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Best Free Window Manager/Resizer/Arranger List

An almost comprehensive list of free utilities that enhance, manage, resize, or arrange windows.

A review for this software category has yet to be written.

This software category is in need of an editor. If you are interested in taking it over then check out this page for more details. You can then contact us from that page or by clicking here.

 

Multi-function Window Management

These programs usually provide mouse and keyboard shortcuts that perform various window functions like roll up window, make window stay on top, make window transparent, minimize window to system tray, etc.

DeskAngel (review) - small, portable, window manager (last update 2009) Window Management Features:

  • Common Window Functions: always on top (right click on title bar), roll up to title bar (double click on title bar), adjust transparency (pressing 'left ctrl+alt' and rotating mouse wheel), close (pressing right alt then double clicking on title bar); maximize/restore (middle button click)
  • Window Move/Size Functions: resize by snapping to edges of screen; toggle move mode by right clicking the bottom border
  • Other Window Functions: auto close a specified window; display information about a window by right clicking on it; scroll window under mouse; auto scroll by pressing wheel button and rotating

Other Features:

  • Change cursor style; lock or hibernate Windows; turn off monitor; take screenshots; auto connect and login to the remote PCs

Pitaschio (review) - adds window management and other useful functions (last update 2009) Window Management Features:

  • Common Window Functions: always on top, roll up to title bar, adjust transparency, minimize to tray, move back, center, close/min/max/restore
  • Window Move/Size Functions: snap to edges of screen and other windows; restrict window to always be in screen; advanced resize by dragging window border
  • Other Window Functions: scroll window under mouse; activate window under mouse; manage window size and position

Other Features:

  • Use small icons in the desktop; disable Windows key, Insert key, Alt key, close button, restore button; lock the mouse or keyboard; get statistics about mouse and keyboard; control the sound volume using the mouse wheel; display the sound volume level on the screen; calculate Moon's age; add virtual desktop; double click in empty space to move up to parent folder in Explorer; extended file rename;  launch system functions (e.g., screen saver, show desktop, run task manager, show system folders, show control panel items, shut down monitor, shutdown/logoff/hibernate/restart)

DM2 (review) - adds a wide range of useful functions (last update 2007) Window Management Features:

  • Common Window Functions: always on top, roll up to title bar, adjust transparency, minimize to tray, hide
  • Window Move/Size Functions: snap to edges of screen; move to a position in a pre-defined grid of 9 positions; resize to an exact size by clicking a menu that shows a customizable list of sizes
  • Other Window Functions: minimize to "floating icons"

Other Features:

  • User-defined menu with favorites and recent files and folders in Open/Save dialog boxes; plenty of program's settings options will satisfy most of requirements; supports custom plugins; hotkeys control the following: screen's gamma, CD control, volume, turn off monitor, window/program priority, etc.

xNeatLite (review) - function-limited free version (last update 2008) Window Management Features:

  • Common Window Functions: always on top, roll up to title bar, adjust transparency, minimize to tray, hide

Other Features:

  • Set process\thread priority; arrange taskbar icons; adjust taskbar appearance

Nimi Visuals (review) - (last update 2009) Window visual effects inspired by OsX and Compiz:

  • Desktop shadows and invisible desktop
  • Window fading in on creation, destroy, minimize
  • Screen frost and contrast
  • Taskbar reflection and shadow
  • Taskbar and start menu transparency and blur
  • Transparency on window move and resize, opaque on hover
  • Transparent window borders and menu popups
  • Jelly and fluid windows
  • Creation sparkle
  • Contrastful windows
  • Window quiver, bounce, and kinetics
  • Window edge maximize, snap, and warp
  • Minimize non-active windows
  • Picture wallpaper-board
  • Picture highlight
  • Fluid and smooth wallpaper
  • Aurora fade
  • Showcase

NiftyWindows (review) - (last update 2005) Provides a hotkey and mouse button combination that performs each of the following:

