Alt Drag Windows Moving Made Easier

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 13, 2008
Updated • Nov 19, 2017
Software, Windows software

If you want to move a window on a PC running a Windows operating system you need to left-click on the title bar and drag it to the desired location.

A left-click anywhere else will not have the desired effect. Alt Drag which my good old buddy Samer recently reviewed on his excellent Freeware Genius blog makes moving windows a tad easier, at least for some users.

As the name suggests it makes use of the ALT key for its functionality. Whenever you hold down the key, you can move any window on the screen by selecting any part of it with the left mouse button. This will save some miles of mouse movement per month for many users.

Alt Drag


Alt Drag comes with the additional feature to snap a selected window to the screen border or visible windows on the desktop to make better use of the screen estate.

The software itself is portable and supplied in 7z format unfortunately. You need to find an unpacker that is able to unpack the 7z format. The functionality becomes available as soon as the application is started.

The program icon is located in the System Tray. Alt Drag used about 3 Megabytes of computer memory and 1 Megabyte of virtual memory on a Windows XP SP3 test system. Those are pretty good values for a handy application like this.

Update: AltDrag has been updated to version 0.9 by the developer in February 2011. A beta version of altDrag 1.0 has been released in July of the same year. Both versions sport several new features including support for Windows Aero, new AutoFocus and AutoRemaximize options, new mouse actions, the ability to scroll through windows with the mousehweel or a new configuration user interface.

The configuration utility will be merged with the main application making the initial program configuration more convenient. It is likely that the new version will be released soon.

Instead of just being able to move windows around, it enables you to resize windows as well using it.

First thing you may want to do after starting the application is to open its configuration. Here you find several tabs that power the program's functionality.

Of special interest is the mouse and keyboard tab as it lists all features currently enabled and how they are mapped to the mouse.

Moving is mapped to the left mouse button, while resizing to the middle and right button instead. You can change that if you like, add other windows related functionality such as closing or maximizing windows, and configure additional mouse button and scroll wheel behavior as well.

Another interesting feature is the option to scroll inactive windows. You can enable the feature under general, and if you do, it enables you to scroll any window regardless of its activity state.

There is also a blacklist for processes that you want excluded from the program's functionality, and snapping mode which you can enable on the advanced tab.

Closing Words

AltDrag adds an interesting list of features to the handling of windows on PCs. Besides better options to resize or move windows, it also enables you to add other functionality such as scrolling in inactive windows.

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  1. Rez said on January 22, 2009 at 8:39 pm


    Your steps take more time and moving of hands then dragging the window using the title bar. The point of ALT-Drag is to be fast at moving windows around. I use Linux (XFCE) and when I’m on my latop always find myself tryin to move windows with the ALT-DRAG with no luck. This addon is nice.

  2. Revolutn said on January 16, 2009 at 4:49 am

    Of course you could just use the built into Windows functionality and not load another utility at all.

    With the window you want moved on top and ‘active’:
    1. Hold down Alt + Spacebar
    2. Press the M key
    3. Use the arrow keys to relocate the window
    4. Press the Enter key when you have the Window in the desired location.

  3. garbanzo said on November 14, 2008 at 6:29 am

    “Of course, this has been a built in feature of KDE for years.”

    i am hearing that more and more often these days. maybe it’s time to try dual-booting :)

  4. jonom said on November 14, 2008 at 4:51 am

    What’s wrong with 7zip?

    And for all your unpacking needs give Universal Extractor a try – it’s a great piece of software. (Not affiliated – it’s just part of my toolbox!)

  5. Domdom said on November 13, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Needs to be tested but it looks very useful :-) thanks GHacks!!!

  6. Dotan Cohen said on November 13, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Of course, this has been a built in feature of KDE for years.

  7. garbanzo said on November 13, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    nice little app, but after running it for under a minute i already ran into conflicts – i needed to alt-click a toolbar button and alt drag got i the way :(

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