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Windows 11 builds on the excellent Windows 10 multitasking features with many different ways to split your screen to enjoy maximum productivity. If you are a seasoned Windows 10 user, much of this will feel familiar. However, it’s helpful to learn about the many minor and major changes to window management in Windows 11. This article will teach you how to use split screen in Windows 11.

Using Windows Snap to split your screen

Windows 7 first introduced the Snap feature. Snap allows you to quickly organize your windows by simply pushing them against the edges or corners of the screen.

To maximize a window, grab it by the title bar and then push it to the top center of the screen† You will see a translucent shadow shape to show you how much space the window will take up. Release the mouse button to complete the process.

Gently push the window against the center of the screen. If you don’t, move the windows to one of the third screen positions.

The third-party snap positions on the screen are great for sites and apps that work well in vertical mode and don’t need a lot of horizontal space. For example, you can snap Twitter’s webpage in the position of a third screen and use the two-thirds space for your primary application.

Snap with the maximize button

Windows 11 takes all the guesswork out of organizing your windows into productive snapped positions. All you have to do is hover the mouse pointer over the maximize button of any windowand you’ll see a selection of preset Snap layouts:

  • A 50-50 percent split from left to right, which is perfect for two browser windows or a browser and word processor side by side.
  • A 75-25 percent split, which is suitable for the above website and social media distribution. It’s also great if you have a messaging program like Telegram or WhatsApp what to watch out for while you work.
  • A split of 33/33/33, which would be useful for social media management or data entry between multiple spreadsheets.
  • 50% left split, with stacked right quadrants. Maybe you want to watch something Netflixworking on your project and monitoring your chats?
  • Split into four quadrants; crypto traders most likely use this, stock investors and the architect of The Matrix.
  • A split of 25/50/25. We’re not sure what this one is for, but someone out there will use it.

You can easily mix and match the different elements by clicking on the desired percentage in each window. Just highlight one of the individual split window previews and select them.

Return Aero Shake

Aero Shake is a Windows Snap feature that is not enabled by default in Windows 11. It works to split the screen in Windows 11 by minimizing all windows except the one you are currently moving by the title bar. Just “shake” the windows left and right to minimize everything else.

It’s a nice trick, but some users found it too easy to accidentally activate Aero Shake, leading to some minor annoyance. If you’re a fan, it’s easy to turn it back on in Windows 11:

  1. Open the Home menu.
  2. Type Snap Settings and select the option when it appears.
  3. Switch the Shake windows title bar switch option to On.

One drawback is that you can’t just bring back all minimized windows with an extra shake. You can get a similar effect to Aero Shake by using the shortcut Win + Do† This will minimize all windows to the taskbar and then you can click on the window you want to use. While this has an extra step to achieve the same result, pressing Win + D is much less likely than activating Aero shake.

Using Captured Groups

Using the Snap feature to split your screen in Windows 11 is intuitive, but there is one additional feature that can make it even better for your productivity.

Windows 11 groups have broken windows with their friends. So, for example, if you clicked two sets of windows in 50/50 arrangements, you can switch between them as linked groups instead of clicking each video individually. This allows you to easily switch between different arrangements.

For example, if you’ve set up the four-quadrant layout to monitor four different market indicators, you can switch between that and a 50/50 productivity app pool with one click.

All you need to do is hover over the taskbar icon of a window that belongs to a particular group, then click the group view to the right of the individual window popup.

Shortcuts for splitting windows

If you’re looking for speed and efficiency in splitting the screen in Windows 11, you’ll want to learn the following keyboard shortcuts:

  • Win + Up Arrow will maximize the selected window. Press the combo again to switch to a 50/50 horizontal split.
  • Win + Left Arrow or Right Arrow will split the selected window 50% left or right.
  • Win + Up + Left Arrow or Right Arrow will split the selected windows into an upper quadrant.
  • Win + Down + Arrow Left or Right will split the selected windows into a lower quadrant.
  • Win + Down Arrow will minimize the selected window.

These shortcuts can take some getting used to, and some combinations or repeat-press behaviors feel a bit unintuitive, but playing around with the different combos will be helpful.

Moving Windows across virtual desktops

Windows 11 supports virtual desktops, which can be another way to “split” your screen into different configurations.

To create additional desktops, move the mouse pointer over this icon in the taskbar.

Next one, select the plus sign to add a desktop† To close a desktop, schoose the X button in the top right corner of the preview

To switch to any desktop, hover the mouse pointer over the icon and then select it† You can have different snap layouts with different applications on each desktop, which is less confusing than switching between Snap groups. If you close a desktop with applications open, those app windows just go to the next desktop.

To manually assign windows to a specific desktop:

  1. Select the desktop icon on the taskbar, which allows you to see all open windows on a given desktop.
  2. Mouse over the desktop containing the window you want to move to another desktop.

Right click on that window and select Move to Desktop Xwhere X is the desktop number of your choice.

Now you are ready to split your screen left, right and center as you want!

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