’ll snap into place. You can also set up custom keyboard shortcuts for positions.
At $13 Mosaic one of the pricer options here, but it might be worth it for you. The app is also available on SetApp, if you have a subscription.
HazeOver ($4): Dim All Inactive Windows
HazeOver isn’t a window manager, per se, but we thought it warranted a mention here. This simple application dims windows that aren’t currently active, which in theory will help you focus. Here’s how that looks in action:
It’s basic, sure, but you might find it helpful. You can buy HazeOver for $4, and it’s also available in SetApp if you have a subscription.