How to Split Your Screen in Windows 10

Windows has long been recognized as an excellent environment for multitasking, offering users the ability to run multiple applications simultaneously and seamlessly switch between them. With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft made significant improvements to the snapping mechanism, enhancing its functionality and providing users with even more ways to split their screens and maximize productivity. Windows 11 builds upon this foundation, introducing Snap Layouts and additional productivity-focused features. In this article, we’ll explore how you can make the most of split-screen multitasking in both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Split Screen in Windows 10 versus Windows 11

Before we delve into the details, it’s important to note that split-screen multitasking, commonly referred to as Snap Assist, is available in both Windows 10 and Windows 11. However, Windows 11 introduces a new feature called Snap Layouts, which enhances the split-screen experience. While Snap Assist in Windows 10 requires manual triggering of split-screen arrangements each time you exit an app or minimize the taskbar, Snap Layouts in Windows 11 automatically groups and saves your open apps, allowing you to easily resume your work without losing your place. Furthermore, Windows 11 provides visual suggestions on how to split your screen, while Windows 10 lacks this feature. Let’s take a closer look at how to utilize these capabilities.

Using Snap Assist in Windows 10

Snap Assist is one of Windows 10’s standout features for split-screen multitasking, making it effortless to select and arrange open application windows on your screen. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Choose the window you want to snap to one half of the screen, and drag it to the edge.

Step 2: If you have other windows or applications open when snapping your chosen window, you’ll see several options to fill the second half of the screen. Simply click on the desired option, and it will automatically snap into place. In case the selection grid disappears, drag your second window to the edge of the available space.

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Step 3: To resize the two windows, hover the cursor over the dividing line until you see two arrows. Click and hold on the divider to adjust the window sizes. Please note that there is a limit to how narrow a window can be.

It’s worth mentioning that if Snap Assist isn’t functioning properly or acting strangely, you may want to check your startup programs, as they can sometimes interfere with this feature. Disabling any problematic startup programs can help resolve the issue.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 10 & 11

If you prefer using keyboard shortcuts for faster split-screen arrangements, there’s a convenient shortcut available in both Windows 10 and Windows 11. In an active window, press and hold the Windows key, and then press either the Left or Right arrow key to automatically snap the active window to the left or right side of the screen. To fill the second empty space, select another window. Similarly, pressing the Windows key and the Up arrow key together will expand a window to full screen. Additionally, if you accidentally create a quarter window instead of a half window, you can use the Windows key in combination with the Up or Down arrow keys to expand it accordingly.

Snapping More than Two Windows in Windows 10

If you’re using a large or high-resolution display, you can leverage the extra screen real estate by snapping up to four windows on a single screen using Corner Snap. Here’s how:

Step 1: Drag and drop your first window into any corner. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut by pressing and holding the Windows key, followed by the Left or Right arrow key to snap the active window to the left or right. Then, press and hold the Windows key, followed by the Up or Down arrow key to move the snapped window into the top or bottom corner.

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Step 2: With the first active window in a corner, drag and drop your second window into any other available corner. You are not limited to picking a specific corner.

Step 3: Repeat Step 2 to fill in the remaining two corners as needed. Notably, a 2020 update to Windows 10 unified all the snapped windows as a single window, which is particularly useful when you need to open additional apps or files while working with your snapped windows. They will stay grouped together, waiting for your return.

Turning Off Snap Assist and Adjusting Settings in Windows 10

If Snap Assist becomes bothersome or you prefer to disable it, you can easily do so by following these steps:

Step 1: Open the Settings app by clicking on the gear icon in the Start Menu.

Step 2: Select System.

Step 3: Choose Multitasking from the options listed on the left.

Step 4: Click the toggle switch under Snap Windows to turn off the feature. Alternatively, if you would like to disable specific Snap Assist features instead of completely toggling it off, you can uncheck the corresponding boxes for each setting.

How to Split Your Screen in Windows 11

Snap Layouts, a new feature introduced in Windows 11, takes split-screen productivity to the next level in the latest Microsoft operating system. Snap Layouts offers up to six different ways to tile a window, catering to the current screen size and orientation. For instance, on large landscape screens, it supports three side-by-side windows, while on portrait screens, it allows for top/bottom stacked windows. To utilize Snap Layouts, follow these steps:

Step 1: Press the Windows key and Z simultaneously on your keyboard to see a pop-up box at the top right-hand side of the open window. Alternatively, you can hover over the maximize button to view various split-screen options.

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Step 2: Choose one of the available split-screen layouts. You will have a total of six options to choose from. Windows will open the task switcher and suggest another open window for you to select. Once you choose a window, it will snap into place.

Step 3: If you encounter any issues using Snap Layouts, simply press the Windows key in combination with the Left or Right arrow keys on your keyboard. Alternatively, you can refer to the above steps for Windows 10 as the process remains the same across both operating systems.

Customize Grids with a Third-Party App in Windows 10

While Windows 10 offers impressive native options for split-screen multitasking, there are third-party apps available that provide additional flexibility and customization. One such app is AquaSnap. With AquaSnap, you can create and modify multiple split windows as needed, enjoying precise grid-like changes to your windows and the ability to arrange your favorite tools in the perfect size and position. AquaSnap offers a range of features, including docking, snapping, stretching, various keyboard shortcuts, and more. The Personal version of AquaSnap is available for free, allowing you to get started with the basic features. For enhanced capabilities, you can consider upgrading to the Professional edition, available in Standard and Site versions, offering additional premium features such as mouse shortcuts, multi-monitor support, and more.

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