Friday, April 19, 2024

How to split your screen on Windows 11


Windows 11 is a pretty powerful operating system for productivity. And its ability to snap windows in various configurations is incredibly helpful as it makes multitasking a breeze and managing multiple applications much more efficient.


  • Using Snap Layouts
  • Manually using Snap Assist
  • Turning Snap Assist on and off
  • Frequently asked questions

But Windows 11’s split screen features can’t help you if you don’t know how to use them. In this guide, we’ll show you how to use the operating system’s split screen tools, including Snap Layouts and Snap Assist. And we’ll even go over how to disable Windows 11’s split screen features, if you decide later you’d rather not use them.

Here’s how to split your screen on Windows 11.

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5 minutes

What You Need

  • Windows 11

  • Keyboard

  • Mouse or trackpad

Using Snap Layouts

Snap Layouts are a new way to initiate Snap Assist and they’re even more powerful than the old methods. They allow you to easily pop windows into a variety of useful layouts that make displaying and working with your windows easier than ever before.

Step 1: Simply hold your mouse over a window’s Maximize button. A grid will appear, giving you a variety of options for arranging up to four windows.

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Step 2: Select one of the options and the display will split and display your other available windows. In this case, we selected the two-window layout with one side wider than the other.

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Step 3: Once you’ve selected the other window(s) that you want to split, your screen will show the windows in your chosen configuration.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Manually using Snap Assist

Windows 10’s methods for accessing Snap Assist have carried over to Windows 11. There are two ways to manually initiate Snap Assist.

Step 1: You can simply drag a window to either side or use the Windows key along with the Right arrow or Left arrow key and you’ll get the option to select another window.

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Step 2: Select the window you want to display, and your screen will orient itself accordingly.

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Step 3: You can resize the windows by simply selecting the middle bar and dragging.

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Step 4: Note that if you drag a window into one of the corners, you’ll get the option to place up to four windows.

Mark Coppock / Digital Trends

Step 5: Once you’ve selected your second window, you’ll be presented with the option to select the third. The same goes for selecting a fourth window if you have that many to place.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 6: Here we’ve selected three windows to display.

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 7: When you have windows arranged via Snap Assist, you can choose whether to open a single window or a group. Just hover over a snapped window’s icon on the Taskbar and you’ll get a choice to open the individual window or the group it belongs to.

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Turning Snap Assist on and off

If Snap Assist is causing you problems, then it’s easy enough to turn it off.

Open the Settings app and go to System > Multitasking. Open the Snap windows option and you’ll see a toggle to switch it on or off. You can also select various options to customize Snap Assist to your needs.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the shortcut to split screen on a Windows 11 laptop?

The main shortcut for splitting a screen on a Windows 11 laptop is: Windows key + [any of the up, left, or right arrow keys]. The arrow key you pick determines the position of your window on your screen:

  • Up arrow: Moves the active window so that it only fills the top half of your screen
  • Left arrow: Moves the active window so it only takes up the left side of your screen
  • Right arrow: Moves the active window so it only fills in the right side of your screen

You can also use the following shortcut to open Snap Layouts: Windows key + Z.

How do you split screens on Chromebooks or Macs?

Splitting a Chromebook screen is actually pretty similar to some of the ways you can get it done in Windows: You can either drag and drop your windows into place or you can use shortcuts. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to split screens in Chromebooks for more details.

For Macs, you can use the Split View feature or window snapping. Split View lets you split a screen using a menu option. Window snapping lets you split screens by dragging and dropping windows into the far sides/corners of your screen. For more information, take a look at our how to use Split View on a Mac guide.

What is Task View in Windows 11?

Task View is a feature that allows you to do things like view all of your current open app windows at once, switch between tasks/apps, and create, use, and view your virtual desktops. It is essentially a feature that helps you organize and switch between your computing tasks.

On Windows 11, you can access Task View by either selecting its icon on your taskbar (it looks like two squares overlapping), or by using the following keyboard shortcut: Windows key + Tab.

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