How to enable Windows 8 Snap feature

Snap multi tasking is one of the new feature introduced in Windows 8. The Snap feature allows the user to run multiple apps side by side on single screen. But this feature is available only on high resolution monitors only. This article explains how to enable the Windows 8 Snap feature on low resolution monitors.

How to enable Windows 8 Snap feature

We all know that Windows 8 Developer Preview was released by Microsoft for use by general public during the BUILD conference in second week of September,2011. Many Windows enthusiasts have downloaded and installed Windows 8 after the release of the windows 8 Developer Preview. If you have not yet installed and tried Windows 8, you can do it now. I have given an article on how to install Windows 8 in your computer. You can read that article and try out the newest features of Windows 8.

Snap is one of the features of Windows 8 demonstrated during the BUILD conference. The Snap feature allows you to run multiple programs side by side on a single screen. So you can run two Start Screen apps ( metro apps) or you can run one Start Screen app and one Desktop app at a time. Once Snap feature is enabled, you will be able to see that the left side app covering 30% of the screen and the right side app covering the 70% of the screen. But you can change this area occupied by each app by dragging the line dividing the two apps.

The Snap feature in Windows 8 is available only for high resolution monitors where the resolution is more than or equal to 1280 X 768 pixels. If your monitor has a resolution less than 1280 X 768, then the Snap feature is disabled by default. The Snap feature is enabled for high resolution monitors by default. There are two methods by which you can enable the Snap feature on Windows 8 on monitors with low resolution. One method to enable Snap feature in Windows 8 is by using an app called "Windows 8 Snap Enabler" and another method is by Registry tweak. Let us see how we can enable Snap feature using these two methods.

Enabling Snap feature in Windows 8 by Windows 8 Snap Enabler

Windows 8 Snap Enabler is the first freeware for Windows 8 Developer Preview and allows you to use the Snap feature on low resolution monitors. It is very easy to use the tool. You need to run the tool and click "enable Windows 8 Snap Feature" to enable or click "disable Windows 8 Snap Feature" to disable this feature.

This small tool was developed by a developer Paras Sidhu. A Screen shot of the Snap Enabler is given below.

Windows 8 Snap Enabler screen shot

You need to download the Windows 8 Snap Enabler and run the tool. There is no need for any installation of the tool. Just download it and run the application. Once you download the Windows 8 Snap Enabler, run the tool and click on "Enable Windows 8 Snap Feature" to activate or click “Disable Windows 8 Snap Feature" to deactivate this option.

Enabling Snap feature in Windows 8 by Windows 8 Registry Editing

You can also enable the Snap feature in Windows 8 by a simple Registry tweak. But it is recommended for advanced users who are confident about Registry editing. Here is a step by step guide to enable Snap feature in Windows 8 by Registry editing.
  • First make sure that you have a back up of your Windows 8 Registry file so that it will be useful in case you face some problems
  • Now open the Run Command i.e. 'Win+R'. Then type 'regedit' and hit Enter. Now you can see the Registry Editor window
  • You can now navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\ImmersiveShell
  • Under ImmersiveShell key, create a new key AppPositioner.
  • Now you have to select the newly created key “AppPositioner" and in right-side pane, create a new DWORD AlwaysEnableLSSnapping and set its value to 1. Here is a screen shot of the Registry Editor.

    Registry editor screen for Snap enabling
  • Now restart your computer to enable this feature.

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Guest Author: Dave Gee29 Oct 2012

So after I make the regedit changes, how do I activate the sidebar multitasking on a desktop?

Guest Author: JR13 Nov 2012

Doesn't seem to work on the version released on October 26, 2012.

Guest Author: wahaj22 Nov 2012

Does not work for latest versions.

Guest Author: Midun28 Nov 2012

I tried both the ways ! It ain't working for me. . I ve 1200*800 resolution screen (HPdv4 1318tu). .Fingers Crossed... Help me !!

Guest Author: Blue PS28 Nov 2012

Me too, it doesn't work on 1280 x 800, acer iconia tab 500 with win 8 pro.
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