Windows 10: split your screen with your mouse or shortcuts

Browsers, editing programs like Microsoft Excel or Word, your email client – when we’re working with our computers we usually have multiple windows open at once. In most cases, it’s practical to only have one program in full screen view. But if, for example, you’re using an online source and a Word document at the same time, the back and forth between the two windows can be time-consuming and tiresome. If you want to work in multiple programs at the same time, then a practical solution is available in Windows 10: split screen mode. In this mode, the screen is split into two or four sections of the same size. Here, we’ll explain how to split your screen, step by step.

Split your screen with your mouse

To see multiple windows at once, you can use your mouse to manually adjust the size of windows and align these on your screen. However, this method can be quite time-consuming. Luckily, Windows 10 offers a practical solution that lets you split your screen. Simply follow the two steps below to split your screen into two or four sections:

Step 1: Define active window

First, you need to set up the active window on your screen. To do this, click on the title bar in the top section of the window. Hold down your mouse and pull the window out to the right or left border of your screen. Windows will show you a preview of how the screen would be set up. Let go of the mouse to apply the changes.

Do you work with multiple programs at the same time? You can use Windows 10 to split your screen into four sections. To do this, click on the title bar of one of your windows. Hold down your mouse and pull the window into a corner of your screen. Now, Windows will preview the new screen set-up.

Tip

Would you like to adjust the screen brightness in Windows? Find out more in our how-to article!

Step 2: Select additional windows

Once you’ve assigned a window to a part of your screen, Windows will automatically show you a miniature view of all open windows. Use the left-click on your mouse to select the windows you want to display.

If you are splitting your screen into quarters, Windows doesn’t automatically offer the miniature view. For the first three windows, proceed as described in step 1, using the left-click on your mouse to pull these to a corner of your screen. Once you’ve done this for three programs, Windows will show you a miniature view of programs for the remaining open quarter. Select the window you want to display with a left-click on your mouse.

This set-up is only recommended for bigger screens, as it doesn’t leave a lot of space for the individual windows.

Tip

While many office setups come with two hardware monitors, a remote office setup usually only permit for one monitor. Splitting the screen is, therefore, a practical solution to effectively work with one screen. That means if you’re working from home, you don’t necessarily need to invest in additional hardware.

Split screen: Windows 10 shortcuts

Windows offers many keyboard shortcuts that enable you to quickly execute actions. To split your screen, Windows provides several shortcuts. These let you select a section of your screen or a quarter for the active window.

Step 1: Define active window

Hold down the Windows key and the arrow key at the same time to place the active window. The table below offers an overview of all your options:

Action: Show active window… Key combinations
…in the left side of the screen Windows key + left arrow
…in the right side of the screen Windows key + right arrow
…in the top-left quarter Windows key + left arrow, then Windows key + up arrow
…in the bottom-left quarter Windows key + left arrow, then Windows key + down arrow
…in the top-right quarter Windows key + right arrow, then Windows key + up arrow
…in the bottom-right quarter Windows key + right arrow, then Windows key + down arrow

Step 2: Define additional windows

Once you’ve set up the first window in one half of your screen, a miniature view of all open windows will launch. A key combination can be used for this step. Use the arrows to shift between programs. A white frame points to the current selection. To select a window, click the Enter key on your keyboard.

Once you’ve placed the first window in a quarter of your screen, the miniature view disappears. Instead, use the keyboard shortcuts again to further split the screen. Hold down the Alt key and press the Tab key once. Now, the miniature view of all programs will be visible. Click the Tab key again to switch to the next window. Continue until you’ve selected your program of choice. Confirm your selection by letting go of both keys. Now the window will open and is active. To arrange it in a quarter of your screen, follow the instructions in step 1.

Similar to splitting your screen using a mouse, Windows will show you the miniature view of all programs after the third window. Select the fourth program with the Tab key and confirm with the Enter key to use the display of selected programs.

Tip

Using a Mac? Here’s how to split your screen on Mac.


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