User Feedback: Do you maximize your windows?


This is really just a curiosity post I’m afraid. I bring you no new insight on anything whatsoever.

Do you maximize the various windows you have open? Or do you prefer to keep windows at various smaller sizes?

I’ve got dual 20″ (widescreen) monitors and maximizing windows can be a bit overkill for some things. I’m finding myself just keeping windows in smaller, modular sizes instead of just having them take up the whole screen.


Ross Graham

Gross. Never.

Well … Almost never.
I maximize iCal and iTunes typically. And within Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator I like to have one document’s space maximized over my screen unless I’m working on more than one document. Other’n that … No way. My 20″ iMac at home and the 23″ Studio Display at work would be full of mostly nothing if I maximized my windows.

To me the point of the large monitors is to have two documents up at a time: something that my 17in monitor PC cohorts at work see me doing on my Mac with its 23″ monitor … they can only drool and wish their time was used as well.


this is the one thing i miss from WINDOWS XP.

I wish I could have a good old fashioned plain grey background, when photoshopping for example. yeah I know I can drag the windows etc, but its a pain in the butt. This is why I have to have a rather plain desktop image.


I got a 17″ Philips monitor plugging into a mini, and I don’t maximize my windows. Though all the windows are hidden in such a monitor and I always click my mouse for Exposé… except Adium, nothing virtually can be done in parallel.


It depends on what application you’re talking about? Web browsing? Photoshop?

When I’m web browsing on my laptop screen (MacBook Pro) I usually have the window almost full-screen but I have my bookmarks open, so it ends up being around 900-1000 actual pixels of website real estate.

I always have Photoshop full-screen (or 2 screens when I’m in the office).

Mail I almost never have full-screen – it’s just overkill. I usually have it sized down to about 60-70% of what you would call full-screen. Other applications like IM and calculator get spread out around it so I can see them all at once without using Expose.

Justin Ames

When I use windows I keep everything maximised except Windows Explorer windows because it just seems much cleaner to me. But with Mac OS X, I don’t feel the need for everything to be maximized; I think this is due to fact that the menubar is always in the same spot. I have a MacBook Pro 15.4 and keep AdiumX docked on the left side, so most other things are on the right of that.


Funny thing I noticed when reading this article that I don’t maximize on my MacMini but do when running windows on my PC using the same 17″… go figure.


Maybe the first few days I had a Mac (before Expose) I maximized, but then I realized that there wasn’t much of a point.

Windows had a clunky GUI for non maximized windows, and OS X seems to be built on multitasking. I love being able to see parts of all my windows (on small screens) or even all of my windows on large screens.

On windows I tend to maximize sometimes, but definately not on OS X


“And funny, that Mac Office Apps do it correctly (AFAIK)- so I guess that MS does it right on the Mac.” From experience with M$ programms i’m guessing they did it by accident.

But seriously, when i use a mac(quite often but not at home), i don’t maximize anything but the browser, i maximize programs only when i really need to concentrate on a task. Same thing when i use windows actualy.

Josh Pigford

Blair, we’ve had ads in the feed for over 3 months now, and also, the comments are the place to air your thoughts on off-topic things. Shoot us an email if you’ve got things to say that pertain to the site. Thanks.


I had an ad come up in the xml feed… What’s up with that? I might have to stop reading your feed.

Matt Hoult

I had OMD (Obsessive Maximus Disorder) before I came to Mac. Everything in every version of Windows was maximized where possible. Now however I don’t. I like things the same as they were by default, the same size as iTunes by default (Mail for example) or Finder windows as I need them.

More points for the “Windows: Max, Mac: What *I* like” crowd.

Phil Bowell

I don’t tend to maximise windows on my external screen but on my iBook I maximse safari and mail etc. The only apps I maximise on my external display are photoshop and illustrator with the pallets on my iBooks screen.



Ok so you ‘like’ it better. It has nothing to do with which one is better. I’m sure you can find someone who likes the current functionality just fine. Like me, for example. Maximizing windows is useless to me. It’s all a matter of opinion and it makes no difference how long you’ve been using a Mac. I’ve only started using a Mac in August of 2005 and I say Apple does it better, who is right? Neither, it’s personal opinion.

“The MacOS red button SHOULD maximize to the largest window possible…”

Ok so first of all the RED button (I thought you said you were a long time Mac user…?) is the close button… and it SHOULD do whatever Apple wants it to do since it’s their software. And as I said above ‘maximizing to the largest possible window’ is entirely useless to me.

And about Mac Office apps, well, like I also said in my post MANY developers don’t use the zoom buttons effectively and that is unfortunate but there is nothing ‘correct’ about making a window take up the whole screen, it’s a massive waste of space as far as i’m concerned.

Oh wait wait. I just opened a new document in word and hit the GREEN zoom button… It makes the document window SMALLER, to 100% zoom in page layout view. Press it again and it makes it slightly too bit, underlapping the formatting pallete. So infact MS does it better than many 3rd party developers on the mac but still not ‘right’ according to you.

jan garcia

I usually keep most apps with a lot of text maximized…itunes, rss reader (vienna), text editor (Text Wrangler). Everything else, I keep them in various sizes. I almost never maximize finder windows. I’m on a 13″ macbook.


