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 Office 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Splitting Information into Rows

Got too much information in a single cell? Here's how you can use a macro to pull apart that information and put it into ...

Discover More

Headings On Your Printout

If you've got a table that spans multiple printed pages, you probably want to repeat a row or two of that table as a ...

Discover More

Converting a PDF File to a Word Document

PDF files seem to be everywhere; they are a standard way of exchanging documents with others. At some point you may want ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Understanding R1C1 References

Referring to cells is typically done using a letter and a number, which represent the column and row. That's not the only ...

Discover More

Saving Movement on Enter with a Workbook

Press Enter when working in a workbook and Excel moves to a cell adjacent to the one in which you were working. If you ...

Discover More

How Excel Stores Dates and Times

Excel stores dates and times internally using what is called a serial number. This tip explains how that serial number is ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 + 8?

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.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.