General Snap windows into Layouts in Windows 11


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Snap_banner.png

You can use Snap windows in Windows 11 to automatically resize and arrange all your open windows into zone layouts using the mouse (drag), keyboard, or the Snap Assist feature.

Snap layouts are tailored to the current screen size and orientation, including support for three side-by-side windows on large landscape screens and top/bottom stacked windows on portrait screens.

When you snap a window, Snap Assist will show what you can snap next to it. Snap Assist significantly speeds up the process of snapping windows side-by-side by offering you a choice of windows to snap by just clicking on a window to snap it.

See also:

This tutorial will show you different ways to Snap windows into zone layouts for your account in Windows 11.


To undo a snap, you can drag the snapped window by the title bar to restore it to how it was before snapped, and release.



Contents





Option One

Snap a window using Keyboard


1 Select the window you want to snap, and press the keys you want below:

You can press and hold the Win :win: key and press the Arrow Keys to snap the current window to the layout you want, and release the Win :win: key.


Keyboard Shortcut
Description
Win :win: + Left ArrowSnap the current active window to the left side of the screen. If you have multiple displays, then you can keep pressing to snap the window to the next available layout across the screens moving left.
Win :win: + Left ArrowSnap the current active window to the right side of the screen. If you have multiple displays, then you can keep pressing to snap the window to the next available layout across the screens moving right.
Win :win: + Up ArrowIf the current active window isn't snapped, then this will maximize the window, or snap the window to the upper half of the screen if already maximized.

If the current active window is snapped to a side, this will snap the window to the top corner of that side.
Win :win: + Down ArrowIf the current active window isn't snapped, this will minimize the window.

If the current active window is maximized, this will restore down the window.

If the current active window is snapped to a side, this will snap the window to the bottom corner of that side.

2 If you have Snap Assist turned on, you can click/tap on an open window you want to snap in available layouts next to this snapped windows from step 1. (see screenshot below)

Snap Assist appears after you’ve snapped a window but have a lot of available space on your screen. Any other open windows are displayed in that space as thumbnails.

To use Snap Assist, click the thumbnail of the window you want to open. If you have two windows displayed side-by-side, you can resize both windows simultaneously by selecting and dragging the dividing line. Resize the window on one side to the size you want it to be, and then release the mouse button. The other window will resize itself to fit alongside the first one, so you won't have any empty screen space.

If you do not want to use Snap Assist to snap other windows into layouts next to this snapped window from step 1, then click/tap on the snapped window from step 1 to close Snap Assist.


Snap_Assist.png





Option Two

Snap a window by Dragging to Screen Edge


1 Select the title bar of the window you want to snap.

2 Drag the window by its title bar to the screen edge or corner you want.

3 An outline will show while dragging to indicate where the window will snap to when you drop it. (see screenshots below)

Drag_to_bottom_corner_edge_of_screen.jpg
Drag_to_left_edge_of_screen.jpg
Drag_to_top_edge_of_screen.jpg
Drag_to_top_left_corner_edge_of_screen.jpg
Drag_to_top_middle_edge_of_screen.jpg
Drag_to_top_right_edge_of_screen.jpg

4 If you have Snap Assist turned on, you can click/tap on an open window you want to snap in available layouts next to this snapped windows from step 1. (see screenshot below)

Snap Assist appears after you’ve snapped a window but have a lot of available space on your screen. Any other open windows are displayed in that space as thumbnails.

To use Snap Assist, click the thumbnail of the window you want to open. If you have two windows displayed side-by-side, you can resize both windows simultaneously by selecting and dragging the dividing line. Resize the window on one side to the size you want it to be, and then release the mouse button. The other window will resize itself to fit alongside the first one, so you won't have any empty screen space.

If you do not want to use Snap Assist to snap other windows into layouts next to this snapped window from step 1, then click/tap on the snapped window from step 1 to close Snap Assist.


Snap_Assist.png





Option Three

Snap a window using Snap Layouts


Displays that are larger than 24 inches and at 1920 effective pixels will see snap layouts with 3 columns of zones.

Displays smaller than 24 inches and at 1920 effective pixels will see snap layouts with 2 columns of zones.


1 Do step 2 (keyboard shortcut), step 3 (maximize button), or step 4 (top of screen) below for how you want to open the snap layouts flyout.

2 Open Snap Layouts flyout using Keyboard Shortcut

A) Select the window you want to snap.​

B) Press the Win :win: + Z keys.​

C) Either press a number for the snap layout or select a snap layout you want in the flyout, and go to step 5. (see screenshot below)​

You can select a snap layout in the flyout by either click/tap on it, or using the arrow keys and press Enter.

Numbers in the snap layouts flyout are only available starting with Windows 11 build 22593.


Win+Z.png

3 Open Snap Layouts flyout from Maximize Button

A) Hover the mouse pointer over the maximize button of the window you want to snap. (see screenshots below)​

B) Click/tap on the snap layout you want, and go to step 5.​

ultimate-desktop-snap-groups.png
ultimate-desktop-snap-groups-small.png

4 Open Snap Layouts flyout from Top of Screen

This step is only available starting with Windows 11 build 22557.


A) Drag a window to the top of the screen to reveal the snap layouts. (see gif below)​

B) Drop the window on top of a zone to snap it, and go to step 5.​

SnapLayoutsWIP-resized.gif

5 If you have Snap Assist turned on, you can click/tap on an open window you want to snap in available layouts next to this snapped windows from step 1. (see screenshot below)

Snap Assist appears after you’ve snapped a window but have a lot of available space on your screen. Any other open windows are displayed in that space as thumbnails.

To use Snap Assist, click the thumbnail of the window you want to open. If you have two windows displayed side-by-side, you can resize both windows simultaneously by selecting and dragging the dividing line. Resize the window on one side to the size you want it to be, and then release the mouse button. The other window will resize itself to fit alongside the first one, so you won't have any empty screen space.

If you do not want to use Snap Assist to snap other windows into layouts next to this snapped window from step 1, then click/tap on the snapped window from step 1 to close Snap Assist.


Snap_Assist.png


That's it,
Shawn Brink

 

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