How to Use Snap Layouts in Windows 11

Snap all open windows into different layouts and see them at a glance

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What to Know

  • Hover over the Maximize button in an app or use the Windows + Z keyboard shortcut.
  • Select one layout option from the snap layout menu.
  • Select a pane in the layout option to place the current window.

This article will show you how to use (and the productivity benefits of) Snap layouts in Windows 11. Snap layouts allow you to maximize your screen real estate by physically arranging multiple open apps in a specific grid on the desktop.

How to Use a Snap Layout in Windows 11

Snap layouts help you organize apps side by side on the screen. The available snap layouts can hold apps of different sizes and allow you to see them all at once. Here's how to use snap layouts in Windows 11.

  1. Hover the mouse over the Maximize button in an app window to display snap layouts. Alternatively, you can also use the keyboard shortcut Windows + Z.

    Snap layouts in Windows 11
  2. The snap layout menu shows the four available layouts. Larger screens may offer six layouts in the menu.


    The number of snap layouts depends on the current screen size and orientation. Microsoft says that large landscape screens can support three side-by-side windows while portrait screens can display top/bottom stacked windows.

  3. Hover the mouse on a layout where you want your open app to be placed. On hover, the selected layout will be highlighted with a color according to the current Windows theme.

  4. Select the pane in the layout where you want to place the current window.

  5. The open window of the app snaps into position on the desktop.

    A Windows snap layouts group
  6. Other open apps will appear as large thumbnails in the other panes of the layout. Open each app individually (or press Alt + Tab to cycle through the open app), and choose which zone you want that app to be in.

  7. Alternatively, use the Win + Arrow key to move a window to the desired snap layout zone.

  8. Adjust the size of the apps in the layout by dragging on the app borders.


You can use the taskbar to manage the apps in the snap layout. Hover on any open app in the Windows taskbar to display thumbnails that show both the app and its snap layout app group. Select the app thumbnail to bring it to the top of other apps.

How to Customize Snap Layouts in Windows 11

There are a few ways to change how the snap layouts function in Windows 11. The options are self-explanatory, and you can select or deselect them to finetune the way snap layouts behave in Windows 11. By default, all the options are enabled.

  1. Go to Settings > System > Multitasking > Snap windows.

  2. Select or deselect the checkboxes.

  3. To disable snap layouts, use the toggle switch.

    Snap layouts section in Windows 11 Settings
  • Can I save snap layouts in Windows 11?

    Yes, with the help of a free third-party app. Download the Smart Windows app and use the Smart Layouts feature to save and restore the Snap Layouts.

  • How do I change my keyboard layouts in Windows 11?

    To change your keyboard language, go to Settings > Time & language > Language & region > Add a language. To switch between keyboard layouts, press the Windows key+Spacebar. You can also remap your Windows keyboard.

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