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Home / Tips and Tricks / Link Windows to custom screen regions on Windows 10

Link Windows to custom screen regions on Windows 10



Windows 10’s Snap Assist feature is nice, but it lacks customization. With Microsoft’s PowerToys app, it is possible to split the screen however you want. This is great for ultrawide monitors and anyone who wants a better tile window manager.

Customize Windows 10’s Snap feature

The built-in Snap Assist feature only works in a 2 × 2 grid setup, which means the windows are always the same size to fit the area: two windows side by side, four windows in the four corners of the screen, or one window on one side of the screen and two on the other.

If you have a large monitor, especially an ultra-wide monitor, you may want more window tiling options. That̵

7;s where Microsoft’s PowerToys app comes in handy. The “FancyZones” feature adds many more options, as well as the ability to create completely custom snap zones.

How to Download Microsoft PowerToys

PowerToys can be downloaded from Microsoft’s GitHub page. The app is free and open source. Download the EXE file of the most recent release (avoid the experimental releases) and click the file to install it.

download from github

To access the FancyZones settings after installing the app, open it from the notification area on your taskbar.

start powertoys from the system tray

Personalize and create FancyZones

With PowerToys installed, we can start setting up the FancyZones. Open the app and click on the “FancyZones” tab in the sidebar.

select the fancy zones tab

Before we do anything, make sure FancyZones is enabled.

enable fancy zones

The first thing to do is create your custom zone layout. Here you determine how many zones you want and how big they are. Click on “Launch Layout Editor.”

start the layout editor

The Layout Editor contains a number of pre-made templates to choose from. Select how many zones you want at the top – up to 40 – then choose one of the layouts below.

choose zone number and layout

If the pre-made layouts are not to your liking, it is possible to create a custom layout. This can be done in two ways. First select a template as a starting point, then click ‘Edit selected layout’.

edit the selected layout

Moving your mouse controls a divider that splits the zone wherever you click. You can also drag the handle between zones to adjust their size. Give the template a name and click “Save and Apply” when you are done.

adjust the zone layout

The second method requires a little more effort. Switch to the “Custom” tab, select “Create New Custom” and click “Edit Selected Layout”.

create custom layout

Click the big “Add New Zone” button to get started.

add new zone

A transparent box will appear on the screen with the number “1” in the center. This represents the first zone in your job. Drag it around and pull on the edges to resize it.

create the first zone

Click the “Add New Zone” button again to get a new box, and repeat until the layout is done.

add new zone

When you are done creating zones, name the template and click “Save and Apply” to finish.

name and save the template

As you adjust and select templates, you will see a preview of the zones on your screen with translucent boxes. You can choose to have windows occupy the entire zone or to have space around the edges.

show spaces around zones

How to use FancyZones

With the layout created, there are a number of other options to configure how it actually works. There’s a lot you can do here, but we’ll provide a few recommendations to get you started.

In the “Zone Behavior” section you probably want to enable the “Shift key to activate zones while dragging” setting, which makes it really easy to quickly move windows between zones.

hold shift while dragging

Then scroll down to the “Window Behavior” section. There are three options we recommend enabling:

  • Overwrite the Windows Snap shortcut (Win + Arrow) to move windows between zones.
  • Move newly created windows to their last known zone.
  • Restore windows to original size when disconnected.

Behavior options window

The next section is “Appearance”, and it gives you a few options for what the FancyZones will look like in action. You can make the windows transparent as you drag and choose custom colors.

appearance options

Finally, if there are apps you don’t want to use in FancyZones, you can exclude them from the bottom section. Just type the name of the app in the text box, one per line. They still work with Windows Snap Assist.

exclude apps from fancy zones


FancyZones is just one of the many things you can do with PowerToys, but it’s one of the best features. If you’re a power user and Snap Assist just isn’t flexible enough, give FancyZones a try.

RELATED: All PowerToys from Microsoft for Windows 10, explained




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