First look at the improved Window Snap feature of Windows 11

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 22, 2021
Windows 11 News

A development build of Microsoft's upcoming Windows 11 operating system leaked last week. One feature that looks like it is going to be improved is the window snapping functionality of the operating system.

Microsoft introduced snap functionality for Windows when it released Windows 7. It kept the functionality in Windows 8 and Windows 10, and plans to improve it in Windows 11. Vista and XP users could introduce the functionality with third-party tools such as AquaSnap.

Basically, what snap does is allow users to snap Windows to the left or right side of the screen, so that they take up half of the screen size. You can also snap to the top to make it go fullscreen.

New functionality is mapped to the maximize button of windows in Windows 11. When you hover the mouse cursor over the maximize button, a list of window layouts is presented to you. The selection depends on the monitor resolution. Four different layouts are presented on low resolutions and six on higher resolutions.

Windows 11 Snap options in maximize button 2

The two-windows side-by-side layout is still there, but so are several others:

  • Two windows side-by-side taking up the same amount of space.
  • Two windows side-by-side with a ratio of 66.6% to 33.3%.
  • Three windows side-by-side all taking up the same amount of space.
  • Three windows, one taking up half the screen, the other two sharing the remaining screen vertically.
  • Four windows all taking up a quarter of the screen.
  • Three windows side-by-side, with the middle one taking up more space than the windows on the left and right of it.

Ashwin created the following animated gif to visualize the functionality in Windows 11.

Windows 11 Snap demo

Move the mouse cursor over a window field in one of the layouts and activate it with a click. The window is resized and moved automatically to fit the new position. Other windows may be presented to fill out the space for the other windows of the layout.

The new functionality resembles the FanzyZones tool of Microsoft's PowerToys tools collection, as it features similar layouts. The program separates the desktop into zones that Windows can be placed in. Holding down Shift while moving windows displays the zones, and you can snap them to one to automatically resize and position them.

The new snap layout functionality of Windows 11 improves snap by expanding the available layouts. Whether it will be possible to make use of those using the mouse or keyboard shortcuts remains to be seen.

Now You: do you use the snap functionality on your Windows devices?

First look at the improved Window Snap feature of Windows 11
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First look at the improved Window Snap feature of Windows 11
Microsoft's upcoming Windows 11 operating system will improve the window snap functionality by introducing more layout options.
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  1. Alex said on June 24, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    You can already snap a Window by dragging it from the title bar and touching a corner or side of the screen. Nothing new.

  2. Nitram said on June 24, 2021 at 10:03 am

    do you use the snap functionality on your Windows devices?


  3. Corky said on June 23, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Instead of improving the snap feature i wish they’d fix Windows not remembering the position of programs, having something like explorer opening with a gap on the left, right, and bottom no matter how many times you resize the window is annoying as hell.

    1. hornylamb said on June 24, 2021 at 1:01 pm

      you right mate..

  4. hg said on June 23, 2021 at 11:13 am

    Could be useful but I wonder how it will work with my dual monitors.

  5. Jeff M.S. said on June 23, 2021 at 10:50 am

    I run all my apps maximized and switch from taskbar so not very useful for me unless I have to compare two documents or two videos in which case the regular Windows snap is good enough

  6. Anonymous said on June 22, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Good for wide monitors but on my 27 inch its not needed.Hopefully there’s the option to turn this off. Knowing Microsoft, they probably forgot to add this and take 2 years to add it.

    1. Anonymous said on June 23, 2021 at 7:12 pm

      sudo snap install windows11

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