How to Use Instant Layouts in Windows 11

What there is to know

  • Hover over it Maximize button in an application or use the the Windows + Z keyboard shortcut.
  • Select a 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 Instant Layout in Windows 11

Instant layouts help you arrange apps side by side on the screen. The instant layouts available can contain apps of different sizes and allow you to see them all at once. Here’s how to use Instant Layouts in Windows 11.

  1. Pass the mouse over the Maximize button in an application window to display Instant Layouts. Alternatively, you can also use the keyboard shortcut the Windows + Z.

  2. The instant layout menu displays the four available layouts. Larger screens can offer six layouts in the menu.

    To note:

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

  3. Hover over a layout where you want to place your open application. 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 application window snaps onto the desktop.

  6. Other open apps will appear as large thumbnails in the other layout panes. Open each app individually (or tap Other + Tongue to scroll the open app) and choose the area you want this app to be in.

  7. Alternatively, use the To win + Arrow to move a window to the desired snap layout area.

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


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

How to Customize Snap Layouts in Windows 11

There are several ways to change how snapping layouts work in Windows 11. The options are self-explanatory, and you can select or deselect them to fine-tune the behavior of snapping layouts in Windows 11. By default, all options are enabled .

  1. Go to Settings > System > Multitasking > Pop-up windows.

  2. Check or uncheck the boxes.

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


  • Can I save Instant Layouts in Windows 11?

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

About Sally E. Bartley

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