  • The area of every window is tiled in a virtual 9-cell grid with three columns and rows. The center cell is the largest one and you can grab and move a window around by clicking and holding it with the right mouse button. The other eight corner cells are used to resize a resizable window in the same manner.
  • Minimizes the selected window (if minimizable) to the task bar. If you press the left button over the titlebar the selected window will be rolled up instead of being minimized. You have to apply this action again to roll the window back down.
  • Closes the selected window (if closeable) as if you click the close button in the titlebar. If you press the middle button over the titlebar the selected window will be sent to the bottom of the window stack instead of being closed.
  • Provides a quick task switcher (alt-tab-menu) controlled by the mouse wheel.
  • Opens or closes an installed CD/DVD-ROM reader/writer drive tray.
  • Toggles the muteness of an installed audio card.
  • Starts the user defined screensaver (password protection aware).
  • Toggles the always-on-top attribute of the selected/active window.
  • Adjusts the transparency of the active window.
  • Makes all pixels of the same color the mouse cursor points at invisible inside the target window, which allows the contents of the windows behind it to show through. If the user clicks on an invisible pixel, the click will "fall through" to the window behind it.
  • Changes the size of the active window by a set percent; modifier lets you resize all four edges of a window in a symmetrical manner around the window center.
  • Toggles the visibility of the Miranda buddy list or last used Miranda message container (if installed).

RegToy (review) (review) (window management is one of the multiple mini-programs included, last update 2009 but no longer in active development) Window Manager Features:

  •  
  • Window Manager, Tray Icon Manager

Other Features:

  • Registry Tweaking, Services Manager, Startup Manager, Registry Backup, Renew Registry, Registry Cleaner, Registry Search & Replace
  • Shell Context Menu Extension
  • Screen Capture, Shutdown Scheduler, Wallpaper Changer, Screen Saver Randomizer
  • Disk Cleaner, Memory Cleaner, Quick Cleaner
  • File Renamer, File Splitter, File Encryptor, Secure Delete

ShellEnhancer (review) - (last update 2006) Features:

  • Enhanced TaskSwitcher (supports Live Previews), Mosaic TaskSwitcher, and Mini-taskswitcher
  • Auto Manage windows: Example: Each time a Notepad is started, activate Always On Top and set transparency to 30%.
  • Use Mouse Gestures and screen corners in any program to execute complex tasks which make your life easier
  • Use the Shell Enhanced Applications feature to change the look of treeviews and listviews in a specific program.
  • Show anti-aliased On Screen Display (OSD) when running a task.
  • Put any window always on top.
  • Change the transparency of any window. You can assign a different transparency when a window is active and when a window is not active. ShellEnhancer can also fade-out a window when it has been deactivated.
  • Make a window transparent when hovering over the minimize, maximize or close button.
  • Make taskbar or all menus in Windows transparent.
  • X-Window style moving/resizing of windows.
  • Set any window in "Keep Focus" mode to prevent other windows from being activated.
  • Minimize any window to the system tray (the icons next to the clock of Windows).
  • Reorder the buttons on the Windows taskbar.
  • Make certain windows unmoveable.
  • Rollup windows.
  • Hide desktop icons.

Dexpot (review) - (window management is only a small part of this software, last update 2010) Primarily a virtual desktop manager, with the following features:

  • Configurable Desktop Manager with Full-screen Desktop Previews
  • Desktop Windows & Rules
  • Window Catalogue (tiling)

Note: Dexpot's installer is bundled with OpenCandy, an advertising program which recommends for other software upon running the installer. (See Gizmo's Freeware Policy on OpendCandy.) The Wonderful Icon (review) - (window management is only a small part of this software, last update 2006) Features accessed from system tray icon or hotkeys:

  • Window Management tasks: hide/unhide individual windows (or all visible windows), close all visible windows, minimize programs onto the taskbar tray instead of just onto the taskbar, either by a keystroke or by right-clicking a window's Minimize button with your mouse
  • Launch common tasks such as restart Windows, hide/unhide desktop icons, save/restore clipboard, mute/unmute volume, increase or decrease speaker volume, enable/disable (or launch) screen saver, type characters into window
  • Configure a menu of easily-accessible commands
  • Automatically run programs at start-up, and hide them, minimize them to the taskbar tray, etc. 

