Usability hack: Click & drag anywhere in macOS windows to move them

7 July 2018, 02:15

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In macOS we click and drag the title bar of a window to move it. It’s been this way since 1984 and the introduction of the first Macintosh. But do you think it’d be useful to just click ANYWHERE in a window to be able to move it, as well?

It turns out this is built into macOS High Sierra but it’s just not activated by default. Open a Terminal window (you’ll find this in the Utilities folder of the Applications list in Finder), and paste in the following. This might appear as more than one line in your browser but it’s actually just a single line—triple-click the line to select it, then copy it:

defaults write -g NSWindowShouldDragOnGesture -bool true

Then reboot. From now on you can hold down Ctrl+Cmd, then click and drag ANYWHERE in a window to move it. Note how the window “jumps” a little when you do so—a nice little animation to show the feature is being used.

This trick isn’t compatible with all apps, so you’ll have to see how you get on.

To turn off this feature, again open a Terminal window and paste in the following:

defaults delete -g NSWindowShouldDragOnGesture

Then reboot.

Thanks to Corbin Dunn for sharing this trick.

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