Review: Magnet window manager for OS X


The ability to snap windows side-by-side has been one of my most missed features since switching from Microsoft Windows years ago. Fortunately, there have been quite a few apps over the years that have provided window snapping on the Mac.

One such app, HyperDock, has been my go-to app of sorts for managing windows on OS X. Another app, BetterSnapTool, is also popular among Mac users for window management.

But today, Sebastien made me aware of yet another window management tool. I have to admit that I was skeptical at first, because I’ve I didn’t see how anything could be much better than HyperDoc for my needs, but I stand corrected.

Magnet ($1.99) is a really good Mac App Store release that focuses solely on window management, and does a very good job. It has several key features that have made me seriously contemplate switching over to it full time. Watch our video review to see what I mean.

What it does

When you drag a window to the edge of the screen with Magnet installed, the window will auto-resize to fill a specific area of the screen. For example, if you drag an app to the left side of the screen, the app window will fill the entire left side of the display. However, if you drag the window to the upper-left side of the screen (in the corner) the app will only populate the upper-left quadrant of the display.


The fact that Magnet focuses on window management and nothing more is a big bonus. I know that developer, CrowdCafé, will be pouring its innovation into window management and window snapping, and it shows from this release.

Other apps are either too busy or lose focus on the goal at hand, but that probably won’t be the case with Magnet. Even its name suggests that window snapping will be its permanent bread and butter.

Multiple display support

This has always been an area of opportunity for other window management apps. When you have dual displays and try to drag a window to the corner or edge of a screen where another display exists, some apps refuse to allow you to snap, because they see it as one large display.

Magnet is smarter. Regardless of whether or not you have a secondary screen, Magnet can sense when you are at the edge of the display, and will prompt you to snap accordingly. This means that I can manage windows across a multiple monitor setup with relative ease.

Ignore windows

You can ignore certain windows by selecting them and clicking the Ignore option in Magnet’s menu bar. If there are certain windows that don’t play nice with snapping, or that you don’t wish to snap, using the ignore option is really handy.

Magnet menu bar app

Keyboard shortcuts and menu bar options

You don’t need to drag a window to the edge of the screen to snap it in a preferred location. You can simply highlight the windows and use the menu bar shortcut or keyboard shortcut to instantly snap the window in a specific location on your Mac.

Reasons to keep using HyperDock

As my go-to window management app of choice, it’s going to take a lot to convince me to switch from HyperDock. The ability to easily snap windows on a dual display setup is a huge feather in Magnet’s cap, but there are still a few things that HypeDock does better.

The biggest advantage for HyperDock is that it simply has more snapping options available. For example, with HyperDock, you can snap a window in the left middle quadrant of the display. You can’t do this with Magnet—yet. I say yet, because it’s probably only a matter of time before Magnet is updated with more snapping possibilities.


Magnet is a highly-focused app with plenty of features that provide you with a solid window management experience on OS X. It’s a great option for those of you who run a multiple monitor setup, and it’s very reasonable at only $1.99 on the Mac App Store.

What’s your go-to window management app of choice for OS X? Would you consider using Magnet? Sound off down below with your thoughts on the matter.