RadWinMan (review) - (last update 2007) features:

  • Right click on title to send the window to the back.
  • Double click on title to roll-up the window.
  • Right click on minimize button sends the window to the tray.
  • Right click on maximize button to display some resize options.
  • Ctrl + Left Click on border to move the window.
  • Support for 'always on top' and 'transparent'.
  • Reports the current position as a window is moved and current size as a window is resized.
  • Holding Alt while moving/sizing a window will snap to other windows.

  

Window Sizing/Arranging Programs

GridMove (review) (review) - (last update 2008)

  • Defines a visual grid on your desktop, to which you can easily snap windows
  • Includes predefined grid templates and ways of creating custom grids or sharing grids
  • Ability to set windows on top and maximize them vertically or horizontally
  • Full keyboard support, which can organize windows with one hotkey press
  • MultiMonitor Support
  • Customizable hotkeys and interface

WinSplit Revolution (review) (review) - (last update 2009)

  • Allows you to snap windows into specific tiled configurations using simple keyboard hotkeys
  • "Divides" your screen into several parts (e.g., halves, thirds, fourths, etc...) so that a window can be resized and moved to only that certain part of the screen
  • Drag'n'Go to place a window without hotkeys.
  • Layout manager to choose different layouts.

Desklayer (review) - (last update 2008)

  • Border Layout and Grid Layout (Java-like) for windows arrangement
  • Dynamic resizing of windows to exploit all the possible space on the desktop
  • Dynamic re-arrangement after windows events (close window,add window,minimize window,maximize window, ...)
  • Possibility to add and move windows from and to all the sides of the layout (in border layout mode)
  • Exclusion of windows associated to selected executables
  • Assignment of custom dimensions to the sides of the layout (border layout only)
  • Automatic arrangement of all visible windows on desktop
  • Restore windows positions to their positions before the applying of Desklayer's layout

PowerResizer (review)  - (last update 2009)

  • Dock windows to various edges and corners of the screen
  • Resize windows to various divisions of the screen size, like a quarter or half of the screen
  • Dynamic resizing - grab the border between windows and drag to resize all windows simultaneously
  • Change the behavior of windows such that they appear transparent when dragged

WinArranger Free - (last update 2005)

  • Hiding of window borders and captions
  • Customizable number of windows per each monitor
  • Customizable layout for each screen configuration
  • Three modes for window ordering: manual, by process, by title
  • Hotkey shortcuts for quick operation
  • Rules for the flexible management of windows to be arranged

 

Multi-Monitor Programs

DisplayFusion (review) - (last update 2009)

  • Advanced Multi-Monitor Taskbar support (add a taskbar to every monitor that works and looks just like the Windows Taskbar)
  • Use a different desktop wallpaper image on each monitor
  • Use a desktop wallpaper image that spans all monitors
  • Randomly change your desktop wallpaper using local images or images from Flickr
  • Drag or middle-click the taskbar of maximized windows to move them to other screens
  • Auto-snap windows to the edge of your monitor
  • Integrated Flickr.com and Vladstudio.com image search & download
  • Manage application windows with fully customizable hotkeys:
    • Move windows to the next monitor
    • Move windows to the next monitor and maximize them
    • Move windows to the centre, top, bottom, left or right side of the monitor
    • Size windows to a configured size or percent of the work area
    • Maximize windows so that they span all monitors
    • Customize your own hotkeys to do anything you can imagine

MultiMonitor taskbar (review) (function-limited free version, last update 2009)

  • Adds additional taskbars to the extended desktops on multiple monitors.
  • It shows only applications from that Monitor
  • It hides the applications on Monitor 2 and 3 from normal Windows Taskbar
  • Adds a "Move to Monitor" button to windows applications (XP).
  • Add Text Clipboard Extender
  • Buttons to roll-right the taskbar (good for full screen Remote Desktop)

 

 

Smaller Programs I:  Linux-like Features (e.g., move by Alt Key + Left-click anywhere in window, resize by Alt Key + Right-click)

Taekwindow (review) - Move windows by grabbing them anywhere (not just the title bar) while holding the Alt key, and then dragging with the left mouse button.  Resize windows by grabbing them anywhere (not just the tiny little border) while holding the Alt key, and then dragging with the right mouse button.  Use the scroll wheel on the window under the cursor, instead of the currently focused window.

