The best window managers for Mac

There are many window managers for the Mac or for macOS. Which of these is the best window manager app is usually decided individually for each user. Because where some want to adjust the size of a window using the trackpad, others want to arrange the program windows in columns of the same size using the mouse or key combination. In the following you will find various free window managers as well as paid apps for arranging app rectangles on the Apple Mac; each with a short description and the download link.

The best window managers for the Mac can be found here. Window manager apps from the App Store and developer websites; free or as a paid version - there is something for everyone!
The best window managers for the Mac can be found here. Window manager apps from the App Store and developer websites; free or as a paid version - there is something for everyone!

The best window managers for Mac

As I said, you will find the best window manager for macOS on the Apple Mac through the intersection of your requirements and the services of the individual apps. In the following I have reduced some representatives of this software category to the essentials for you (without rating, but only in alphabetical order). These include Amethyst, BetterSnapTool, Cinch, Divvy, Flexiglass, HyperDock, Moom, Penc, SizeUp, Spectacle, Window Collage, Window Tidy and Veeer. If you are also looking for information about Magnet, then take a look at this individual post: Magnet app in the test.

Amethyst

Amethyst is an "open source" window manager. The open-source app allows the very individual arrangement of windows via a key combination. If the preset sizes and orientations do not suit you, you can define your own preferences, presets and layouts. The free window manager for the Mac can also provide the largest or smallest possible view of a window.

  • Recommended for: Power users with an affinity for keyboard, developers and software hobbyists
  • Amethyst download: Developer side

Better Snap Tool

BetterSnapTool is not just a simple window manager for the Mac, but a helper for everyone who individually arranges windows, assigns new functions to buttons and wants to use other tricks. For example, the window manager software can be used to assign the close, minimize and maximize buttons of program windows to be clicked with the secondary key (right click). The commands for arranging windows can be assigned individual shortcuts. 

  • Recommendation for: Keyboard, computer mouse and trackpad users alike
  • Better Snap Tool Download: App Store

Cinch

Cinch can be found as one of many window manager apps in the Mac App Store for € 7,99. Similar to Microsoft Windows or with the cheaper magnet app, you can use it to drag windows into so-called "hot zones", where they are automatically aligned. For example, on the edge of the display. But the app can't do much more, which is why I personally would recommend a free solution or the cheap magnet app.

  • Recommended for: Trackpad and mouse users who only want to arrange windows at the edges (left, right, top, bottom) or who want to maximize them
  • Cinch download: App Store

divvy

Divvy is available for Apple macOS and Microsoft Windows alike. For € 14,99 you can use the window manager on your Mac and arrange windows in the proportions you choose. So-called grids, i.e. grid lines for defining sizes and positions, can be selected in various ways. Each fixed or preset alignment can be linked to a key combination. More information is available on the software page in the App Store.

  • Recommendation for: Keyboard users and everyone who wants to align windows individually to a grid 
  • Divvy Download: App Store

flexiglass

Flexiglass is a Mac window manager that costs double digits, but in addition to aligning windows at the top, bottom, left and right, it also offers the option of second assignment of the close and maximize buttons of windows. A right or secondary click on the close button, for example, terminates the entire program, not just closing the active window. All details are available in the App Store.

  • Recommended for: Trackpad or mouse-savvy users or those who want to assign individual settings to keyboard shortcuts
  • Flexiglass download: App Store

HyperDock

HyperDock is one of the more expensive window managers for the Apple Mac, iMac, and MacBook. Where others are free or only cost one or two euros, this is € 10,99. In return, you get a completely different approach to window management - instead of options for alignment, there are more functions for the macOS Dock - such as the preview of the open windows of an app, a calendar preview, a simpler media control and so on. Moving and adjusting windows is also included - that's why it is included in this list.

  • Recommendation for: Windows friends who miss the window preview of the taskbar in macOS and want the same (or more) from the dock
  • HyperDock Download: App Store

moom

Moom is a paid Mac window manager that costs € 10,99 in the App Store. It is designed for mouse and keyboard users alike and offers all known standard positions (top, bottom, left, right, etc.). However, you can also “paint” the desired size and position of a window. Zooming (resizing), moving to another display, creating chains of individual commands and more is also possible.

  • Recommended for: Mouse users, keyboard users and power users who want to automate recurring commands with the Window Manager
  • Moom Download: App Store

penc

Like many other window managers on the Mac, Penc is also freeware, but not so much for hobbyists. In the settings, the key for key-trackpad combinations can be defined and other subtleties can be adjusted. By swiping, spreading fingers, dragging and sliding, you can use Penc to adjust window sizes, freely arrange windows, move and so on. A fine thing.

