How to Fix Yosemite’s Annoying Windows Handling

OS X Yosemite’s green maximize button doesn’t work as expected, but we have a free solution, here’s how to fix it and make it work correcly.

Apple’s OS X Yosemite adds a bunch of features, but one of the most annoying is how the green maximize button works with MacOS windows. Instead of maximizing a window like it always did in previous versions of the MacOS, it now takes the window to full screen. Here’s how to fix it.

Temporary Fix: Hold the Option Key Down

When you click the green button on any window, press the Option Key at the same time. The window will maximize normally. You can’t make maximize the default. Apple should have given me the option to return my Mac to the settings the way I always had. I have options though, pardon the pun.

BetterTouchTool Restores the Original Green Button

BetterTouchTool Settings on Yosemite
OS X Daily has a full walkthrough on how to set this up including a great video on setting up Better Touch Tool. You need to keep BetterTouchTool running all the time to re-map the green button. The article says you can quit the app, but some folks left comments saying you can’t, and my experience agreed, that you can’t quit the app.

BetterTouchTool at Startup

For the change to apply each time you start your Mac, enable Launch BetterTouchTool at Startup. That setting is in Basic Settings > General. The best thing about Better Touch Tool, it’s free.

Easy Bonus Feature: Window Snapping

Window Snapping feature
BetterTouchTool has a ton of features, but I recommend trying out Window Snapping. PCs running Windows 7 or higher have this function. If you drag a window to the menu bar, the window maximizes to full screen. When you drag the window to either side of the screen, the window goes half-screen. That setting is at the bottom of the Basic Settings.

Another Easy Bonus Feature: Ignoring Accidental Trackpad Clicks

trackpad settings

I have big hands and on smaller Mac laptops, my palms hit the trackpad making the cursor move. Windows has Touchfreeze and now BetterTouchTool gives this to us on the Mac.

After you play with some of these basic functions, check out some of the advanced settings that let you set other key combinations and gestures.

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