KDE Window Resizer (review) - From anywhere inside the window press Alt key + Left-click to move it or + Right-click to resize it.

WinMover - Mimics Linux window managers; while pressing Alt-key you can move or resize a window by clicking and dragging the mouse button anywhere in the window; close, maximize and minimize any window with your mouse; send a window to the back; snap windows to the borders of the screen.

AltDrag (review) - Drag windows with the mouse when pressing the alt key; use the middle or right mouse button to resize windows; press the shift key while you drag or resize and the window will stick to other windows; double-click a window to maximize it; double-click with the middle mouse button to roll-up windows.

MoveInactiveWin - Move a window without activating it; Alt-Click and drag to move; click anywhere within a window to move it.

 

Smaller Programs II:  Move/Size Window Functions (e.g., resize, move, and snap)

Sizer (review) - Resize any window to an exact size by clicking a menu that shows a customizable list of sizes.

AutoSizer - Pre-define the size and position of any window or set as always on top.

WinSize2 - Use hotkeys to move windows automatically to a predefined place; resize width and/or height; moving OR changing size possible.

WinLayout (review) - Use hotkeys to move, resize, and snap windows all around the desktop area.

Freesnap (review) - Use key combinations to move, resize, and snap windows.

Aerosnap (review) - Drag a window to a side of your desktop to snap it or drag it to the top to maximize; when you drag it back to the last position, the last window size will be restored.

allSnap (review) - All windows will snap to each other and the desktop while moving/sizing.

Winsupermaximize (review) - Resizes the currently active window to "full screen mode" (title bar is actually above the screen boundaries).

VirtualScreenMaximizer (review) - Maximizes any foreground window to maximum available virtual screen size - that is - it will span across multiple monitors.

AeroMaxxed - resizes windows to fullscreen, but does not maximize, so Vista's Aero glass effect is still visible.

Aero Shake - Shaking the active window with your mouse will minimize all other windows; shaking it again will restore them.

ZoneSize - Define zones that autosize windows dropped on them; hold a window over a zone for .5 sec to autosize it; doubleclick the tray icon to center the active window.

 

Smaller Programs III:  Common Window Functions (e.g., on top, roll up, set transparency, send to tray, etc.)

PowerMenu (review) - Adds "Always On Top", "Transparency," and "Minimize To Tray" to the right-click menu on a window's title bar.

WinWarden - Automatically control how to display a window.  Move, maximize, minimize, restore, enable, disable, hide, show, ontop, bottom, alwaysontop, clip, transparent, transparent color, move relative to another window, stick to the edge of the screen, center, run a program.

Winroll (review) - Roll windows into their title bar, turn them transparent, minimize them to the tray, or toggle the always on top property.

ShockCaption - Rolls windows into their title bar or turns them transparent.

RBTray (review) - Allows almost any program to be minimized to the system tray by right clicking on its minimize button.

AeroDesktop - A system tray application that allows you to set transparency to your menus, windows, start menu and system tray.

TransOther - Make all windows but the active one transparent.

Ghoster - Dims all windows except the active one.

MinOther - Endlessly minimizes all windows except the active one.

Also see: Best Free Setting On-Top Windows

 

Why not contribute your suggestions by leaving a comment  below? 

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Comments

by Stamimail on 19. December 2012 - 16:00  (103764)

Hi, I'm looking solution for: How to open all windows maximized all the time on every opening of applications and folders?
W7 X64, Thank You.

by lgillian (not verified) on 15. August 2012 - 13:30  (97744)

Hello,

We are choosing one window position product. We have multiple users using the same computer for monitoring a system. One feature needed is to define different default window positions/sizes etc. according to different users' preferences. One method to do this is to let the user define his own profile, e.g. applications' position, and choose which profile to use when the computer's user changes. A better way to do this is to send a message from our application to Actual Window Manager when the user changes.