Here a video with a clear demo:

 

  • Recommendation for: Trackpad users who freely arrange windows and want to adjust their size quickly
  • Penc download: Developer side

Sizeup

As a free demo and a $12,99 purchase version, SizeUp offers easy arrangement and an option for sorting app and Finder-windows. Besides the primary Mac, iMac or MacBook display, this window manager for Mac also works well on additional (external) monitors. The individual options can be selected using the menu bar icon or executed using a key combination. The latter can be customized.

  • Recommended for: Mouse and keyboard users who are satisfied with the preset standard orientations
  • SizeUp download: Developer side

Show

The Mac window manager Spectacle is clearly aimed at keyboard users - the arrangement of windows in the middle of the display, as a full screen, in thirds, in halves and other positions is done here using keyboard shortcuts. Optionally, manual start, autostart with booting macOS and the location in the menu bar can be selected. As a menu bar icon, the app serves as a mouse tool and as a cheat sheet for the shortcuts.

  • Recommendation for: everyone who can memorize many key combinations or who want to use the menu bar to arrange windows with the mouse
  • Spectacle Download: Developer side

Window collage

Window Collage is a graphically beautifully designed window manager for the Apple Mac, which ensures that you can arrange program windows and finders with keyboard shortcuts free of charge. The key combinations can be individually assigned with alignments and window sizes. Columns, rows and positions can be individually defined. Ideal for use with a wide cinema format monitor.

  • Recommended for: individual bargain hunters who want to arrange and organize windows as they see fit, free of charge; as well as for defining columns on cinema displays
  • Window collage download: Developer side

Window tidy

Window Tidy is a window manager for macOS that comes as a small extension for the menu bar. The inexpensive program offers its own settings and presets for arranging application and finder windows. Each layout can be defined with its own grid. The use of multiple monitors is supported. There is also a nice visual processing of the individual settings.

  • Recommendation for: everyone who is looking for a drag & drop solution that can be adapted, but is still simple, understandable and inexpensive
  • Window Tidy Download: App Store

Veer

Veeer is a beautifully designed, small app that is located in the menu bar of macOS and from there, using the shortcut Ctrl + Cmd + arrow keys, ensures that windows are arranged above, below, left or right. This window manager for the Mac can also quarter-screen, minimize, maximize and center. Veeer shows itself as active through a green sheen in the symbol - matching the presentation in dark gray and light green.

  • Recommended for: Keyboard and mouse users who do not need a special arrangement or size assignment besides the standards
  • Veeer download: Developer side
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4 thoughts on “The Best Window Managers for Mac”

  1. I have the following problem: I am using a Macbook Pro with two external monitors connected. The MacBook Pro itself is always closed. The system goes into standby several times a day, and when it wakes up, all the program windows are on top of each other on the right monitor. This means that for every pair of spaces I have to slide one of the program windows from right to left countless times every day, usually for four or five pairs of spaces. Is there a way to make sure that after waking up from standby the program windows are not all on top of each other on one page, but where they were before?

    1. Jen Kleinholz

      Hi Daniel! I don't know the problem yet, but I asked Google. One tip was to swap the monitor cable. Maybe something is broken here. And a reader who had the problem then got the app Optimum lay-out picked it up and was happy with it. But in principle this is just a window manager. I have no idea how that can/should help. 😊

  2. Hello Jens, thanks for the tip. The "Optimal Layout" app doesn't seem to be available anymore, I wasn't able to download it. I bought the Windows Tidy app which is helpful but doesn't solve the problem. When I work, the MacbookPro is always closed and two 27-inchers are in use. Various program windows are open on both, and on average I have about five double Spaces, that is to say ten virtual monitors. When I go to standby, numerous program windows are distributed in a certain way on all ten virtual monitors (“spaces”). When I wake up the system from standby, all program windows are on the right monitor, i.e. in each pair of spaces on the right side, one above the other. The system is unable to arrange the program windows as they were before after waking up from standby. If only one external monitor was connected, there would be no problem. I suppose the entire operating system practically organizes only one external monitor and can't cope with the second. Too bad, with a Macbook Pro for almost 4000 euros.

    1. Jen Kleinholz

      Ok, too bad it didn't help. But I don't know of any other way. I think this is where macOS needs to be improved. But I'm not sure if Apple is aware of this bug. There won't be many people using two monitors and then Spaces.

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