MicrosoftTips & Deals

Windows 8 tip: snap apps with minimal mouse movement

App Switcher Context Menu - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

Windows 8 includes a number of hidden context menus for power users, such as the widely publicized “minimalistic start menu,” accessible by right-clicking in the lower-left corner of the screen where the start menu used to reside. Historically, Microsoft has always offered multiple ways to accomplish tasks via on-screen buttons, keyboard shortcuts, context menus, gestures, and much more. One little-known Windows 8 feature is the ability to quickly snap apps directly from the app switcher. This works for closing as well, although that use case is slightly more well-known.

To take advantage of this context menu, simply bring up the app switcher (place your mouse in the upper-left corner of the screen and drag down), hover over the app you’d like to snap or close, and right-click. This will bring up a context menu allowing you to close the app, snap it to the left side of the screen, or snap it to the right side of the screen. Note that if your screen resolution doesn’t support the snap feature (it must be a minimum of 1366 x 768), then only the close option will be displayed. The context menu can also be bought up for your most recently used app by simply right-clicking in the upper-left corner of the screen.

This is a relatively obscure feature, but it allows you to snap apps with minimal mouse movement. Otherwise, you’d have to click (or touch) and drag the app from the switcher to the side of the screen you’d like it on. As a result, this is particularly handy in situations where your device lacks a traditional mouse or touch screen.

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William Devereux

William Devereux is the former Microsoft editor at Pocketables, as well as a Microsoft MVP and SkyDrive/ Insider. As his title implies, he wrote about all things from Redmond, including Windows 8 and Windows Phone. He is currently carrying a Windows Phone 8X by HTC and a Microsoft Surface with Windows RT tablet.

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