Stopping an Excel Window from Maximizing

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 4, 2020)

5

David has a huge high-resolution monitor. This allows him to open four workbooks at the same time, one in each "quadrant" of the monitor. When he opens a workbook and drags it toward the top-right corner of the screen, Excel often wants to automatically maximize the workbook so it fills the entire screen. David doesn't, as doing so would cover all of his other windows. He wonders if there is a way to turn this maximizing feature off.

If you use Excel as your primary program or, at the very least, as the primary program with multiple windows, you might think that the behavior David describes is due to a setting within Excel. It is not; the behavior is actually due to what is called the Snap feature of Windows 10. Here's how the Snap feature affects the windows you drag near a screen corner or edge:

  • If you drag to the left edge of the screen, the window will fill the left 50% of the screen.
  • If you drag to the right edge of the screen, the window will fill the right 50% of the screen.
  • If you drag to the top of the screen, the window will fill the whole screen.
  • If you drag to any of the four corners of the screen, the window will fill that quarter of the screen.

If you don't like the Snap feature you can turn it off. Follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows key, type "multitasking" (without the quote marks), and press Enter. This should open the Settings window, with the Multitasking options displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. Adjusting the Multitasking settings.

  3. Click the Snap Windows control (first one in the window) so that it is turned off. This should turn everything below it off, as well.
  4. Close the Settings window.

You should now be able to drag your windows to the edges of your screens without repercussions. (Technically, the window resizing that David notes only occurs when your mouse pointer—not the window—gets to an edge or corner of the screen.)

If you prefer, you can override the Snap behavior through the use of Windows' ease of access settings. Follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows button, type "control" (without the quote marks), then press Enter. This should open the Control Panel.
  2. Click Ease of Access.
  3. Click Ease of Access Center. Windows opens the various Ease of Access options.
  4. Click Make the Mouse Easier to Use. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. Ease of Access options to adjust mouse behavior.

  6. Make sure there is a check mark next to the Prevent Windows from Being Automatically Arranged option.
  7. Click OK.

One need implied in David's original query is how to manage multiple large monitors better. Windows does provide a number of settings that may be helpful with multiple monitors, but there are specialized third-party apps that you may find helpful, as well. One such app is Display Fusion, available here:

https://www.displayfusion.com/

They offer a free version or a "pro" version that is available for a low price. (I make nothing by mentioning them; other ExcelTips subscribers speak highly of Display Fusion, however, so I'm happy to pass on the kudos.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13780) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is nine more than 9?

2020-08-26 03:27:39

Richard Curtis

I like the combination of Win+LeftArrow etc from J.Woolley. I use Win+LeftArrow and Win+RightArrow to arrange two documents side-by-side, and notice that if I reduce the width of one of the documents, the other automatically increases.
Also I use Win+Shift+LeftArrow (or RightArrow) to move a window from one monitor to another.


2020-07-08 10:21:13

J. Woolley

To put a window in a quadrant, press Win+LeftArrow or Win+RightArrow followed by Win+UpArrow or Win+DownArrow. See
https://www.reviewgeek.com/46372/icydk-quickly-organize-your-desktop-with-the-windows-key/


2020-07-04 15:45:08

Don M

How to get a more visible mouse cursor on a Mac?


2020-07-04 10:14:37

J. Woolley

You might also consider FancyZones in PowerToys for Windows 10, which is a work-in-progress. See https://www.howtogeek.com/665780/all-microsofts-powertoys-for-windows-10-explained/


2020-07-04 07:47:54

David Jackson

This has been driving me mad for months, so many thanks for passing on the tip.

Office and Windows have so many features that the average user doesn't know what they don't know.


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