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How to Rearrange Windows with Keyboard Shortcuts on Windows 10

Task View interface on Windows 10.

Arranging your workspace in Windows 10 can sometimes feel like a tedious process with your mouse. Luckily, you can use many keyboard shortcuts to switch, snap, minimize, maximize, move, or resize windows.

Switch Between Windows

Windows 10 includes a handy shortcut often called the “task switcher.” It allows you to use your keyboard to quickly switch between active windows. Just press Alt+Tab any time, and thumbnails of all open windows will appear on your screen.

Four thumbnails of open windows in the Windows 10 Task Switcher.

To cycle through the choices, press and hold Alt and press Tab until the window you’d like is highlighted. Release both keys and the window will be brought into the foreground.

You can also press Ctrl+Alt+Tab to open the task switcher. Then, use the arrow keys to select the window you want and press Enter.

The more sophisticated way to switch between windows is Task View. It takes up more of the screen and shows bigger previews of any open windows. To open Task View, press Windows+Tab.

Four open windows in Task View on Windows 10.

From there, use the arrow keys to select the window you want to view, and then press Enter. The window you selected is brought to the foreground.

RELATED: Master Windows 10's Alt+Tab Switcher with These Tricks

Minimize and Maximize

It’s easy to minimize or maximize a window using just your keyboard. Minimizing hides a window from view, while maximizing enlarges the window so it occupies the largest possible area onscreen. You can also minimize all windows simultaneously so you can see the desktop.

Use the following shortcuts:

  • Minimize the current window: Windows+Down Arrow.
  • Maximize the current window: Windows+Up Arrow.
  • Minimize all windows: Windows+M.
  • Minimize all windows and show the desktop: Windows+D. (This works on stubborn windows, too).
  • Minimize all windows except the current one: Windows+Home.
  • Restore all minimized windows: Windows+Shift+M.

You can also enlarge a window without completely maximizing it. If you want to stretch the height (but not the width) of the current window to the top and bottom of the screen, press Windows+Shift+Up Arrow. Note that this shortcut doesn’t work if the window is snapped to the quarter-view position we cover below.

Snap Windows to Halves or Quarters

If you’re juggling multiple windows and want to use keyboard shortcuts to arrange them precisely onscreen, you’re in luck! It’s easy to position two windows into perfect halves, or four windows into quarters on the screen.

First, press Alt+Tab or use your mouse to bring the window you want to reposition into focus. From there, decide which portion of the screen you want that window to occupy.

You can then use the following shortcuts to position two windows into halves:

  • Maximize on left: Windows+Left Arrow.
  • Maximize on right: Windows+Right Arrow.

Two windows, each filling half the screen in Windows 10.

To position four windows into quarters (each will fill 1/4 of the screen), you can use a sequence of two shortcuts. These sequences assume the window hasn’t already been snapped to the left or right half of the screen.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Upper-left quarter: Windows+Left Arrow, and then Windows+Up Arrow.
  • Lower-left quarter: Windows+Left Arrow, and then Windows+Down Arrow.
  • Upper-right quarter: Windows+Right Arrow, and then Windows+Up Arrow.
  • Lower-right quarter: Windows+Right Arrow, and then Windows+Down Arrow.

Four windows, each filling a quarter of the screen in Windows 10,

Move a Window Precisely

You can use your keyboard to move a particular window to a certain spot onscreen. First, press Alt+Tab to pick the window you want to move.

When the window is selected, press Alt+Space to open a small menu in the upper-left corner. Press the arrow key to select “Move,” and then press enter.

Select "Move."

Use the arrow keys to move the window where you want it onscreen, and then press Enter.

This trick works even if the window you want to move is hidden and you can’t find it with your mouse.

RELATED: How to Move a Lost, Off-Screen Window Back to Your Desktop

Moving Windows Between Displays

If you use multiple monitors and you’ve extended your desktop between them, you can quickly move the active window between displays. To do this, press Windows+Shift+Left or +Right Arrow.

RELATED: How to Use Multiple Monitors to Be More Productive

Window Management Cheat Sheet

Here’s a handy cheat sheet of everything we covered above. Practice these, and you’ll be a window ninja in no time:

  • Alt+Tab: Open task switcher.
  • Windows+Tab: Open Task View.
  • Windows+Down Arrow: Minimize window.
  • Windows+Up Arrow: Maximize window.
  • Windows+M: Minimize all windows.
  • Windows+D: Display desktop.
  • Windows+Home: Minimize all windows except the active one.
  • Windows+Shift+M: Restore all minimized windows.
  • Windows+Shift+Up Arrow: Stretch window to the top and bottom of the screen.
  • Windows+Left Arrow: Maximize the window on the left side of the screen.
  • Windows+Right Arrow: Maximize the window on the right side of the screen.
  • Windows+Shift+Left or Right Arrow: Move a window from one monitor to another.

If you want even more keyboard-shortcut magic, check out these additional shortcuts for Windows 10, as well as some for web browsers, and text-editing.

RELATED: 32 New Keyboard Shortcuts in Windows 10

Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is a Staff Writer for How-To Geek. For over 14 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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