« main page

« back to index

AltDrag Usage

Table of contents


AltDrag gives you the ability to move and resize your windows in a new way. When AltDrag is running, you can simply hold down the Alt key and then click and drag any window.

This behavior already exists in Linux and other operating systems, and AltDrag was made with the mission to copy that behavior to the Windows platform.

If you have troubles understanding how AltDrag works, you can watch this short video that a user has posted to YouTube.

Tricks you should know about


You can use either the middle or right mouse button to resize windows. Imagine the window divided into nine squares, and you will resize the corner nearest to where you press. The corners are slightly bigger than the middle regions.

If you double-click these regions, the window will move moved to the respective corner on your screen (like Aero Snap), so you can quickly arrange your windows to fit on the screen.


The simplest way to open the configuration window is by double-clicking the tray icon. The settings are saved in a file called AltDrag.ini.


There are a few languages that are embedded inside AltDrag, but you can add an additional languages by translating an ini file. Read how to do that here.

Mouse and keyboard

You can reconfigure what the mouse buttons do here. The actions that you can choose from are Move, Resize, Minimize, AlwaysOnTop, Center, Close and Nothing.

You can configure the scroll wheel to use AltTab, Volume or Transparency. Volume requires at least Windows Vista.

You can also make AltDrag lower windows if you middle click their titlebars.


There are three blacklists in AltDrag. They let you disable AltDrag from affecting some windows. This is a pretty advanced option which has its own page. I recommend you to skip this option until you have learned more about AltDrag.


If you open the ini file, you can configure a few settings related to performance.

First there is the Cursor option which disables the mouse cursor from changing shape during dragging and resizing.

Then there are MoveRate and ResizeRate which controls how often the window is redrawn during move and resize. Increase the values to make AltDrag redraw the window less often. Set these values to 1 to make AltDrag use pre-1.0 behavior.


AltDrag will by default check if there is a newer version available when it is started. It will only notify you if it finds a new version, it will not download anything for you. You can disable this behavior if you don’t like it. You can check for update manually on the About page in the configuration window, regardless of this setting.

Windows hacks


There is a hidden setting in Windows that allows for window activation on mouse hovering. This setting is first exposed in the control panel in Windows 7. For previous Windows versions you have to use the TweakUI utility and enable the “X-Mouse” setting. You can find out what registry settings does this here.

Disable Aero Shake

If you, like me, dislike the ability in Windows 7 to shake a window to minimize all other windows, then you can disable it with the following registry hack. Create the DWORD value NoWindowMinimizingShortcuts in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer and give it the value 1.

If you are too lazy to start regedit, then simply run this command. Make sure you are running it with administrator privileges, hold Ctrl+Shift if running from the start menu. In Windows 8, press Win+S, paste the command and then right-click the entry and click Run as administrator.

cmd /C reg add HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer /v NoWindowMinimizingShortcuts /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f & echo The change will take effect on your next login. & pause

To change it back, run this command:

cmd /C reg delete HKCU\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer /v NoWindowMinimizingShortcuts /f & echo The change will take effect on your next login. & pause

You have to log off and in for the change to take effect.

Known issues


AltDrag does not require administrator privileges. The only case it needs administrator privileges is when you are trying to drag an elevated program, or if an elevated program has focus (in this case, AltDrag does not receive keyboard or mouse events).

If you installed AltDrag in C:\Program Files\, then you need administrator privileges to edit AltDrag.ini. The easiest way to fix this is by right clicking on AltDrag.ini, click Properties, then go to the Security tab and give the Users group Full control to the file.

AltDrag mysteriously stops working

AltDrag relies on hooking to your keyboard and mouse to function, so that it can detect when you press the Alt key and when you move your mouse. In Windows 7, Microsoft implemented a change to stop hooks if they take too long. Unfortunately, this check can erroneously misbehave, especially if you hibernate, sleep, or lock the computer a lot. And then if you try to disable AltDrag, you might get an error. There is a way to increase this timeout by editing the registry.

Note that other programs may also set this registry tweak, and may do so without asking for your permission. Run this command to see if the registry tweak is already enabled. If enabled, you will get a hex value which you can convert to decimal to get the value in milliseconds.

cmd /C reg query "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop" /v LowLevelHooksTimeout & pause

Run this command to increase the timeout to 5 seconds. The change will take effect on your next login.

cmd /C reg add "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop" /v LowLevelHooksTimeout /t REG_DWORD /d 5000 /f & echo The change will take effect on your next login. & pause

To revert, run this command:

cmd /C reg delete "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop" /v LowLevelHooksTimeout /f & echo The change will take effect on your next login. & pause

If you get an error that the registry key or value does not exists, this means that the timeout is already at its default setting.

Scrolling too fast causes the computer to beep

This happens if you have enabled Scroll inactive windows. I do not know why it happens, so let me know if you know a solution.

There are a few ways to disable the beeping. The easiest is to open the volume window in the tray, then expand by pressing Mixer, then press the mute button for System Sounds. Note that this will mute all system sounds on your computer.

To only disable the beep sound, you have two options. The easiest is to edit a value in the registry. You have to reboot for the changes to take effect. Run this command:

cmd /C reg add "HKCU\Control Panel\Sound" /v Beep /t REG_SZ /d no /f & echo Please reboot for changes to take effect. & pause

To change it back:

cmd /C reg add "HKCU\Control Panel\Sound" /v Beep /t REG_SZ /d yes /f & echo Please reboot for changes to take effect. & pause

Your last option is to disable the beep service. There are GUI instructions here, but you can also run these commands in cmd:

net stop beep
sc config beep start= disabled

The space between start= and disabled is intentional. If you remove it the command will fail.

Improve this page

Post in the discussion forum to suggest improvements to this page.