How To Move a Window With a Keyboard
While you can easily move the windows on your computer screen using a mouse, not many users know you can do so with a keyboard. Many know about switching from window to window using keyboard shortcuts, but there are shortcuts for moving windows as well. You can do this if your mouse malfunctions or just for curiosity’s sake.
We’ll cover the methods for moving windows using the keyboard on Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu. Read on for the details.
Move Window With Keyboard on a Mac
Macs didn’t have a true way to move windows until macOS Catalina. The only way in the past was to tile windows, making two windows sit side-by-side. Catalina’s new move option lets users replicate the older Windows moving motions.
Today, users can set up custom keyboard shortcuts to move windows without using a mouse. Here are the steps.
- Go to System Preferences on your Mac.
- Look for “Keyboard” and “Shortcuts.”
- Click on “App Shortcuts.”
- Select the plus sign to add new shortcuts.
- Pick “All Applications.”
- You’ll see “Move Window To Left Side Of Screen” and “Move Window To Right Side Of Screen.”
- Add new shortcuts for the two options.
You can only move windows this way if they’re not maximized, as there’s no screen room to move a maximized window. Sadly, Mac window management isn’t as good as what Windows offers. However, you can use a third-party app called Moom.
- Download and install Moom.
- Click on “Keyboard.”
- Set up the shortcut for moving the window.
- Save your settings and test.
Moom also has shortcuts to send windows from one display to another or even switch from half screen to full screen. The default command to move a window within a display is Option + Left or Right Key. You can change to a different shortcut if it interferes with other functions on your Mac.
Move Window With Keyboard in Windows 11
As with Mac, Windows 11 users can move windows incrementally with keyboard strokes. However, this is an inherent feature already enabled. You don’t need to download any apps or set up any new configurations to take advantage of it.
Here’s how to perform this action.
- Right-click a window that isn’t maximized.
- Click on the “Move” option.
- Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to start moving the window.
- Press Enter to stop moving the window.
The steps above can even be performed without the mouse.
- Press Alt + Tab to switch between windows.
- Press Alt + Space and open the menu.
- After pressing M, use your Arrow Keys to move the window wherever you like.
- To end the window moving mode, press Enter.
Here’s an explanation of what each shortcut here does.
Alt + Tab is the shortcut many people use to quickly switch from window to window. You’re likely familiar with it.
Alt + Space is the command that opens the window menu for any program currently active on Windows. To enable the ability to move it with the Arrow Keys, you press M afterward (M being the first letter of the word “Move”).
Arrow keys can be used to select or move objects in the direction of the key you select.
There’s also a way to position windows in one of four quarters on the screen.
As you hold the Windows key, you can press the Arrow Keys and move a small window to the corners. It even works on multiple monitors, and you can send a window from the corner of one monitor to another monitor’s adjacent quarter.
For example, here’s how to use the steps above.
- Make sure a window isn’t maximized.
- Hold the Windows key and press a direction arrow.
- Press another direction to send the window into a corner.
- If you have another screen, you can press left or right to send the window into the closest corner.
- Release the keys if you want to stop.
The shortcut for moving windows between displays is Windows Key + Shift + Left or Right Key. It’s instant and doesn’t require a restored window.
Move Window With Keyboard in Windows 10
Windows 10 users can use the same method above to move windows using only a keyboard. The shortcuts are identical as well.
- Right-click any window that you haven’t maximized.
- Select “Move.”
- Press your Arrow keys to move the window in any of the four directions.
- Press Enter to stop moving the window.
For the keyboard-only version, follow these steps.
- Switch to a window using Alt + Tab if required.
- Open the menu with Alt + Space.
- Press M and use the Arrow keys to move the window.
- To stop, press Enter.
You can move windows from corner to corner with the Windows key + Arrow keys as well. The same commands can also minimize or maximize windows, so you must be aware of the window’s positioning to get the proper placement.
- Minimize a window.
- Hold the Windows key and move the window to a corner using the Arrow keys.
- Let go of the keys when you want to stop moving the window.
While not as precise, this method is excellent if you want to send windows to a corner immediately.
Users can also send windows to other displays using Windows key + Shift + Arrow key.
Move Window With Keyboard in Ubuntu
Ubuntu users can rejoice as there’s a way to move windows with only the keyboard in their system as well. The shortcut is Alt + F7.
- Select a window on Ubuntu or use Alt + Tab to switch applications.
- Press Alt + F7.
- Use the Arrow keys to move the window.
- Press Enter to stop moving windows.
The process is remarkably similar to using Windows.
Can you move an off-screen window?
Windows only lets you move active windows, so it’s necessary to press Alt + Tab to look for the window you want to move. Once you do, you can move it using your mouse or keyboard. This is also possible on Ubuntu and macOS as using Alt + Tab keys is a staple across many operating systems.
How do you reset a window’s position?
You only have to right-click on any window in Windows and select “Restore.” Alternatively, press Alt + Space to open the menu and then R if you only want to use the keyboard. It restores your window to the original size before it was maximized or minimized.
Most apps let you resize windows manually and restoring will let you quickly return to the most recent window size. New adjustments are saved.
What does “Cascade Windows” do?
This feature allows users to stack windows one in front of another. To prevent inaccessible windows, all new windows are moved slightly to the right to show you how many are currently cascaded. You can quickly gather all windows this way.
Keyboards aren’t only useful for typing – they’re also an alternative to move windows if your mouse fails. Knowing these shortcuts and commands will also help you control your computer quickly. You won’t regret memorizing them as they might come in handy.
Do you have a keyboard shortcut that you use often? Do you know of other ways to move a window? Let us know in the comments section below.