How to use keyboard shortcuts to make a split screen on macOS, iPadOS, Windows and Chrome OS

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Press these keys to show 2 apps side-by-side connected Chrome OS, Windows, iPad OS oregon macOS. Simplify your beingness by knowing these shortcuts connected your machine oregon iPad.

 Split Screen, centered supra  2  achromatic  rectangles, with connection     "App 1" successful  halfway  of near  rectangle and "App 2" successful  halfway  of close    rectangle.

Illustration: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

Lots of tech tasks payment from side-by-side apps oregon browser windows. Selecting a system? Take notes successful 1 app with method specs displayed successful another. Writing a series of steps? Draft an email successful 1 model portion you enactment done the process. Documenting settings? Refer to the configuration arsenic you benignant details into a file.

Too often, though, I spot radical power backmost and distant betwixt antithetic tabs oregon apps, erstwhile what they truly request is to show 2 apps astatine once. If you're fortunate capable to person aggregate devices oregon monitors, usage your further instrumentality oregon surface to show an app oregon browser window. When you request to show 2 apps connected 1 device, often the simplest solution is to spot each app side-by-side. And, again, excessively often radical effort to bash this manually—resizing a model past dragging and placing it to 1 broadside of the display.

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The cardinal controls beneath screen however to rapidly drawback apps to 1 broadside of the surface with your keyboard connected Chrome OS, Windows, iPadOS and macOS. People who often usage antithetic operating systems mightiness find this speedy ocular notation helpful. (To beryllium honest, I power betwixt devices and sometimes hide these split-screen keyboard commands, truthful I'm penning this truthful I tin notation it successful the future!)

How to marque a divided surface connected Chrome OS

Key combinations connected Chrome OS alternate app/browser windows betwixt 2 positions. On a Chromebook, the alt cardinal combined with either the near oregon close bracket cardinal lets you rapidly reposition a model connected the surface (Figure A). Specifically, the cardinal combination:

  • alt + [ moves a model to the near (and, if pressed again, astir the halfway of the screen), portion  
  • alt + ] moves a model to the close (and, if pressed again, astir the halfway of the screen).

Figure A

Photo of a Chromebook Pixelbook Go keyboard, with the alt, [ and ] keys circled successful  red.

On a Chromebook, property alt and [ to dock the progressive model to the near of the screen. Press the operation again to instrumentality it to the mediate of the screen. (The operation of alt and ] does the aforesaid to the right.)

Photo: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

How to marque a divided surface connected Windows

Keyboards intended for usage with Windows systems often person a dedicated Windows key. This key, erstwhile pressed with either the near oregon close arrow key, lets you rapidly reposition an app successful immoderate of 3 positions (Figure B). Both cardinal combinations (Windows cardinal + near arrow and Windows cardinal + close arrow) rhythm the presumption of an app done left/right, halfway screen, and past left/right, erstwhile pressed repeatedly successful sequence.

Figure B

Photo of a Surface Laptop Go keyboard, with the Windows key, < and > keys circled successful  red.

On a Windows system, property the Windows cardinal and near arrow to reposition the progressive app model to the near broadside of the screen. Additional presses of these keys volition rotate the app done positions connected the left, halfway and close country of the screen. (The operation of the Windows cardinal and close arrow does the aforesaid to the right.)

Photo: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

How to marque a divided surface connected macOS

On a macOS system, a third-party app offers the astir convenient mode to usage a cardinal operation to drawback an app to a broadside of the screen. I usage the Magnet app ($7.99) connected my device. Once installed and configured from the Mac App Store, the cardinal combinations (as shown successful Figure C) that determination the progressive app to either broadside of the surface are:

  • control + enactment + near arrow, to presumption an app connected the left, and
  • control + enactment + close arrow, to presumption an app connected the right.

(Note: If you similar not to acquisition a third-party app, Apple does connection a manual way to determination apps to a information of the surface that uses app positioning options, alternatively than keyboard controls.)

Figure C

Photo of MacBook Air keyboard, with control, option, near  arrow and close    arrow keys circled successful  red.

The third-party Magnet app adds model positioning keyboard controls to macOS. Press Control + enactment +  near arrow to drawback an app to the near broadside of the screen. (Control + enactment + close arrow does the aforesaid to the right.)

Photo: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

How to marque a divided presumption connected iPadOS

The iPad offers respective ways to presumption apps, including enactment for cardinal combinations, specified arsenic erstwhile you usage either an attached Smart Keyboard oregon an outer Bluetooth keyboard. When utilizing a keyboard designed for usage with an iPad, property either Globe cardinal + power + near arrow oregon Globe cardinal + power + close arrow (Figure D). This takes the existent app you are utilizing and moves it to the selected broadside of the surface (i.e., near oregon right, respectively, successful what Apple refers to arsenic divided view).

With the existent app moved to the side, you whitethorn past prime the further app you privation to usage connected the different information of the surface (e.g., close oregon left). Select the further app with a tap, either from a Home Screen oregon the App Library. Once selected the 2 apps, your archetypal progressive app arsenic good arsenic the further app, volition beryllium displayed broadside by broadside connected your iPad. (For additional controls, pat the 3 dots displayed adjacent the apical halfway of the surface supra either app.)

Figure D

Photo of iPad Pro 12.9" with Smart Keyboard, with globe key, control, near  arrow and close    arrow keys circled successful  red.

Press the globe cardinal + power + near arrow, past prime a 2nd app. This places the archetypal app you had been moving with connected the near broadside of an iPad screen, with the 2nd app to the right. (The globe cardinal + power + close arrow works likewise to the right.)

Photo: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

How bash you usage divided screen?

In summation to having 2 antithetic apps side-by-side, enactment that you besides whitethorn unfastened the same app successful some windows. For example, erstwhile moving connected a agelong document, I sometimes unfastened the aforesaid Google Doc successful 2 antithetic browser windows side-by-side. This lets maine notation to substance successful 1 information of the Doc portion I constitute oregon edit successful different country of the Doc. (The aforesaid maneuver works good erstwhile you request to notation to antithetic tabs wrong a Google Sheet.)

Do you usage keyboard commands to presumption apps side-by-side connected your laptop oregon desktop? Is this your modular setup, oregon thing you usage lone rarely? Let maine cognize however you configure your strategy to show 2 apps side-by-side, either with a remark beneath oregon connected Twitter (@awolber).

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