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

Tina Sieber 25-01-2012

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 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 Two Ways To Sneak A Peek At Videos While You're Working Watching videos is fun. OK, let’s face it, it’s addictive. But unfortunately, there are some other things we have to do. We can’t always watch videos - or can we? What if you could watch... Read More

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 3 Best Strategies & Tools for Open Window Management in Windows 7 Open windows are the paper stacks of the modern age. They clutter up our desktops and it can become quite a hassle to navigate between them. Just like with real paper, it takes a lot... Read More


PowerMenu [Broken URL Removed]

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 Keep Windows on Top and Minimize to Tray With PowerMenu Read More


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 How To Pin Any Application Window To The Top Read More


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!) How To Enhance Your Windows Experience With AquaSnap (Not Only in Windows 7!) Aero Snap is a cool feature in Windows 7 that allows you to easily view windows side by side simply by dragging the window to the side of the screen. AquaSnap is a free utility... Read More

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

Explore more about: Mac Menu Bar, Windows 7, Windows Vista.

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  1. gil
    August 6, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    Has anyone tried this software?

    It looks good but is it safe?

  2. Rayanda
    May 11, 2017 at 7:05 am

    hi, can some image always on top while using autoCAD software? I just want to pin some image while i design something on autoCAD,

    • Tina Sieber
      May 13, 2017 at 12:26 am

      Rayanda, try one of these tools to keep your image viewer always-on-top.

  3. legdown
    April 5, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks so much for finding it, Aquasnap.I never knew it before.
    Thanks so much.

    • Tina Sieber
      April 5, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      Glad you found something you could make use of. :)

  4. Truefire_
    July 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Nuonsoft ShellEnhancer is pretty great, though old.

  5. Mick
    January 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    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
      January 26, 2012 at 6:39 pm

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

    • Destructor
      January 5, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      Not very robust since Win + T is for bringing focus to your toolbar.

      • Daniel
        June 12, 2016 at 3:40 pm

        I use an executable from I forget where, but uses the same code. The shortcut for it is ctrl+space instead, which I find quite nice :)

  6. Chris Hoffman
    January 26, 2012 at 12:11 pm

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

    • Tina
      January 26, 2012 at 6:47 pm

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

  7. ward
    January 26, 2012 at 6:33 am

    moo0 WindowMenu Plus

  8. Davin Peterson
    January 25, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    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
      January 26, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      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
      January 27, 2012 at 2:06 am

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