Snap an App Alongside the Desktop on Your Windows 8 Tablet - dummies

Snap an App Alongside the Desktop on Your Windows 8 Tablet

By Andy Rathbone

Windows 8’s Start screen and Desktop app live in very separate worlds. The Start screen is modern, while the Desktop app is traditional. They look and behave nothing alike, and for the most part, they work apart from each other.

Sometimes, though, it’s helpful to mix the two. For example, wouldn’t it be nice to see your Calendar app at the same time as your desktop, so you could see your next appointment?

Windows 8 lets you do that with a feat called snapping an app, and the result looks like the following.


Follow these steps to snap any Start screen app to the side of your desktop:

  1. Open the Desktop app; then open any Start screen app.

    To reach the Start screen from the desktop, press the Windows key at the bottom of your tablet’s screen. Find the app you want to see alongside the desktop, and tap the app to bring it to the screen.

  2. Switch back to the desktop.

    Slide your finger inward from the screen’s left edge, dragging the desktop back onto the screen.

  3. Snap the app against your desktop.

    Slowly drag your finger from the left edge of the screen inward; your most recently opened app appears, following along with the motion of your finger. When a vertical strip appears onscreen, lift your finger, and the app snaps itself to the screen’s left edge.

When the app snaps against the desktop’s left edge, a small vertical bar separates it from your desktop. The snapped app stays in place, even if you head back to the Start screen and run a few apps. When you return to the desktop, your snapped app will still stick to the side.

App-snapping works well for a few tasks, but it includes more rules than a rebate coupon:

  • You can’t snap an app to the side of the Start screen or any Smart screen apps. The hoggy Start screen and its apps always consume the entire screen. Apps can snap only to the side of your desktop.

  • You can’t snap an app onto each side of your desktop. You can snap only one app on one side.

  • To unsnap the app, use your finger to drag that vertical bar back toward the screen’s closest edge.

  • You can snap apps only on a screen with a resolution of at least 1366 x 768. In human language, that means an extra-wide computer screen, which you won’t find on most netbooks or older laptops. You will find that resolution, however, on all Windows 8 tablets.

  • If you love instant messages, snap the Messaging app to your desktop, so you can always procrastinate.