How to Do Split Screen on Chromebook

Increase your productivity with side-by-side windows

What to Know

  • Notebook-style device: Click and drag the title bar of the window, then release the mouse button. Then, do this in the opposite direction.
  • Once you’ve split the screen, you can drag the border between the two windows to change the 50-50 ratio to your specifications.
  • Touchscreen-only device: swipe up from the bottom of the screen until you're in Overview Mode, then drag tiles to the left and right regions.

This article explains how to use a split-screen on a Chromebook computer running any up-to-date version of Chrome OS.

How Do You View Two Tabs Side by Side on a Chromebook?  

The Split Screen feature is different from Chrome OS laptops, tablets, and convertible devices. First, we’ll cover the steps for using a split-screen on a notebook-style device. 

  1. Click and drag the title bar of the window you want to move to be side by side.

  2. Drag it toward the left or right side of the screen, as desired.

  3. You’ll notice half of the screen displays a transparent white overlay.

    Dragging a Chrome OS Window on a Laptop-Style Device with a transparent white overlay highlighted
  4. Release the mouse button.

  5. You’ll notice the window snaps to the selected side, taking up 50% of the screen width.

  6. Do the same thing in the opposite direction, and you've set up a split screen.

    A Chromebook with Two Windows Side-by-Side, in Split Screen
  7. You can also achieve the same thing by pressing Alt+[ to tile a window to the left side of the screen, or Alt+] to snap it to the right.

  8. Once you’ve split the screen, you can drag the border between the two windows to change the 50-50 ratio to something that suits your need.

  9. Finally, dragging on the title bar will bring the window back out of split mode.

Using Split Screen on a Chrome Tablet 

If your device is touchscreen-only, not only will you lack a keyboard, but the overall Chrome OS interface is slightly different. Namely, apps are displayed full-screen by default, meaning there’s no title bar. You can still use split-screen, however, as follows: 

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen. If the current window minimizes, you stopped the gesture a little too early. Try again, swiping all the toward the top of the screen.

  2. The window will shrink to a tile, then join tiles representing all your other windows. It's called Overview Mode.

  3. Now you can press and hold one of the tiles, at which point you’ll see opaque white regions appear at the left and right sides of the screen.

    Dragging an Overview Mode Tile to the Side on Chrome OS in Tablet Mode with opaque regions highlighted
  4. Drag your tile over one of these regions and release it.

  5. The window will tile to the left or right, depending on where you dropped it.

    A Window Split Half-Screen on Chrome OS in Tablet Mode
  6. To return the window to fullscreen, using the same gesture from Step 1 on the half of the screen it occupies will reduce it to a tile in Overview Mode once again.

  7. Tap a tile to display the selected window in fullscreen. Note that doing this will return all windows to fullscreen once you switch.

How Does Split Screen Work on Chromebooks and Tablets?

The Split Screen feature in Chromebooks is excellent for displaying two windows simultaneously and switching quickly between them. How you use it will depend on whether your Chrome OS device has a laptop or tablet form factor (or if it’s a convertible, which mode you’re currently in).

But the effect is the same: you’ll have two apps open side by side, each taking up half the screen. Just be aware that this can either improve your productivity (e.g., taking notes in Google Keep while browsing the web) or send it down the tubes (working on a report in Word while watching Netflix).

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