Moving and Sizing Windows Using the Keyboard

by Barry Dysert
(last updated June 17, 2019)

1

When your hands are on the keyboard, you may find it a waste of time to switch to the mouse. Or, it may be that you somehow got a window "stuck" at the top of your display such that you can't click its title bar in order to move it. In such cases it's good to know that there are keyboard solutions to moving and sizing your open windows.

Both moving and sizing are initiated by pressing Alt + Spacebar. When you press this combination, a small menu appears at the upper left of the active program window. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Move & Size menu.

When you press the "M" key, your cursor turns into a 4-headed arrow. You can then move the active window via the arrow keys. When it is positioned where you want it, press Enter to terminate Move mode.

You can also change the size of the active window after pressing Alt + Spacebar. After pressing this combination, press the "S" key. Your cursor again turns into a 4-headed arrow, but now the arrow keys work to resize the window. Pressing the up-arrow or the down-arrow will produce different results depending on which arrow key you press first after pressing the "S" key. Pressing the up-arrow first increases the window's height; pressing the down-arrow decreases the window's height. Pressing the down-arrow key first increases the window's height; pressing the up-arrow decreases the window's height.

As with the up-and down-arrows, pressing the right-arrow or the left-arrow will produce different results depending on which arrow key you press first after pressing the "S" key. Pressing the right-arrow first increases the window's width; pressing the left-arrow reduces the window's width. Pressing the left-arrow first increases the window's width; pressing the right-arrow reduces the window's width. As before, pressing Enter terminates the resizing operation.

 This tip (12664) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

Creating and Using Compressed Folders

If you're low on disk space but still want to keep your files online, you might consider moving them to compressed ...

Discover More

Restoring the Built-in Windows Libraries

Windows comes with four built-in libraries. You may accidentally (or on purpose) delete one or more of them. This tip ...

Discover More

Understanding Types of CDs

There are several types of Compact Discs on the market. This short little tip explains the various types and how you ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Tips for Using USB Drives

USB drives are very useful for storing and transferring data. This tip provides some useful guidance in dealing with USB ...

Discover More

Understanding Processes in the Task Manager

Your computer is typically running scores of processes behind the scenes of the relatively few windows you may have open. ...

Discover More

Which Version of Windows am I Running?

With Windows it has always been helpful to know what version you are running. With Windows 10 knowing the version isn't ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 0?

2019-06-17 08:10:18

Ron MVP

Sure that works, I use it myself.
.
It would be nice if you mentioned the "new" way of doing the same, Windows "Snap". That is using the <WIN> key along with the arrow keys to move windows to the various edges of the screen and to setup 2 or 4 open application windows on the screen.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.