You Can Now Pin Important Apps to the Screen in Windows

You Can Now Pin Important Apps to the Screen in Windows
Photo: sdx15, Shutterstock

If you’ve ever wished you could keep Microsoft Word pinned to your screen while jotting down notes from a lecture on Zoom or from a YouTube video, you’re in luck. Thanks to Microsoft’s PowerToys for Windows — specifically, the Always On Top utility — you can now pin your most important windows so they stay fixed (temporarily) on top of all the others.

PowerToys is a group of tools that adds useful features to Windows, and Always On Top is the latest utility to be added to this suite. To install it, go to the GitHub page for PowerToys and download the setup file.

Once you’ve installed PowerToys, click Always On Top in the left pane and check if Enable Always On Top is enabled in the right pane. The default keyboard shortcut to pin any window to the screen is Windows Key + Control + T. (You can change this, if you want, in the Always On Top section of the PowerToys app. Just bear in mind that your custom keyboard shortcut must begin with Shift, Control, Alt, or Windows Key.)

To pin any app on the screen, make sure it’s the active window, then use the keyboard shortcut. You’ll see a blue border around the window and hear a chime, which indicates the app is now pinned to the display. It’ll stay there until you unpin it. To unpin an app from the screen, use the same keyboard shortcut (Windows + Control + T) once again.

You get some additional customisation options for Always On Top via the PowerToys app, which are worth checking out. You can change the colour or thickness of the border around the pinned window, or remove it entirely. PowerToys also lets you disable the notification sound when you activate the feature.

There’s also an Excluded apps section, which lets you decide which apps should never be pinned to the screen. Unfortunately, you can’t select these apps from a list — you’ll have to type the name of the app’s process. For example, if you want to exclude Firefox, you’ll have to type firefox.exe.


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