You are right captfred, moving the menu bar out of the way allowed the problem windows to move vertically.
But why should some windows (in my case, safari and filemaker) be blocked by the menu bar and others move free through it (excel and abode bridge)?
Besides, I don't particularly like the menu bar being way at the top of my second display.
I have the same problem and submitted the following feedback today.
How does one allow applications to be dragged "under" the menu bar to an external display arranged above the main display in Mountain Lion as works in Lion?
I have two laptops, each hooked to an external display arranged above the main display.
The menu bar is on the main display and I want it to stay there (because that makes it centrally located in the combined display area).
On my MacBook Pro Retina (mid 2012) using Mountain Lion (10.8.1), I CANNOT slide an application window from the lower (main) display under the menu bar and thus onto the upper (external) display.
On my MacBook (late 2006) upgraded to Lion (10.7.4), I CAN slide an application window from the lower (main) display under the menu bar and thus onto the upper (external) display.
Extensive web searches have turned up some complaints about the behavior I want to achieve, but no info on how to create it.
A thorough search did not turn up a "defaults" setting that appears applicable to changing this behavior. A search of my terminal history on the Lion machine reveals I did not issue any "defaults" commands to achieve its behavior; that seems to have always been its behavior. Ditto for the Mountain Lion machine.
This problem occurs irrespective of the application. It happens for Safari, Chrome, TextEdit, etc.
The older machine has had its OS upgraded twice. I suspect this (good) behavior may have been inherited from one of the older versions. The new machine came natively with Mountain Lion and has thus never experienced an upgrade. Or the problem is simply new to Mountain Lion.
I want to leave the menu bar on the lower display to reduce my "mouse miles"; it is more central there, appearing as it does in the middle of the combined display area. I know I could move the menu bar to the top of the upper display but that puts it too far from the dock and my primary, lower work area.
This works fine with the external display to the left or right or below the main display; the problem is clearly the menu bar itself. I bet the developers did most of their extended display testing with monitors to the left or right of the main display. For many years I myself was unaware the Arrangement with the external above or below the main display was possible.
By the way, the following works, up to a point. Start with a side-by-side monitor configuration and then move a window to the external display. Then re-Arrange, putting the external monitor above the main monitor. You can then slide the window up down and "behind" the menu bar as long as the title bar of that window does not go completely below the menu bar. The moment it goes fully below the menu bar, it is "trapped" and cannot go back up through the menu bar, which blocks it.
Thank captfred, that was again helpful. And lead me to a solution!
In trying to repeat your experiments, I was at first sure what you meant. Then I realised that my second display is larger than my macbook air. So I don't have a problem with edges.
However, I suceeded in moving my problem windows (safari and filemaker) under the menu bar. The trick is to keep dragging the mouse upwards and, even though the problem window is stuck at the menu bar, as soon as the cursor reaches the point where the problem window is able to fit fully within the second monitor - without overlapping with the menu bar - at that point, the window flicks over and appears on the second display.
Still, it appears to me to be a glitch within Mountain Lion that could be ironed out.
Totally correct! If you just keep dragging longer than would seem necessary, it works. Thanks malfoon and captfred!
But yes, it would be better to iron this out. Although maybe the behavior is intentional, to prevent users from dropping an overly-tall window onto the second display and then having part of it sit under the menu bar. But I suspect a bug. Having the feedback of seeing the window slide underneath would be natural, and occurs in Lion.
@captfred: I didn't see any different behavior with super-narrow windows, but your success got us off the dime and it was a good thought: the Retina display is 2880 pixels wide and my external only 1280. But I can't push even a 300 pixel wide window immediately past the menu bar. Using malfoon's method, though, (keeping dragging while waiting for the bottom of the window to clear the menu bar--even though it doesn't appear on the second display during all that time), I can move even an overly-wide 2000 pixel wide window onto the second display. Weird, though: I can't even re-size its height at all until I cure its excessive width by resizing that first. Maybe another bug?
@malfoon: thanks again for the solution. On your last point: somewhere I read that some apps are built on Cocoa and some are not; the different behaviors of different apps might come from that?
Thanks again, guys.
In addition to the good advice here, if you're like me and want to maintain your macbook as the primary workspace, there is a free app called SecondBar that will solve that problem.
So moving the OSX bar to the top of the second screen will enable vertical movement. And running SecondBar will reintroduce the bar on your native display.
My second display positioned above my Macbook air was larger than my laptop. The problem window was Iterm2 and what I had to do was resize the Iterm2 window horizontally a smaller width (around half of my laptop screen width) then I was able to drag the window up to my second display positioned above.
Hope this helps someone. A little frustrating that it "just doesn't work" if the window is full width on my Macbook Air and then drag up.
I was having this problem as well, currenly on 10.8.4. I have been using the drag up until the window snaps to the upper screen, Thanks malfoon and captfred! But Here is another solution that is working for me.
After I have the second monitor connected to my laptop. If I logout and log back in then all my applications will allow me to drag up as before and even allow half a window on each monitor. Not sure why anyone would want that but at least the dragging up to the second monitor is like it was before.