How can I control the Windows snap feature with two monitors?

Adroit Windows 7 and 8 users love snapping windows to the left and right edges of the screen.  Microsoft calls this urbane feature Aero Snap and it’s a smart way to manage screen clutter.

Simply grabbing a window by the title bar and dragging it left or right edges of the screen forces the operating system to quickly snap the window to one half of the screen.

Snapping is a great way to multitask because it makes comparing differences between documents easy.  It makes reading emails and viewing the related photo attachments a joy.  Aero snap generally makes organizing screen elements really efficient and once you start to use it you’ll probably agree that it made you more productive.

Now most people can get by with a single monitor, especially if it’s greater than 23 inches; however, if you’re fortunate enough to have two monitors you might notice that you can’t snap windows against the edge of the screen that butts up against the other monitor.  This is because dragging a window toward the other monitor results in that window being completely moved to the other screen.

Let me show you how to get your snap back baby.

Snap with me baby

Here are two power-snapping moves that will not only boost your computer dexterity but also make you look the consummate authority on computer shortcuts at your next company cocktail party.

And heck, who doesn’t want to look smart at one of those schmoozing events?

To snap your window to the other monitor find the Windows Key on the keyboard.  It’s usually hanging out on the lower left corner of your keyboard.

Now with Windows Key pressed down and the window you want to move selected, keep tapping the left arrow key.

The window in the foreground of your screen will happily dance to each half of each screen with each tap.

Windows Key + Left or Right arrow key

I remember this cool key combo with the following mnemonic:

Windows left to snap

I envision a convivial Steve Balmer suddenly leaving the stage amid a bevy of investors.   Balmer is snapping both fingers erratically as he hurries of the stage.

Suddenly the main keynote display transforms into the following message:

Please excuse the interruption, Balmer left to snap but will return shortly

An exodus of investors begin to leave the keynote presentation cursing and confused as they wonder what happened to their charismatic leader.

Okay enough with my zany imagination… I digress.

You can also press the Right arrow key to push the window in the other direction but I’m a lefty so I’m sticking with Left.

Now here’s another trick for all you keyboard tapping, shortcut loving aficionados out there:

Hold down both the Windows Key and the Shift key while tapping the Left key.  This makes the Window snap to the same position on the other monitor.

So let’s say you have two monitors.  The right monitor has Outlook on the left half and Google Chrome on the right half.  Holding the Windows Key and Shift buttons while tapping the left button moves the active window into the same screen half of the other monitor.

Why doesn’t Microsoft tell us this stuff?

So useful.

The Bottom Line

Windows is full of magic tricks, you just need to know where to look.  Now whenever you need to organize your screen you can pull off the Windows Key Arrow key maneuver like a champ.

Oh by the way, don’t share this with your co-workers at that cocktail party… you’ll probably get fired for being weird.

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Posted in Windows, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with: