Updated March, 2021
Maximize or Minimize Safari & Application Windows
macOS Recent Versions
On your Mac, do any of the following in a window:
- Maximize a window: Press and hold the Option key while you click the green maximize button in the top-left corner of an app window. To return to the previous window size, Option-click the button again.You can also double-click an app’s title bar to maximize the window (as long as the option to do so is set to “zoom” in Dock preferences).
- Minimize a window: Click the yellow minimize button in the top-left corner of the window, or press Command-M.You can set an option in Dock preferences to have a window minimize when you double-click its title bar.
Most windows can be manually resized. Drag the window’s edge (top, bottom, or sides) or double-click an edge to expand that side of the window.
Source: Apple Support / macOS User Guide
macOS High Sierra
For macOS High Sierra or older, Apple offered only “Full-screen” mode in Safari. In these earlier OSes, it was not natively possible to “maximize” the browser window in regular screen mode in certain versions of macOS. Here are some resources that help with that.
Recommendation for Safari on High Sierra: Magnet App
Magnet is a Window Manager app for macOS, that has the added benefit of including a shortcut that can “Maximize” any standard Mac window – this includes Safari. So, if you are willing to pay a small amount of money, you’ll get a cool all around app too. It’s simple and easy to use, available via the Mac App Store, and is currently maintained by the developer:
Magnet – keeps your workspace organized
Activated by dragging, customizable keyboard shortcuts or via Menu bar, Magnet declutters your screen by snapping windows into organized tiles. Drag a window to the top edge of your screen to maximize it.
Other Similar Apps
Divvy – cross-platform window manager
Divvy is an entirely new way of managing your workspace. It allows you to quickly and efficiently “divvy up” your screen into exact portions including full screen. It’s notably more expensive than Magnet.
Cinch – simple window manager
Cinch allows you to precisely resize a window simply by dragging to the left, right, or top screen edge. It’s a bit more expensive than Magnet.
BetterSnapTool – manage window positions
BetterSnapTool allows you to easily manage your window positions and sizes by either dragging them to one of the screen’s corners or to the top, left or right side of the screen. It’s the least expensive of the paid options.
Moom – Move and zoom windows
With Moom, you can easily move and zoom windows to half screen, quarter screen, or fill the screen. It is a paid app via direct download or Mac App Store.
Rectangle – open source window manager
Similar to Magnet, Rectangle is free and open source. Move and resize windows in macOS using keyboard shortcuts or snap areas.
Veer – a lightweight window manager
Veer is a free window manager with full screen options. It’s a ‘side project’ maintained by an in indie developer.
3D WindowSwitcher – Powerful Desktop Window Switcher and Manager
WindowSwitcher is a paid app that transforms the chaos of a messy desktop into neatly arranged windows, where one can easily see all the information in an organized display.
A free website that offers multiple presets, along with a custom size feature, that will trigger the resizing of your browser window(s).
Other Types of Extensions for Safari 13+
Apple features other helpful extension in their Safari Extensions Category in the macOS App Store.
Legacy Browser Extensions for Safari 12 and lower
Resize Window adds a single button to your Safari toolbar that will resize your browser window to a specific size with a single click. Maximize or select from a myriad of preset pixel sizes.
This extension adds a toolbar that allows you to resize the Safari window to six different sizes, including full screen.
The ResponsiveResize Safari Extension lets you resize the browser window with pixel precision as an aid to building responsive websites.
Looking for “Full Screen” & maximizing web browser alternatives to Safari?
You may wish to consider one of these other free Mac browsers that are similar to Safari but offer native maximize capability.
To maximize: Press and hold the Option key while you click the green maximize button in the top-left corner of an app window:
- Avast Secure Browser
- Brave Browser
- Firefox Browser
- Fluid – Turn any website into a standalone Mac browser app
- Google Chrome Browser
- Microsoft Edge Browser
- Opera Browser
- Puffin Secure Browser
- Vivaldi Browser