Splitting your screen into two separate windows is a useful method of task management that is well-suited to busy Chromebooks. Split screen is great for researching, finding tutorials, checking multiple sources, comparing images or videos, and much more. Fortunately, the Chromebook makes this split option very easy to do or undo at any time. Here’s how to split the screen on a Chromebook.
How to split the screen on a Chromebook
Use the following step-by-step instructions to drag and drop your windows in a split screen format. If you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts, skip to the second section on keyboard shortcuts.
Here’s how to use split screen on your Chromebook:
Step 1: Drag and drop your first window. For this example, let’s start with a humble browser tab. Open your window as you normally would, and then look in the upper right corner to see your options for window management.
look for the small Window icon: Usually at this stage it’s the two-window “roll down” icon, as the window takes up the entire screen, but it will change to a single-window “maximize” button when it is reduced. For the purposes of splitting the screen, it doesn’t matter which version of the icon is there.
Step 2: Now select that Window icon and hold it down. With the cursor held down, drag the window to one side of your screen or the other. You must activate a lock feature that will snap the window to one side or the other of your screen, with a temporary dividing line appearing to indicate that you are dividing your screen.
Step 3: Release and the window will lock to the side you dragged it to, but otherwise everything should stay the same. If holding and dragging is annoying (like when using a trackpad), try holding for just a second and then releasing. Chrome OS should show two left/right arrows around the icon that you can select to lock the window to one side. It’s a bit slower, but could be easier in some situations.
Stage 4: Place your second window. With your first window in place, it’s time to tackle the other side. Open another browser tab you want to access, and once it’s ready, select and hold the key again Restore Down/Maximize Window button in the upper right corner. Drag this window to the opposite side of your first window, and it should automatically snap into place as well, allowing you to let go of your cursor.
Now both windows will be active on the screen at the same time, allowing you to move freely between them. A key point to remember is that the Restore Bottom/Maximize It should be available in all your Chrome apps, so you won’t be forced to just split browser windows; You can also split a variety of apps and browser/app combinations as you need.
Step 5: When you are done with split screen mode, select the Maximize button. This should return both windows to their expanded state and remove the stuck split screen. You can use the same trick to switch back to split screen whenever you want.
Since the entire process requires drag and drop, it generally works better and may be a little easier with a mouse than a trackpad. To make the process even easier, you can try to master some keyboard shortcuts. Or check out our guide on how to split your screen in Windows 10.
Don’t forget the keyboard shortcuts
There are also keyboard shortcuts for splitting the screen on Chromebooks, and this can make the process even faster if you plan to split windows frequently and prefer a shortcut for doing so.
Shortcuts involve the alternative key and the bracket symbol keys. Select your window and then press alt+ [ at the same time to lock the window to the left side, or Alt + ] to lock the window on the right side.