Window tiles in macOS Sequoia: This is how display management works!

With macOS 15 Sequoia, Apple brings a few options for window management to the Mac. These can already be done using third-party tools such as Magnet, BetterSnapTool, Amethyst, Cinch etc. use, but are now also available directly in the operating system. In English, Apple calls the new function "Window Tiling". In German, the customized app windows are called "tiles". A window can be customized as a tile on the Mac display by dragging it to the edge, using a keyboard shortcut, or using a combination of mouse and keyboard. The feature is enabled by default in macOS Sequoia.

Tips and settings for macOS Sequoia Window Tiling can be found here!
Tips and settings for macOS Sequoia Window Tiling can be found here!

Four ways: mouse, keyboard, both together or menu

Before I go into detail, here are the four ways to use the new macOS Sequoia Window Tiling:

  • Drag the window to the edge or corner with the mouse
  • While holding down the option key, move the window in the desired direction until the tile frame appears
  • Use the keyboard shortcut for the window tile to be used
  • In the menu bar above Window -> Move & Scale select the desired tile

Using macOS Sequoia window tiles with the mouse

Anyone who has used a PC since Windows 7 will already have a basic understanding of the new macOS feature: you grab a window with the mouse and then drag it to the edge of the screen. A preview frame then shows the size it will be adjusted to when you let go. And the whole thing works the same way in macOS 15.

The bright frame indicates where the window will be placed when you release it.
The bright frame indicates where the window will be placed when you release it.

The window can be dragged to the left or right edge of the screen to fit the corresponding half of the screen. If it is dragged upwards (and the mouse pointer passes about halfway up the menu bar), it is maximized. The display differs from full-screen mode in that the menu bar and dock are still visible and other windows can be used.

To maximize the window, drag it up.
To maximize the window, drag it up.

Finally, there is the option of dragging a window into one of the corners of the display. If the window can be adjusted to the small dimensions, it will take up a quarter of the display in the selected corner. This means that, theoretically, four windows of the same size can be accommodated in each corner of the Mac screen.

It may take several attempts to hit the corner correctly and get the quarter frame displayed.
It may take several attempts to hit the corner correctly and get the quarter frame displayed.

Place Mac window tiles more conveniently by holding down the option key

The described mouse usage for adjusting the app window is a little more convenient when you hold down the option key (option or ⌥). If you hold it down while you drag a window to one edge of the screen with the mouse, the preview frame appears before you reach the display limit. If you then let go of the window, it takes on its shape. If the app only needs to fill a quarter of the display, you have to maneuver the mouse pointer completely into the corner. Everything else is considered half the display or maximized.

The keyboard shortcuts for the macOS window tiles

Starting with macOS Sequoia, there are also keyboard shortcuts for arranging windows to the left, right, top and bottom of the display, as well as for dividing two windows next to each other or above and below each other. A shortcut can also be used for arranging the display in quarters. The fn or globe key on the Apple keyboard is required for all of these by default:

  • Window in the left half: fn+control+Left (🌐^◀︎)
  • Window in the right half: fn+control+right (🌐^▶︎)
  • Window in the upper half: fn+control+Up (🌐^▲)
  • Window in the lower half: fn+control+Down (🌐^▼)
  • Arrange two windows left and right: fn+control+Shift+Left (🌐^⇧◀︎)
  • Arrange two windows right and left: fn+control+Shift+Right (🌐^⇧▶︎)
  • Arrange two windows at the top and bottom: fn+control+Shift+Up (🌐^⇧▲)
  • Arrange two windows at the bottom and top: fn+control+Shift+Bottom (🌐^⇧▼)

When selecting "left and right" or "right and left" or "top and bottom" or "bottom and top", it always depends on the currently active window. So if there are two windows on the display and the selected window in the foreground should be on the left, then "left and right" should be selected. If it should be on the right, then the other option should be selected. And so on.

Options with graphical support: Use window menu

Dragging windows with the mouse takes some getting used to, especially when it comes to finding the right height on the menu bar. The new window management can also be a bit complicated when using multiple monitors. The mouse can easily slip into the next space or a corner is not recognized because it represents the transition to the adjacent display. The option key helps here, but only to a limited extent.

If you are looking for a simpler solution due to these limitations and potential problems, but don't want to learn the keyboard shortcuts listed above, you will find what you are looking for in the Window menu. For the new window tiling in macOS Sequoia, a new submenu called "Move & Scale" has been added. There you will find all window positions for halves and quarters of the screen, as well as options for arranging multiple windows in the same space.

The new menu offers all window tiles that can be used for the active app.
The new menu offers all window tiles that can be used for the active app.

Fine-tuning the window tiles in the system settings

Starting with macOS 15 Sequoia, the System Settings near Desk & dock and in the area Window a few additional options for tile customization. The new window customization can be turned on and off using a switch, the use of the Option key can be activated and deactivated separately - and finally there is an option for borders around the customized windows.

There is a new area in the system preferences for the macOS Sequoia window tiles.
There is a new area in the system preferences for the macOS Sequoia window tiles.

macOS Sequoia Window Tiling: Remove borders and use the entire display

I think the last option in the new system settings area is particularly important. Anyone who has ever used another window manager and used it to arrange apps on their Mac display will probably find the border around the app windows when using Apple tiles just as strange as I do. Valuable display space is lost in all four directions. I think it is advisable to turn off the space between the app tiles.

App tiles with spacing
App tiles with spacing
App tiles without spacing (except for the maps app; there seems to be a bug there)
App tiles without spacing (except for the maps app; there seems to be a bug there)

Conclusion on Mac window management from macOS 15 Sequoia

When I first used a Mac at the end of 2017, the very first thing I missed compared to Windows was an integrated window management that could be used via mouse movement. This had been available on PCs since Windows 7, i.e. since 2009. That's why the first app I installed on macOS back then was the magnet window managerNow Apple has finally managed to enable the app arrangement in tiles on the system side. And thanks to the different approaches, many people should be able to get used to it quickly. What do you think?

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4 comments on “Window tiles in macOS Sequoia: How display management works!”

  1. Great, it seems that a lot is happening now. The window management is not that good in Windows 11, but in my opinion it is sufficient. I don't need anything more.
    If Apple can now manage to modernize the outdated design, then macOS would also be up to date. You can see what a modern design looks like in Windows 11. Unfortunately, this is only on the surface. As soon as you click deeper into the system in Windows 11, it unfortunately becomes outdated pretty quickly.

    1. Hello Timewalker! I kind of like the design. 😊 But I would be convinced by a new design if there was something new. But I think they are currently putting more effort into the stuff under the hood than into the hood itself. 😂

    2. Hello Timewalkers,

      I will only be happy about design updates again when they mean that an operating system (whether Windows or macOS) looks like Windows XP again 😄 I find flat designs and monotonous materials boring - I need playful, customizable interfaces and the ability to disfigure everything with skins 🎨

      Best regards
      John

  2. Hi John,
    I have nothing against the operating system being able to be configured via skins. That wouldn't be bad at all. A community would certainly develop for the skins.
    However, I find the design of Windows XP extremely ugly, not to mention the botched start menu.
    A design like Windows 11 and the start menu like Windows 10 (of course visually adapted to Windows 11) would be my ideal. I actually find the flat design of Windows 11 very stylish, but it lacks color. It would be nice if you could recognize a button as such.

    gruß
    Udo

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