How to Use Split Screen Mode in Windows 8.1

snap view different apps 4

When Windows 8 originally launched, we were pretty down on its split screen-style Snap View multitasking feature for how clunky it was to use. Instead of being able to place two apps next to each other in equal-sized windows, they were split 70/30, with one app taking up the majority of the screen and the other nearly unusable.

For Windows 8.1, Microsoft has made drastic improvements to the way the OS handles multitasking via Snap View, allowing users to split their screens between apps in ratios of 70/30, 60/40 or 50/50. Plus, the apps will scale properly to fit their new window sizes. If you have a 1080p display, you can even divide your screen between three apps. A 1366 x 768-pixel display will only support two. Here’s how to use the new Snap View feature:

MORE: Top 8 New Features of Windows 8.1

Multitasking in Modern UI

  1. Open the two apps you want to split across the screen, making sure one of them is full screen.

    snap view different apps 0

  2. Swipe in from the left and hold your finger until the second app is docked on the left side of the screen. 

    snap view different apps 1
    Each app will now take up 50 percent of the screen.

    snap view different apps 2

  3. Tap and hold the black vertical line that splits the two apps and drag it to the left or right to make the app you want to view larger or smaller.

    snap view different apps 3

Internet Explorer 11

To use the multiview mode with Internet Explorer 11:

  1. Open the IE 11 Modern UI app, making sure it is full screen.

     IE 11 full screen

  2. Right click the link you want to open and select, “Open in New Window.”

    IE 11 open in new window
    You will now have two Internet Explorer windows, each taking up half of your display.


Daniel P. Howley
Daniel P. Howley
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
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Submit Comments

  1. Kayla Tyree Says:

    I want to watch Youtube videos while webcamming. How does that work? Because everytime I go to the camera (from the Start screen) & try to go back to Youtube (from my desktop) it closes out of the camera…. Help please?! :(

  2. Joe Says:

    Nice write for splitting screen on Win8. But all the demo is about a touch screen. What about for the majority of us who doesn’t have a touch screen? Maybe the title should read, splitting screen on Win8 with touch screen :)

  3. marcus Says:

    thanks – great stuff!
    I use win 8.1 on a desktop without touch screen… how do I get this to work there??

  4. Chera Says:

    Thank you for the great post.

    An FYI: If you cannot get dual screens to work, while in Chrome, click on MENU button far right top of page, from drop down choose switch to Windows 8 mode (looks like a different mode because black menu bar appears at the bottom of the screen). If I go back up to the drop down it now says Relaunch Chrome in on the desk top. Hope this helps.

  5. SethComa Says:

    using split screen in windows 8.1 is completely fucking horrible. i am forced to open and use windows apps only instead of being able to use two folders or the internet and a folder etc.
    what a load of shit the feature is!
    complete crap!

  6. Randol Says:

    Split screen only works with windows apps…. starting to get annoyed with windows forcing us to only use their programmes…… will use the good old ways… non automatic split

  7. Robin Says:

    Window 8.1 is “Windows Without Windows”. What if you have a 30″ monitor and want to see more than two things? Bigger isn’t better when you get a galactically sized calculator.
    This is true to the pattern that every second windows really stinks.

  8. G Says:

    Just another feature that confused old people. And this is my third search result and I still don’t know the easiest way to turn it off (my Uncle is currently confounded by this feature)

  9. Tori Says:

    Thank you so much! Even though I do not have a touch screen, the premise is exactly the same with grab and drag. You have made my day, I have been trying for weeks to figure out split screen for mail and microsoft office.

  10. GamerDragonGirl8 Says:

    I want to have minecraft and chrome open on spilt screen, both running, how does that work? I am confused

  11. Susan Says:

    (1) You keep talking about Aps. There IS NO AP for what I want to do!! I want to view two Explorer WINDOWS side by side. Could it be I’m not using the correct words? (2) I must use a mouse, so what mouse button do I use when I swipe? (3) You REALLY should consider the possibility that if someone has come to your site for help, you CANNOT take for granted that they have prior knowledge about anything. – Good Teachers do that, though. So, NO this was of NO HELP to me AT ALL

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