How to split screen on Windows 11 with Snap layouts

Snap layouts

The Windows 11 split screen feature is designed to make multitasking easier than ever before. You can view and access up to four app windows at the same time, saving time and increasing your overall productivity. Furthermore, the Snap layouts feature lets you quickly arrange your apps four different ways on regular monitors, while large displays offer six layout options. Read this guide to find out how to split screen on Windows 11 and view apps side by side:

Quick Steps

How to use Snap layouts in Windows 11
  1. Hover the cursor over the maximize button in the top-right corner of the screen, and the Snap layouts are immediately displayed. On a screen with a lower resolution, you get four available layouts to choose from.
  2. However, if your screen has a width of at least 1920 pixels, you get two additional options to split your screen into three vertical columns.
  3. In the pop-up, click or tap on the exact position where you want your window to be shown in the chosen layout.
  4. The window is immediately snapped into the spot you chose. The remaining app windows are then displayed in other available areas, and you can click or tap on the ones you want in each layout section.

About Snap and Snap layouts in Windows 11

The Windows split screen feature is called Snap and has been around since Windows 7. In Windows 11, Snap lets you split your screen into up to four different sections. Furthermore, while earlier versions of the operating system offered more limited options, Windows 11 makes multitasking easier with up to six Snap layouts for arranging your apps.

The Snap layouts available in Windows 11

How to use Snap layouts in Windows 11

If you’re wondering how to split screen on Windows 11 as fast as possible, the Snap layouts feature is the answer. You can use the Windows + Z keyboard shortcut to see the available options for splitting your screen. Furthermore, the feature is perfectly integrated with the maximize button for easier use. Hover the cursor over the maximize button in the top-right corner of the screen, and the Snap layouts are immediately displayed. On a screen with a resolution lower than Full HD (1920x1080 pixels), you get four available layouts to choose from, like in the screenshot below.

Use the maximize button to reveal the Snap layouts

However, if you’re using a large display with a Full HD, 1440p or 4K resolution, you get two additional options to split your screen into three vertical columns.

IMPORTANT: The display scaling settings from Windows 11 also impact the number of layouts. For example, you can have a 1080p or 1440p display but only four Snap layouts instead of six, because you chose a scaling setting like 125% or 200%, and Windows 11 considers there isn’t enough space on the screen for all six layouts. That’s because you made the text and other visual elements on the screen 125% or 200% larger than the resolution you chose.

You get more Snap layouts on a large monitor

In the pop-up, click or tap on the exact position where you want your window to be shown in the chosen layout. For instance, we can set our Microsoft Edge window as the right app window from the last layout.

Click or tap on the desired position for your window within the layout you want

The window is immediately snapped into the spot you chose. The remaining app windows are then displayed in other available areas, and you can click or tap on the ones you want in each layout section.

The app window is positioned in the selected section

How to split the screen on Windows 11 using keyboard shortcuts

You can also snap app windows into place using keyboard shortcuts, but you get fewer options than you do with Snap layouts. Go to the first window you want to snap and press Win + Left arrow or Win + Right arrow to snap a window to that half of the screen.

Snap a window to the left or right section of the screen

Then, click or tap on the window you want on the other half of the screen. Remember that you can also select either of the windows you just snapped and use Win + Up arrow or Win + Down arrow to reposition it in the upper or lower corner of the screen. Follow these instructions to snap windows to the four corners of the screen, as seen below.

Snap up to four windows using keyboard shortcuts

How to split the screen on Windows 11 using the cursor

If you prefer to snap using the mouse or your touch screen, you can do so by dragging and dropping windows to the desired screen section. Click or press on the title bar of a window to grab it and drag it to either a corner or to the left or right edge of the screen. In the transparent overlay that appears, you can see a preview of the window’s placement. Drop the app to snap the window into the indicated space.

The transparent overlay appears in the corner where you dragged the window

The window is snapped into place, and you can then choose the apps for the other available layout sections by clicking or tapping on the one you want for each free spot.

Choose the apps for the other free sections

Remember that you don’t get as many options to split screen using the cursor as you do when using Snap layouts from the maximize button.

Enable split screen (Snap) and other related settings in Windows 11

The Windows 11 split screen settings should be enabled by default, but you can double-check from the Settings app.

First, open Settings by simultaneously pressing Win + I on your keyboard. The app opens in the System tab.

Go to System Settings

Scroll down and click or tap on Multitasking.

Access Multitasking

Make sure the Snap windows switch at the top is On. Then, click or tap on this section to expand it.

Activate the Snap master switch

We recommend enabling all the options in the Snap windows section to use the Windows 11 split screen feature efficiently. Click or tap on any of the options to check or uncheck it:

  • When I snap a window, show what I can snap next to it - enables the Snap Assist function, which we discuss at length in our guide about splitting screen on Windows 10.
  • Show snap layouts when I hover over a windows’s maximize button - enables the Snap layouts feature
  • Show snap layouts that the app is part of when I hover over the taskbar buttons - treats a snap layout like a separate group, allowing you to get back to that view
  • When I drag a window, let me snap it without dragging all the way to the screen edge - makes it easier to snap windows with your cursor
  • When I snap a window, automatically size it to fill available space - new apps you snap next to windows that are already snapped in place automatically fit in the remaining space
  • When I resize a snapped window, simultaneously resize any adject snapped window - snapped windows will automatically resize together

Check the boxes in this section

Do you like the Snap layouts in Windows 11?

We like the new Snap layouts because they allow us to split our screen into three columns, which we didn’t get in previous versions of the operating system. However, we prefer using the cursor whenever we split the screen in half. What about you? Do you like the Windows 11 Snap layouts? How do you split the screen on Windows 11? Let us know in the comments.

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