Even though Windows 11 is more recognized for its centered Taskbar and rounded window borders, you may find that the new Snap Layouts feature (also referred to as Snap Assist) is a more helpful UI innovation in this version of the operating system. As its name indicates, the operating system has always been good at organising and rearranging program windows, but Snap Layouts takes Windows to a whole new efficiency level. As we’ll explain later, they’re pretty simple to use. Click here to know how to download and install windows 11 from an ISO File?
What Is the Process of Using Snap Layouts?
To begin using this new productivity feature, move your mouse cursor over the Maximize symbol in the upper-right corner of a program window. When you do, it’ll present you with several layout options, such as this:
Snap Layouts are a new feature in Microsoft Windows 11.
You should note that all applications do not support this functionality. For the sake of my testing, both the Firefox and Spotify applications just displayed the old Maximize option. Even after starting the process using an app that supports the functionality, you will arrange them within a Snap Layout.
When using a 15-inch Surface Laptop 3 running Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22000.176 with the display scale set to the recommended 150 percent, the options are limited to the four options shown above, which are arranged in groups of two, three, or four windows, depending on your screen dimensions. According to Microsoft’s latest announcement, three equal windows side-by-side or stacked; however, this option was unavailable on my laptop since it only intended for wide displays measuring more than 24inches in width and height.
Then, move the mouse cursor over the layout diagram until it lands on the shape you wish to accommodate your present application. It will use color to draw attention to the location. Although shown in the default blue, it will utilize whatever color you choose for your Accent color under Settings > Personalization.
Upon tapping the location where you wish the current window to reside, the complete layout is displayed. All other potential locations are highlighted with Fluent design Acrylic effects that blur the backdrop. All other running applications are displayed as alternatives for filling up the blanks.
You may either return to your resized window and leave the desktop as it was, or you can select the programme you want in each of the boxes one by one. Take note that, like with Windows 10, you may resize snapped windows, and the adjoining window will shrink or fill the resultant area to keep everything looking tidy and organized. You are unable to move the thumbnails around the screen. Instead, Windows requires you to fill up each blank space one at a time. After you’ve filled in all of the blanks on your screen, it will appear something like this (below):
The resulting Windows 11 layout as seen below.
Snap Layouts may also be accessed using the keyboard as an alternate method. To move and resize a window in half, press the Windows Key–Right Arrow (or the arrow in the direction you want to snap the window too). Alternatively, you may utilize the Windows Key–Arrow combination on the next screen if you do not wish to a half-screen snap. To make a window fit perfectly in the upper right quadrant of the screen, press the Windows Key–Right Arrow followed by the Windows Key–Up Arrow keys on your keyboard. Although this is currently possible in Windows 10, the new Snap Layout interface and the capability described below are only available in Windows 11.
As with Windows 10, you can drag a window title bar to a corner or edge of the display to have it take up exactly half or a quarter of the available screen real estate, but with Windows 11, you don’t have to drag it to the corner or edge of the display: Before you reach to an edge or corner, an acrylic outline of the snap position shows on the screen.
You can view an app’s location within a Snap Layout through its Taskbar thumbnail (as long as the app supports Snap Layouts), as well as icons for the other applications in that Group after you’ve created a Snap Layout:
What is the procedure for turning off Snap Layouts?
If you don’t care for Snap Layouts, go to Settings > System Multitasking and disable them. The Snap Layouts settings page allows you to customize your Snap Layouts, including entirely removing them and reverting to the windowing standards of Windows 10. It’s important to note that using the Windows key keyboard shortcuts, you will not snap windows to the sides or corners.
You may also turn off each of the individual features listed above by selecting them from a list of checkboxes (see below), such as the “When I drag a window, allow me to snap it without dragging it all the way to the screen edge” option stated above.
One disadvantage is that You cannot use snap Layouts with a touch screen, which is a shame. The ease with which I can tap something on the screen instead of using a mouse or trackpad to target it on a button is appealing to me. Because Microsoft is also a huge fan of touch screens, and because they are included on all Surface devices, I would expect them to fix this issue at some time.
Additional Windowing Options
When you organize windows the old-fashioned method, by dragging a window title bar to the side or corner of the screen, you’ll notice that they have a fresh, more useful appearance in Windows 11. Dragging a window title bar to a corner of the screen, as seen below, displays the four-up arrangement, complete with a Fluid design acrylic effect: As shown below, dragging a window title bar to a corner of the screen displays:
Finally, on the positive side of windowing, I’m happy that Microsoft is now allowing users to activate Title Bar Window Shake—a function formerly known as Aero Shake that I use many times a day and that I’m pleased to see Microsoft enabling. Although it appeared as though Microsoft was abandoning this function with Windows 11, the option to allow it can be seen in the screenshot above of the Settings menu.
For the more experienced tinkerers
If you find that Snap Layouts do not provide enough customization, or if you desire comparable capabilities in Windows 10, Microsoft PowerToys may be a good option for you. This experimental set of tools includes FancyZones, which is essentially a copy of the Snap Layout but allows for much more customization than before.
After installing PowerToys, FancyZones is enabled by default. You may access the layout options by holding down Shift while dragging a window (you can customize the keyboard or mouse actions that trigger FancyZones). In addition, you may build your layouts:
The Snap Layouts feature is a new addition to Windows 11, and it’s very handy for anyone who has trouble using the mouse or trackpad. With this feature, you can use keyboard shortcuts instead of dragging windows around your screen. It also comes with other helpful features, such as acrylic previews that show where the window will land when you snap it to an edge of your screen without having to drag the entire way there. One disadvantage is that You cannot use Snap Layouts with a touch screen, which is a shame because Microsoft believes in making its products work well on any device they are used on.