The New Way to Zoom a Window in OS X Yosemite

Posted by Jim Tanous on August 1, 2014

A few weeks ago, we pointed out that Apple was changing the way that the zoom button (that little green button in a window’s toolbar) works in OS X Yosemite. Instead of making a window larger to fit the current content, the zoom button is now the ‘full screen’ button in Yosemite.

One way to get the old zoom button functionality back was to hold the Option key while clicking the button. But another way, new to Yosemite, is to double-click an empty space in a window’s toolbar. Doing this replicates the traditional zoom button, with the window resizing to fit the current content.

Check out the video above to see this process in action. One note, however, is that this new zoom method is not universal. It works with some apps like Safari, TextEdit, and Preview, but not with others like iTunes. Third party apps also lack the feature, so it looks like developers will have to add one more thing to their checklist to make their apps fully compatible with Yosemite.

OS X Yosemite will be out this fall. Apple is currently conducting both developer and public betas. We’ll let you know if a Terminal command that reverses this new zoom control scheme is found as we near Yosemite’s launch.

3 thoughts on “The New Way to Zoom a Window in OS X Yosemite”

Mike Pascale says:
How do we get back the zoom percentage box that used to be at the bottom of the TextEdit window? That’s what I miss the most. Clicking “zoom in” enlarges it twice with no way to stop in-between. How does Apple know how big I need my document?
Nibor Oyam says:
I am getting frustrated too, not being able to zoom everything to the size I need, including my desktop. My computer sits far away as we use it as a TV too, and I need to be able to use this feature again. How do I do it, or is it not an option anymore? To hold Option and stoke the middle of the mouse. And by the way, when they did switch the mouse scrolling to go the opposite way of before? I was on 10.6 until today. I like a lot of El Captian, but I need to zoom like before!!!
Kitten Meow says:
Yay πŸ˜€ I thought this function was gone forever!
Lykoz says:
This is a handy feature… Coming from Windows… I prefer OSX by far… However I miss one thing… AND IT IS A MUST ON OSX… Window Snapping… I.e. you snap window to left or right and it takes half screen snap to top ant it goes full screen (without maximising)… Google BetterTouchTool… I use that… BetterSnapTool is also good (does same thing)…

Trust will make your mac experience SOOO much better! Try it and let me know. πŸ˜‰

P.S. If you find you change spaces when snapping you can ‘delay’ the change spaces function when dragging window to left or right… I ussually change items from desktop to desktop using mission control anyway.

Gav says:
Try TileWindowsLite -> Keyboard shortcuts to snap your windows to the sides (I set my keys to be CTRL+Right/Left arrow just like in Windows).
Lykoz says:
You can do that on bettersnaptool and bettertouchtool…

Oh did I mention I can also pinch zoom in/out on MS word excel and powerpoint?

I was very happy BetterSnapTool… I am even happier on BetterTouchTool πŸ˜‰

Im always up for new suggestions on apps πŸ˜‰ but your suggestion I can already do πŸ˜‰

Emory Jacob says:
I’ve been trying to figure out a way to do this!! Thanks for your comment!
Vicki Stokes says:
I’m running OS X Yosemite 10.10. Unless I missed something in the video. Double-clicking in an empty space in toolbar hides the Safari window.
Joseph Hanna says:
I suspect you have “Double-click a window’s title bar to minimize” checked-on in System Preferences => Dock.
Vicki Stokes says:
Yes. You are correct. It works fine now.

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