How to Use the Keyboard to Move or Resize a Window that is Too Big for the Screen

Did you ever suddenly find yourself with a window that is so large that part of it, including the title bar, is off the screen? For example, maybe somebody sent you an oversized picture taken with one of those many-megapixel cameras. With no title bar visible, you can’t move the window with the mouse. But there is an old trick that goes all the way back to Windows 3. It allows you to use the keyboard and a menu called the system or control menu to move or resize a window.

System menuNormally, this little-used menu can be opened by clicking on the icon in the upper left corner of a window but there is also a keyboard shortcut to open it. Enter the keyboard combination Alt+Space Bar. An example of the menu that opens is shown in the figure on the right. The menu  is used by entering the underlined letter for an action. 

How to move a window using only the keyboard

  1. Enter the keyboard combination Alt+Space Bar to open the system menu.
  2. Type the letter “m”.
  3. A double-headed pointer will appear.
  4. Then use the arrow keys to move the window up, down, right, or left.
  5. Once the window is positioned, press “Enter”.

How to resize a window using only the keyboard

  1. Enter the keyboard combination Alt+Space Bar to open the system menu.
  2. Type the letter “s”
  3. A double-headed pointer will appear
  4. To make the window smaller, press the right arrow key to select the right edge of the window and then repeatedly press the left arrow to reduce the size
  5. Press “Enter”.

It’s an old trick but you will be glad you know it if you get one of those oversized windows.

Added later: If a window is maximized, the entries in the system menu for "Move" and "Size" will be greyed out. In that case, try the keyboard combination Alt+Space Bar followed by R. Then repeat Alt+Space Bar.

Get your own favorite tip published! Know a neat tech tip or trick? Then why not have it published here and receive full credit? Click here to tell us your tip.


This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

Click here for more items like this. Better still, get Tech Tips delivered via your RSS feeder or alternatively, have the RSS feed sent as email direct to your in-box.

Share this
4.54348
Average: 4.5 (46 votes)
Your rating: None

Comments

by sicknero on 26. August 2014 - 16:55  (118211)

Nice tip, thank you... it never occured to me use the menu shortcuts before.

I normally use AltDrag for this but I'm trying to reduce my autoruns so this will be handy, thanks.

by calimesajim on 25. August 2014 - 23:30  (118196)

Thanks V Laurie. Needed this info for my cloud backup window.

Gizmo's Freeware is Recruiting!

Gizmos Needs YouShare your knowledge of free software with millions of Gizmo's readers by joining our editing team.  Details here.