5 Simple Ways To Keep Selected Windows On Top [Windows]

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keep window on topComputers are made to multitask. As a result, we all have to juggle with multiple open windows to jump back and forth between various tasks. Sometimes, however, you just want to keep one window in your view regardless of what else happens on your screen. Surprisingly, Windows does not offer a native feature for this task. In this article I will introduce five tools that fill this niche.

OnTopReplica

OnTopReplica uses the DWM Desktop Composition found in Windows Vista and Windows 7 to clone a window and run it in a small thumbnail that always stays on top. This is perfect for keeping only the video frame of a video player on top. OnTopReplica requires .NET Framework 2.0 and a Windows Aero theme.

When you launch OnTopReplica, you will see an empty grey window on your screen. Right-click the frame and select the window you want to clone.

how to keep windows on top

Next, right-click the frame again, pick select region to define the region of the screen you want to clone. Finally, enjoy the result!

how to keep windows on top

Note that the original window cannot be minimized and if you choose to replicate a browser window, you cannot switch the tabs. Also see this article for a more thorough review of the tool: Two Ways To Sneak A Peek At Videos While You’re Working

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4t Tray Minimizer

4t Tray Minimizer adds several additional buttons to the title bar of your windows. One of them, the pin icon, will fix the respective window on top of everything else, until clicked again. A very simple and easy solution.

how to keep windows on top

Besides keeping our windows on top, 4t Tray Minimizer allows you to manage open windows in many different ways. Besides the new title bar buttons, the options are also available via the top level system menu. 4t Tray Minimizer was previously mentioned in this article: 3 Best Strategies & Tools For Open Window Management In Windows 7

PowerMenu

This tool adds additional menu options to all top level system menus without compromising the standard options. Apart from making a window stay Always On Top, you can also minimize it to the tray or change its transparency. It offers some of the same options as 4t Tray Minimizer, but it does not add the extra buttons to the title bar.

windows on top

See a full review of PowerMenu here: Keep Windows on Top & Minimize To Tray with PowerMenu

DeskPins

DeskPins lives in your system tray. When clicked, your cursor turns into a pin and whichever window you click next, will be pinned to the top of your screen. Clicking the red pin in the title bar of the respective window, will unpin it. Very neat one task app that doesn’t add any extra clutter to your windows or menus.

windows on top

DeskPins was also reviewed in this article: How To Pin Any Application Window To The Top

AquaSnap

Like the previously mentioned tools, AquaSnap offers a host of features. One of them is shaking a window to at once make it stay on top and change its opacity. The shake detection sensitivity, speed, and duration can be customized.

windows on top

See this article for a full review of AquaSnap: How To Enhance Your Windows Experience With AquaSnap (Not Only in Windows 7!)

For even more useful tools to manage your windows, have a look at these articles:

Do you still need to manage several applications on one screen or have you dedicated a second or third screen to parking your videos or other must watch items on?

Image credits: Tatiana Popova

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9 Comments - Write a Comment

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Davin Peterson

When watching a video, you’d want the video player to stay on top. Unfortunately, Windows Media Player is the only player that has this feature.  So, software like this will help with this problem

Tina

I didn’t even know WMP was able to do that. The setting is available through > Tools > Options > Player tab > Keep Now Playing on top of other windows. Thanks for the tip, Davin!

Actually, my preferred media player VLC also offers this feature. You can find it under > Tools > Preferences > Video > Display section > Always on top.

Still I think it’s easier to manage this feature through one tool that can handle any open window, i.e. any program.

Chris Hoffman

Lots of video players have this feature. The problem is it’s buried somewhere different in each program’s preferences window.

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ward

moo0 WindowMenu Plus

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Chris Hoffman

I used PowerMenu for years; it’s an amazingly versatile and unobtrusive little app.

Tina

I kinda prefer 4t Tray because it saves me the right-click and it’s just as unobtrusive.

Reply

Mick

I’m a long-time AutoHotKey user and this is really easy to achieve. Just drop the following in an .AHK file and then Win + T will (de)activate the ‘keep on top’ function

#t:: Winset, Alwaysontop, , A

Tina

Thanks for the code, Mick! That’s really cool for AutoHotKey users.

Reply

Truefire_

Nuonsoft ShellEnhancer is pretty great, though old.

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