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Mac OS X: Resizing Oversized Windows to Fit the Screen

I recently switched from a 15" MacBook Pro (2007 model) to the latest 13" MacBook Pro (2009, unibody model). After transferring my iTunes library to the new laptop, I found that the size of the iTunes window exceeded the size of the screen (the 15” MBP had a 1440x900, while the 13” MBP has a slightly smaller 1280x800). This meant I was unable to grab the bottom right corner of the window to resize it:

iTunes too large to resize!

Unfortunately, the maximize button in iTunes only cycles through Previous Size and the Mini Player mode; at no point does it actually maximize the window to fit the screen!

Note: As Ondrej commented below, you might be able to fix this by simply holding down the Alt/Option key and pressing the zoom/maximize button (the green button).

I tried installing an application called RightZoom which changes the behavior of the maximize button in OS X by maximizing the window to fill the screen (as opposed to simply maximizing for “best fit”). However, that did nothing to change the behavior of iTunes.

After searching the web for solutions and finding nothing, I remembered a trick I had used in the past on Windows computers: Change the display resolution to something smaller, thereby forcing the operating system to resize windows to fit the new resolution. Then, after the OS resizes the windows, change the resolution back to the original. Of course this only works if the original resolution is not already set for the lowest one (it most likely isn't).

To my relief, this trick worked perfectly! When I switched to a smaller resolution, the iTunes window was resized to fit the smaller screen.

For your reference, here are the steps:

  1. Launch System Preferences -> Displays
  2. Select a smaller resolution
  3. iTunes (or any other application) will be resized to fit the smaller resolution
  4. Change the resolution back to the default
  5. Oversized window problems solved!

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  1. Haha, all that work to get an iTunes window to fit your screen. You also came up with a very creative solution to the problem. Holding down the ALT key while pressing the Zoom button on the iTunes window would’ve given you the same result ;]

    • Hmm, I thought I tried that, but maybe not! Haha, I spent so much time searching Google for a solution and I couldn’t find one! Thanks for the tip! I’ve added it to the post.

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