How to Snap Windows in Mac: 5 Methods

Jose Henline
September 11, 2019 Preview 18.7K Preview 2
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Maybe you only know that the Windows system supports to snap windows readily, but never heard Mac OS X system could also do this with ease. For some beginners, you may still confuse about window snapping on Mac. Here I’m glad to help you understand everything about Mac window snapping in details, and hope you will totally master how to snap windows on Mac.

What Does Window Snapping Exactly Mean?

“Snap” was released in Windows 7 in 2009. This is the first time “Snap” appears in the public eye. It allows Window users to snap windows into a particular position with few steps. All you need to do is dragging and dropping a window to diverse edges of the screen. If you drag the window to the top, it will maximize the window. To the right or left, it will occupy half of the screen. In this condition, you can snap windows by resizing, maximizing and positioning them according to the way you like.

Can we snap windows on Mac? To our delight, Mac started to develop “Snap” function from El Captian. The built-in tool is called Split View. Its operation is not as same as Windows 7.

How to Snap Windows on Mac with Split View

There are two ways for you to run Split View on Mac. In order to let you be more familiar with it, I will present both of them below.

Method one. Snap Windows Mac Beginning from the Green Maximize Button

  1. Open a window at random. You will find a green button in the upper left corner. Click and hold it till the Window shrinks slightly and the background becomes highlighted.
  2. Drag and drop the active window to the right or left side to place it full screen there.
  3. Turn to another app or window which you would like to use simultaneously in Split View. Select it to full screen and it will be side by side with the first window in Split View.

snap windows mac using split view 01

Method Two. Mac Snap Windows via Mission Control

  1. Enter Mission Control from Launchpad or by pressing F3 on the Mac keyboard. Drag any app or window to the top of the screen.
  2. Drag and drop another app or window into the same space as earlier, then the two apps or windows will be snapped together.
  3. Click on the little thumbnail of the desktop in which you dropped your apps or windows, and you will enter into Split View successfully.

mac snap windows using mission control

Keyboard shortcuts for Mission Control

  • Control + Up Arrow: invoke the software
  • Control + Down Arrow: leave the software
  • Control + Left or Right Arrow: move to a space to the left or right (virtual desktops)
  • Control + Up Arrow and then hit the Space Bar: pop out the selected window

However, many Mac users are more inclined to a third-party app. On one side, independent software is more powerful and flexible. On the other side, Split View possesses some nonnegligible defects, such as not working with every application and not available on El Capitan or before.

Snap Windows on Mac Using Third-party App- Cisdem Window Manager

Recommended by Editor

Cisdem Window Manager is a brilliant and professional window snapping app for Mac. With it, you can rapidly split screen and put windows to specific positions. In addition to making them fill up half the screen like Split View already does, you can drag windows to pre-defined areas to snap windows automatically, or use the grid system to select the portion that the windows are going to cover, and you are able to set keyboard shortcuts.

Free Download

Download the free trial of Cisdem Window Manager right now!

How to Snap Windows in Mac with the Best Window Manager?

Step 1Enable Accessibility Permissions

If it’s your first time running Cisdem Window Manager, it will show up a window requiring you to enable accessibility on Mac. You should click on “Open System Preferences” button > click on the lock to make changes > check the box next to Cisdem Window Manager.

enable accessibility permissions

Step 2Configure the “Settings” (Optional)

Switch to “Settings” tab > tick all necessary options > remove redundant “√” for you. From there you can:

  • Start Window Manager when you launch your Mac
  • Show the software icon on the top menu bar for quickly accessing it
  • Revert to original dimension when the window is dragged away
  • Set global shortcuts to open or disable the software

customize the settings

Step 3Start Window Snapping Mac

#1. Snap windows Mac through preset window locations

Click the “General” tab, and you will find 7 pre-defined “hot zones”. Just drag a window to place it in a given area as follows:

  • Top edge: snap to full screen
  • Left and Right edges: snap to half of the screen
  • Upper Left and Right, Lower Left and Right edges: snap to a quarter of the screen

snap windows on mac with pre-defined positions

#2. Snap Windows Mac using the custom control

Head over to “Shortcut” tab > click on the “Add Shortcut” button, and you will be able to modify the Shortcut Name, Keyboard, Grid Settings and Advanced.

You can divide the screen into many small portions by defining grid numbers behind Rows and Columns, and next, go to “Advanced” to enable margins. Multiple shortcuts and self-defined zones can be added.

Last, try to snap a window with the keyboard shortcut you have input.

snap windows on mac with grid 01

snap windows on mac with grid 02

3 Alternatives for Mac Window Snapping

#1. Magnet for Mac

Magnet, developed by CrowdCafé, is a smart window snap tool for Mac. It lets you manage windows in full screen, a half, thirds, quarters, or any combination of them. Plus, it also empowers you to use both mouse and keyboard shortcuts to snap your windows. But it lacks the ability to custom sizes and window positions.


#2. Spectacle Window Manager

Spectacle is an open-source program that can perform window snapping Mac free. You can arrange your Mac windows using the menu bar or with shortcuts. The keyboard shortcuts enable you to snap windows on Mac to any corner of the screen or shift them to a secondary monitor. But it has limited window-sizing functions and doesn't work with Adobe programs like Adobe Reader.


#3. Slate Window Manager

Slate, also a free, open-source Mac window snapping tool, is originally created to replace SizeUp and Divvy. It assists you to customize window, resize & preset screen via keystrokes and activate snapshots of the current state of windows. But it stops to update and maintain since December 2015.



We have introduced 5 Mac window snapping tools above, as well as the guides on how to snap windows in Mac with Split View and Cisdem Window Manager. In general, Cisdem Window Manager should be the most excellent and well-developed software, which can considerably improve the efficiency and productivity of controlling Mac windows. It helps you snap windows on Mac with preset window positions or customizable shortcuts and grids.

Jose Henline
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Jose specializes in reviews, how-to guides, top lists, etc. on PDF, data recovery and multi-media. On his spare time, he likes to travel or challenge some extreme sports.

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Comments (2) Leave a Reply

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  • Aaron

    My favorite Mac app to snap windows. This is an excellent program for those of us who like to move and resize windows on Mac. Works great on my screen!

    7 years ago commonReply

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  • Elvis

    Better than other snap tools. It's as simple or customizable as you want it to be.

    7 years ago commonReply

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