When I go to click on the maximize button in Windows 11, I get a pop-up with different screen layouts. How do I actually use this new window feature for best results?
Early versions of Microsoft Windows tended to be pretty static; the new interface elements were present at the introduction and things didn’t change much months or years after release. Windows XP stayed XP, Windows 7 still looked and behaved like Windows 7 a year later, and so on. But Microsoft is trying something different with Windows 11 and keeps tweaking and adjusting design elements, along with adding entirely new features and updates to continually make the user experience better and better.
What you’ve bumped into is something that the Windows development team calls “Snap Assist” and it’s a really terrific feature if you ever have more than a single window or app in use simultaneously. Instead of you tediously resizing the various app windows, you can now use Snap Assist to instantly resize each and every window on your screen to their maximum – shared screen – size. Let’s have a closer look…
HOW TO USE SNAP ASSIST IN WINDOWS 11
To start out, here’s how my Windows 11 desktop often looks, with windows laying atop each other:
With the centered icons on the Taskbar, weather preview on the left side, and overall simplicity of design, it’s a very Windows 11 experience! Move the cursor over the square on the top bar of any window, however, and instead of it allowing you to click to maximize, it now pops up the Snap Assist window:
Look at those closely: The top left splits your screen neatly into two panes, the top right splits it in a 60/40 layout (perfect if the right window is a reference page, for example, or a Discord or other chat you want to monitor), the lower left is half for one window, the other half for two windows, and the lower right, as you can guess, offers four even windows, great for teachers monitoring students, tracking the stock market, etc.
Choose one of these — I’ll use 60/40 — and the current window instantly moves into the rightmost pane and the other shows the remaining visible windows on your computer:
If I then click on the Microsoft Edge window (the upper one on the left side) it instantly zooms out to fill all the available space:
With a little bit of practice, it’s a splendid way to resize your app and program windows to maximize your screen display. Done? Just click on the empty square again and everything will snap back to its original overlapped layout.
TRYING FOUR WINDOW SNAP ASSIST LAYOUT IN WIN11
You can try something different with a different Snap Assist layout. Same approach, but this time choose which layout – and move the cursor to the specific pane you want to assign the current window:
This time the screen looks different:
As I said, if you need four windows up, this is a great layout!
One more tip: Since you now obviously have Snap Assist on your Windows 11 PC, that means you also have the drag-and-snap option too! Simply click and drag the top bar of any app window to the top of your screen. A window will pop up showing that same set of Snap Assist layouts:
Move the cursor to the specific pane you want to utilize and you’re into Snap Assist even faster. A very helpful new feature that’s definitely worth exploring on your own PC. Good luck!