Is there any product supporting this kind functions?

by Hotfoot (not verified) on 5. May 2012 - 10:43  (93071)

Thanks for compiling this. I use a 2-monitor setup. I ended up using KDE Window Resizer plus Win Mouse. Win Mouse is a script based on AutoHotKey. You might consider adding Win Mouse to your list. A lot of the programs have difficulty dealing with 64-bit systems or multiple monitors -- or they just haven't been updated in a long time. Win Mouse seems to work just fine.

by Oli (not verified) on 13. April 2012 - 12:34  (92007)

Hello,

I'm working on a Windows XP system.
Do you know if one of these apps allows to "remember" both the size/position of the window AND scroll bar position. Let say I am working one of the t... files of a a very big folder, then I close the window. Now I want to come back to the the files beginning with a "t", not scrolling trough all the columns. Hope I am clear.
Thank you.

Great article.

by MidnightCowboy on 13. April 2012 - 14:26  (92018)

This section currently has no editor. Please ask your question in our forum.

by Julie Lawrence (not verified) on 17. March 2012 - 4:45  (90731)

Note that DeskLayer doesn't work for Windows 7.

by JC (not verified) on 9. December 2011 - 7:09  (84682)

Just FYI: AltDrag seriously owns Taekwindow. I did have problems with Taekwindow and wasn't able to click on anything. Resizing also isn't as smooth as it is with AltDrag. No problem whatsoever with AltDrag. Basically, these programs offer the same functionality with Taekwindow going one step further by implementing a nice GUI. AltDrag settings are made by editing the ini-File with your favorite text editor.

by PhilB (not verified) on 11. October 2011 - 22:23  (81260)

Hello! I would just like to thank you for a FANTASTIC article. I have read tons but none that include more than 5-6 different softs. Five stars guys!

by Fred22 (not verified) on 29. September 2011 - 6:51  (80549)

Please consider reviewing Windows Layout Manager - http://www.stefandidak.com/windows-layout-manager/

by cchris (not verified) on 14. January 2011 - 17:48  (64545)

Thanks for the nice list. Two more freeware items perhaps:
* Madotate v2.02 Uses a hotkey to make active window translucent. Affected window appears as a title label and a 3D rectangle beneath it, which you can change the perspective of using the mouse. Clicking the label restores the window.

* PeeepShow Lite v1.0 ( http://www.progency.com/peepshowlite.html ). Makes it possible to carve holes of various shape and depth in a window so as to see portions of other windows underneath. Drawback: may not be able to save configuration for unprivileged accounts, with the inconvenience of Ok-ing msg box off on shutting Windows down.

CChris

by Anupam on 14. January 2011 - 18:00  (64546)

Sorry, I had to take out the link for Madotate as the site was not in English, and we do not allow non-English sites. If there is an English site, please share. Thanks for the suggestions.

by szekelya (not verified) on 30. July 2010 - 17:56  (55201)

Try SecondShell at http://www.secondshell.com

by Peter S (not verified) on 18. July 2010 - 19:17  (54484)

Man! I HAD to stop and send a quick thanks for this list of utilities. I am a long-time supporter of TSA and came here just to find some freeware application to keep certain windows on top. I never expected to find such a comprehensive list! This looks like it would have taken a LOT of time and effort. (Yeah, I know: that's why they _pay_ you so much to do this, right?) The summaries are very helpful and, for me, were instructive about the various kinds of applications and the functions that can be accomplished. I didn't even know some of these things could be accomplished!
Alas, for now, I'm going to go do paperwork and resist the temptation to work my way through all of these. I will be back (As Arnold said in the Terminator) and find out more. Thanks again for the obvious time / effort this required.

