How to resize a window using keyboard only in Windows 10 and other versions

It is not often that you need to resize a window using the keyboard only in the Windows operating system. Windows is designed to be used with a mouse besides the keyboard, and now touch. Every Windows user at least has a touchpad or mouse these days. However, if the keyboard is what you prefer to use, then here is how you can resize a window using the keyboard!


To resize a window using keyboard only in Windows 10 and all earlier Windows versions, do the following:

  1. Switch to the desired window using Alt + Tab. alt tab Tip: see how to tweak Alt+Tab to enlarge thumbnails and disable live aero peek preview. Also see two secrets of Alt + Tab dialog in Windows 10 you might not be aware of.
  2. Press Alt +   Space   shortcut keys together on the keyboard to open the window menu. window context menu
  3. Now, press S. The mouse cursor will turn into a cross with arrows: window cross cursor
  4. Use the left, right, up and down arrow keys to resize your window.
    window size 1 window size 2
    When you have set the desired window size, press Enter.

You are done.

Modern operating systems like Windows 10, Windows 8 or Windows 7 allow you to perform few extra actions with windows. They allow you to control the size and positioning of open windows better by dragging them to the edge of the screen. If you drag a window using its title bar to the top edge of the screen, it will be maximized. With the mouse pointer touching the left or right edges of the screen when dragging a window, it will be snapped to the left or right side of the screen respectively. This feature is called Snap.

If you grab the title bar of a window with the mouse and drag and shake it, all other background windows will be minimized. This is called Aero Shake. Both actions have their own hotkeys:
Win + Home: Same as Aero Shake (minimizes all windows except the foreground window)
Win + Left arrow key: Snaps an app window to the left.
Win + Right arrow key: Snaps an app window to the right.
Win + Up arrow key: Maximizes a window.
Win + Shift + Up arrow key: Maximizes/resizes a window vertically.
Win + Down arrow key: Minimizes a window if it's not maximized, otherwise it restores the window to its original non-maximized sized.

Aero Snap in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7 can also be customized. While the operating system does not allow you to control individual options, you can use my freeware Winaero Tweaker to enable or disable snapping, drag to maximize and vertical resizing options: Winaero Tweaker disable snapping only

 

Bonus tip: You can also resize a window to a specific size or move it to specific position using the free app, Sizer. Also, using the free AquaSnap's AquaStretch feature you can resize windows by double clicking their edges.    AquaSnap3 That's it.

3 thoughts on “How to resize a window using keyboard only in Windows 10 and other versions

  1. LG

    “It is not often that you need to resize a window using the keyboard only in the Windows operating system. Windows is designed to be used with a mouse besides the keyboard, and now touch. Every Windows user at least has a touchpad or mouse these days. However, if the keyboard is what you prefer to use, then here is how you can resize a window using the keyboard!”

    Yes, and we’ve been doing it for years. Been using computers every day at home and work.. as an IT tech working on other people’s computers all day. The reason this is becoming “popular” as of late, is because M$ has seen fit to reduce the window border to 1 pixel ( yes ONE PIXEL) in Windows 10. I’m annoyed beyond words that once again, M$ takes 3 steps forward, and 2 steps back. I’ll put this in the same annoying category as the “BLINDING” white file explorer that they refuse to address, even though there have been many complaints. These small, and sometimes painful (eye burn) annoyances are so they can use the same scheme on their phone OS that nobody uses. Just let us break free and customize, give us WinXP grade control. XP let you do anything.

    To the author. thanks for reminding me about the long-forgotten and personally never used keyboard shortcut. Cheers.

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      you are welcome

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  2. Sargon

    Just like LG, I used this to fix a 1 pixel window size issue. This article is amazing!

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