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How to Split Screen in Windows 10? (2020)

Edited By Piyush, Reviewed By Gulshan

Multitasking is a word we often keep hearing these days – what is it? 

Simply put, it means doing several things at once. But, how is it connected with our topic of a split-screen?

Computers are a great innovation and have perhaps become our best friend now.

A major portion of our lives revolve around computers, and there is hardly any activity one can imagine, which does not have some role of a computer.

Computers are a great innovation and have perhaps become our best friend now.

How to Split Screen in Windows 10

A major portion of our lives revolve around computers, and there is hardly any activity one can imagine, which does not have some role of a computer.

The desire for higher efficiency and improved productivity is increasing computing needs by leaps and bounds and, as a result, we see technology getting constantly upgraded to improve workflow. Our lives, in the process, are becoming simpler. That brings us to the concept of multitasking concerning this topic.

In an operating system (as for a computer), multitasking means allowing the user to perform more than one computer task, which may be any application program, simultaneously.

The computer or its operating system does not lose track of the status of all your tasks and allows you to move from one task to the other without any loss of information.

As you read this web page, there may be a word document kept open, this means your operating system is multitasking.

Practically all of today’s operating systems like Microsoft Windows, IBM OS/ 390, or Linux, can do multitasking. It is such an important need of the consumer that any manufacturer of computers cannot ignore, otherwise, there would be no buyer for their products.

Window snapping is a convenient feature in the Windows operating system by Microsoft. Windows 10 comes with an improved snap feature, and you can snap the screen display to take up the full, half, or just one–fourth of the screen space.

A little tool called ‘Snap Assist’, built in the program, actually lets you perform this snapping function.  You can perform the split-screen or snapping function both with the mouse/ keypad and with the keyboard. 

Two windows can be snapped to a split-screen display (each occupying one half), or four may be displayed in a quadrant arrangement. You can also decide on one window to fill one half while two others take up the top and bottom of the other half of the screen.

Three windows cannot be snapped, however, on a side by side layout. For such a display, you may have to take the help of a third-party application.

The split-screen display offers advantages to the user like the use of information from multiple points at the same time. You can perform the task of copy and paste of your required matter from different sites from different windows.

You can keep a tab on your important and urgent emails while working on some other project.

Snapping With the Mouse

  1. 1
    Click on the title bar of a window and drag it to the edge of the screen.
  2. 2
    Imagine the screen consists of four quadrants, and drag the window to the left or the right side of the screen and decide on the snap location, the left or right half of the screen display.
    (A translucent patch outline will appear indicating the location where your snap window will be placed. You can place it there, or if not satisfied with the location, you can move the mouse again)
  3. 3
    You can also decide to drag it to a corner (right or left) and snap it to the corresponding quadrant.

How to Split Screen in Windows 10? (2020)

Doing it With the Keyboard

Using keyboard shortcuts is another way of snapping or splitting the Windows 10 screens.

First, decide on the window (s) to be snapped. Then press the Windows key + left arrow button on your keyboard to place the snapped window to the left side of your screen. 

For placing it on the right side of the screen, use the Windows key + right arrow. For positioning it in any of the (imaginary) quadrants, first, snap to the left or right (as above) and then press the Windows key + up arrow or Windows key + down arrow. 

You can use Windows + Arrow Keys for lateral movements of the snapped windows. Once you are through with placing the windows, you can easily adjust their sizes by dragging the divider.

When you wish to work on a particular window, use Windows + up key for maximizing the screen display of that particular window and Windows + down key to minimize it.

But, as you snap one window, either with the mouse or the keyboard and decide to place it on the right or left side of the screen, the other portion of the screen is left partially empty; the built-in ‘Snap Assist’ feature will then jump into action.

In case you have other windows in the computer open (but not snapped or placed as a split-screen display), the ‘Snap Assist’ will bring these windows up in the empty half of the screen as a thumbnail display.

Depending on your need, you can switch between these thumbnail displays or the main display by just clicking the Alt key. But, this could be disturbing at times. 

When You Have a Nagging Assistant!

Even good intentions can be annoying at times. Imagine you are working on Windows 10 trying to position a particular window by moving it by the mouse or keypad and a pop-up overlay appears in the area where you have clicked.

Normally this is a helpful feature, and our great ‘Snap Assistant’ has been specially trained (or programmed) for assisting you in such activities.  It will not let you position your windows as you desire, the pop-up will keep coming automatically when you drag the window.

But why does this happen? Very simple, it will let you perform the activity only if you move to the recommended position to be filled. It is also not willing to leave a portion of the screen blank if you have snapped less than the allowable capacity of split windows and left a few windows open on your computer.

This is because applications have a clearly defined logic in their programming. It will only operate (or let you operate) within the defined parameters.  What is the way out of it? Easy, just disable your assistant for the time you wish to work independently.

Disabling ‘Snap Assist’

  1. 1
    Press on the Windows key + 1 to open Settings.
  2. 2
    While in Settings, click on Systems.
  3. 3
    Select Multitasking on the left side menu.
  4. 4
    Shift the Toggle to the Off position to Arrange windows automatically.
  5. 5
    Your ‘Snap Assist’ is disabled now.
  6. 6
    Reboot your computer to Save changes.
  7. 7
    Now you can move the windows on your screen to the positions of your choice.

Want Your Assistant Back Again?  

Just do the reverse, turn on the toggle against the field saying about arranging windows automatically (description language may be different, but the function remains the same).

Is it Worth Using a Split Screen Display?

The answer depends on your needs and requirements and the type of tasks you perform on a computer.

The biggest advantage, of course, is an increase in productivity. Studies indicate that using multiple displays can enhance productivity by over 40%. This for a business can mean better ROI (Return on Investment).

School children can perform better on their assignments with multiple programs, as sharing and transferring data becomes easy and simple.

It is indeed a boon for those working from home,  with one half on a video conference and the other looking at some data required for the conference. Split-screen can be a real efficiency booster.


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About the Author

Piyush Kashyap is a Ph.D student at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur. He is a budding editor/ writer and has been working as a part-time reviewer for online content. He loves to read tech-based articles and has a knack for reviewing such articles He likes to stay updated about the latest trends in technology. He has also been working as a reviewer for many scientific journals. He also writes articles based on science. Know More About Piyush

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