Peter S - Birmingham, AL

by Anonymous on 12. December 2009 - 16:55  (38408)

Useful collection of programs. Thanks for this post!

by Anonymous on 10. November 2009 - 17:59  (36334)

I just downloaded Display Fusion and the freeware version no longer has multi-monitor taskbar support. It does still support the multi-monitor wallpaper capability.

by Jojo Yee on 2. August 2009 - 0:55  (26129)

Mentioned by Malikor in this forum post:

AeroMaxxed
Everybody loves Windows Vista's Aero style; with glass effect. But this glass effect is always disabled when a window is maximized. AeroMaxxed is written for eliminating this scattering situation. AeroMaxxed resizes windows to fullscreen, but does not maximize!

AeroDesktop
AeroDesktop is a system tray application that allows you to set transparency to your menus, windows, start menu and system tray. You can set different transparency value to each object. And also you can disable a spesific object's transparency.

Might be good too?

by PsychEroc on 2. August 2009 - 4:40  (26134)

Thanks! I added them, but didn't try them yet.

by Anonymous on 21. July 2009 - 0:34  (25453)

Personally I find MaxTo much more intuitive and easier to use than the Window Sizing/Arranging Programs listed above. You can download the free version from the link in this article - http://www.freewaregenius.com/2009/04/09/maxto-maxmize-your-windows-to-u...

by PsychEroc on 21. July 2009 - 3:37  (25458)

Thanks for the post. I'm not planning on including MaxTo in the article above because it is no longer freeware. But it is good to have the link for users who want the old free version:
Commercial: Version 2009.06.0 & after
Free: Version 2009.03.1 & before (zip: "http://en.kioskea.net/telecharger/telechargement-2959-maxto")

by Anonymous on 20. July 2009 - 23:56  (25452)

nice list

Thanks

by Jojo Yee on 17. July 2009 - 6:53  (25239)

The following comment is submitted by Anonymous on Fri, 07/17/2009 - 05:42. at Site Suggestions and Feedback.

Hi. I just wanted to let you know of another program you may want to include on your page titled, "Best Free Window Manager/Resizer/Arranger" (probably under the 'Smaller Programs' section).

For years I have been running AutoSizer on my PC's to help with window management (http://www.southbaypc.com/AutoSizer/) . It really does save a lot of aggravation and time not having to repeatedly resize/reposition windows in frequently used programs that don't restore their layouts to my liking.

I have also had some success in using AutoSizer with a second monitor and an extended desktop, though I don't it was originally developed with that configuration in mind. While it is free and has a small footprint, it isn't bugless. It occasionally has a problem operating on windows where it identifies two window 'classes' for one visible window (best I can explain as I'm not a programmer). Alas, sometimes we expect too much from our 'free' software and don't appreciate it for what it is.

Lately, I've been looking around for a program to better help me in the realm multiple Desktops/Monitors/Windows, which brought me across your page referenced here. Most of the software you list on that page was previously unknown to me and I will have to give some of them a try. Thank you for compiling and making available this information.

by Jojo Yee on 18. July 2009 - 4:49  (25288)

Thanks for mentioning AutoSizer. Other than auto-sizing functions, I've tested its setting on-top windows feature. It allows for auto-detecting pre-defined windows and works on DOS and skinned windows.

Updated to be the second top-pick in this category Best Free Setting On-Top Windows.

by PsychEroc on 17. July 2009 - 16:24  (25259)

Thanks! I've added it. BTW, it says it supports multiple monitors, do you have the latest version: 1.71?

by Jojo Yee on 18. July 2009 - 2:07  (25283)

Yes, that's exactly version 1.71 even though its homepage currently says "AutoSizer 1.7 Now Available". I don't use multiple monitors so I can't test them out :>)

by Jojo Yee on 27. June 2009 - 2:05  (24405)

In addition to Aero Snap mentioned in the list, there's also Aero Shake. A feature in Win 7 made available for XP and Vista.

"Shake the active window with your mouse will minimize all other windows; shake it again will restore them."

by PsychEroc on 27. June 2009 - 5:25  (24410)

Thanks Jojoyee, I forgot about that one probably because it's my least favorite feature of Win7.

by PsychEroc on 26. June 2009 - 13:45  (24385)

Can you think of a better title, or is this one ok?