It depends on the application. I maximize TextMate, Photoshop, Navicat and a few others using Virtue to give each maximized app its own space without blocking anything else.

Just about everything else is in its own window that is sized to fit the task at hand.


Sorry, I don’t particularly care what old TAB articles say. This Mac user since 1988 says that Windoze does it better.

The MacOS red button SHOULD maximize to the largest window possible (given the same magnification of text)- period. Otherwise it’s useless. There is nothing ‘smart’ about it.

And funny, that Mac Office Apps do it correctly (AFAIK)- so I guess that MS does it right on the Mac.



I have two monitors at work and I lay out all the windows overlapping one another. I have to juggle among windows and ALT-TAB or taskbar just don’t do it for me.


“Maximize”? What’s that? :) hehe

But in all seriousness, no, never. The one windows I guess you could say I have ‘maximized’ is Safari on my 12″ PB but that’s just because that’s how wide websites usually are, designed for 1024×768.

Garageband also tends to open up very big, so I just leave it at it’s size.

The most ‘maximizing’ I do other than that is keeping things as TALL as the screen but never as wide. Most types of documents I deal with have more information ‘lengthwise’ rather than ‘widthwise’ such as code, PDFs, school assignments and so on.


There is no ‘maximize’ button so the behavior you’re looking for simply isn’t there. The ‘ ‘ button is actually ‘zoom’ and is supposed to fit the contents of the window, many developers don’t use it right and, agreed, it’s kind of flaky sometimes but it is _not_ supposed to ‘maximize to the largest window possible’. So windows doesn’t do this ‘better’, it does it ‘different’, although you can of course argue which one does ‘window sizing’ better if you want :). You can’t find all kinds of information on this (positive and negative) on google and such. Probably even on older TAB articles :)


I also wish maximise would maximise to fill the screen. I know its supposed to be clever and maximise to the maximum contents…… Even something like command-maximise would be nice. Its the biggest thing I still prefer on windows ( that and the menu short cut key combos, )


I have a 12″ G4 PB and a 20″ G5 iMac. I often need large windows for spreadsheets or DNA sequence alignments. So, I have a need to use ‘maximize’ on both machines. I’d use it more, except that it DOESN’T DO WHAT IT SHOULD.

Maximize doesn’t even maximize to the largest window possible in many applications – just to the largest window used previously. This is especially true for Apple Apps and the finder. Sometimes, it even moves the window partially off screen after two clicks. Useless!

Try viewing pdf docs in Preview and click on the red button a couple times. The window gets smaller! What’s the point?

So, if I don’t manually stretch the window to the size I want – I can’t have a maximum window.

This is one thing Windoze does better, IIRC. I click on the ‘Maximize’ bar in NT or XP, and the screen gets filled up. That’s the way it SHOULD work.


I maximize — however, one thing to consider is that I keep my AIM buddy list docked on the right hand side of my monitor. I’ve got (2) 19″ side-by-side at work. One always have PhotoShop (or some other program) open full screen and the other is where I keep web browsing, AIM and email.


I have a 20″ LCD, and I maximize most windows: Safari, Xcode, iCal, Finder, etc.

What I don’t like about Apple’s zoom button is that it only fits the current window contents. When using Safari, for example, the window contents change all the time, so then the window is often too small. I don’t want to hit the zoom button all the time.


I have 12 inch PowerBook and have to maximize the windows, though sometimes manage to squeze some. I wouldn’t maximize if i had a bigger screen. Also noticed that Windows users have more windows maximized the Mac users. )

Geoff Wright

I maximise everything, and I always have done! I thought everybody did, but apparently not. Its like an OCD…


I don’t maximize any window. I’ve got an 19″ widescreen tft and I don’t like the look of maximized windows ;)


With my 13″ iBook, it’s no surprise that I maximize almost all my windows. I think the only softwares that I use daily that I do not maximize are Mail and iTunes. All the rest, though, maximized: Firefox, Word, iCal, Keynote, iPhoto, iMovie and Garageband, etc.


Nope, never. I like having several things going at once, and while I keep other applications hidden, I like having a dedicated “area” for each app. And on my 20″ monitor a maxed out window is way too big…


I use a 17″ monitor in tandem with my 12″ iBook screen. I’ll often keep a web browser maximized on the smaller screen, while everything else (unmaximized) goes on the bigger one. I probably wouldn’t maximize anything if it weren’t for the small size of the iBook screen.


I don’t maximize all windows, but I always have my browser maxmized. I find it too distracting to be able to see my desktop and the browser, or two browser windows at the same time.

So yes, I maximize my windows. I’m also using a Macbook where the screen isn’t huge but it’s resolution is enough to allow me to have two browser windows open but I choose to keep one visible at a time.

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