Windows optimize

Video: Disable Snap in Windows 7

Bill Detwiler shows you how the Windows 7 Snap feature works and explains how to disable it.

Software upgrades usually offer new bells and whistles for users, but of course, one person's awesome new feature is another person's really annoying problem. The new Snap feature in Windows 7 is a good example.

Snap lets you arrange an open window, including maximizing and resizing, by simply dragging and dropping it to different edges of the screen. And like many new Windows features, some people love it, and some hate it.

If you're in the "hate it" camp, you'll love this week's TR Dojo episode. I show you how to disable Windows 7 Snap feature.

For those who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or check out Greg Shultz's article, "Quick Tip: Disable Snap in Windows 7."

You can also sign up to receive the latest TR Dojo lessons through one or more of the following methods:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

15 comments
john3347
john3347

I don't actually HATE snap, I have experimented with it a time or two over the past several months and I find I have about as much use for it as I do for the cup holders in the backseat of my car. (To the best of my knowledge, they have never been used and never will be used as long as I own this car.) Although, perhaps the majority of backseat cup holders are quite useful "features" of a typical car, they are of ABSOLUTELY no use to me. Snap, and most of the other new annoyances (er, features) of Windows 7 also fall into that category. The one feature that would help millions of users who are the sole users of their computers would be to be able to totally disable all the multi-user functions. I don't need guest accounts, I don't need family member accounts, I only need one account that functions as a user account and I can enter a password (if I choose to enable such an option) when I need to invoke administrator rights. This missing feature is of MUCH greater magnitude to me that most of the fluff and puff features that that are included (that I disable or do not use) combined. I really don't hate Snap, I just find that I do not have any use for it whatsoever, but since 2/3 of the users in this world use snap, I am in favor of it's existence, I just want the choice to disable, or not use it. I have this choice in Snap, I do not have this choice in disabling multi-user functions - unless this is next month's Dojo subject. How about it Bill?????? (I wonder if I could have bought my car for 3 cents less if it had not been equipped with backseat cup holders)

BoxunloX
BoxunloX

I understand some people's dislike with the ribbon feature in the newer Office suites. I think it is awesome and it is the main reason why I mainly use Office instead of other alternatives. The snap feature in Win7, in my opinion, is equally as awesome. We all remember in the days of XP and earlier having to grab the edge of your open windows and drag them to size. I was wondering if anyone can tell me what reason there may be to dislike the snap feature? It takes key combinations to activate so its not like it gets in the way...

wolsonjr
wolsonjr

Wow, this is so much better than maximize or drag!?! Why not spend the effort on something useful such as letting me easily put my user data on a separate partition.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Snap lets you arrange an open window, including maximizing and resizing, by simply dragging and dropping it to different edges of the screen. And like many new Windows features, some people love it, and some hate it. What about you? Take the poll in the above post and let me know. If you're in the "hate it" camp, you'll love this week's TR Dojo episode. I show you how to disable Windows 7 Snap feature. Original post and poll: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=2053

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I don' tunderstand how someone can say they hate it. If you don't use it, so what, it's a feature. It's not like it's a resource hog, slowing down your PC all day or something. It doesn't slow my boot process, the way I use Windows etc. It is invisible as a user but there when you need it and it's VERY handy if you are copying and moving files between folders. I've had to drag corners to resize two Explorer windows for years, not anymore. Win7 is simply better than anything Windows has offered to date, all around.

chris.leeworthy
chris.leeworthy

I definitely don't hate the snap features in windows 7, the side by side option makes life much easier for me for some jobs. However it can have it's annoying moments. I often find when moving windows around on the screen I will accidentally maximise one because my pointer got a bit too close to the top of the screen. What I'd really like is to be able to turn off just that bit of snap and leave the rest of it working! Of course all this goes back to what Bill said initially, what is one person's cool feature is another person's annoying irritant, it just depends on how you like to work.

rreuling
rreuling

It's relatively easy to relocate folders, but a bit of a pain as you have to do them individually (although youu should only have to do this once). These settings can also be rolled out via Group Policy of course, it's essentially the Folder Redirection Settings. 1) Go into your user folder 2) Highlight the subfolder you want to move, right-click and select properties. MAKE SURE IT'S THE ACTUAL FOLDER AND NOT ONE OF THE SHORTCUTS. 3) Click the tab called "Location" 4) Click the "Move" Button 5) Browse to the path you want to move the folder You can do this for the following folders. This isn't a complete list only the ones I've found, so there may be more. I'm using Win7 default names, so your actual folder names may be different if you upgraded Vista in-place. Also, these are the display names seen through explorer, the actual path may be different from the command line, e.g. "My Documents" is really "Documents" AppData\Local AppData\LocalLow AppData\Roaming Contacts Desktop Downloads Favorites Links My Documents My Music My Pictures My Videos Saved Games Searches Virtual Machines Be careful moving folders like "Desktop" and others to a network drive. If you lose your network connection your local desktop will act strange - turning on caching may help but I haven't tested this too much. Moving to a second partition should work easily, I do this all the time with my home machines. You may want to just create a root folder and then all the subfolders you want to relocate ahead of time, this will keep everything organized in one tree. Be aware that some apps either remember the path from when they last pulled it from the registry, or they use a hard coded reference to it instead of querying the registry to find out where it is currently located. This means you have have to adjust the settings in your applications to match the new paths. Hope this helps.

Computer_User_1024
Computer_User_1024

I remember seeing a few years back when I was working in IT that different organizations had their machines configured so that user data was on another partition. I think it took a registry hack to do it though. This may be what you are referring to as it is not so simple. Like I said, I think it takes a registry hack. However, I do not remember exactly how it was done.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

What I like is the exact resizing when you drag two explorer windows to opposite sides of the screen, makes for really quick file copying and sorting, especially with the breadcrumbs address bar, just makes things so much easier. Win7 just seems to do everything better. I use XP at work and constantly find 'the little things' in the way I do things on my Win7 notebook are just much easier than XP.

fkowal
fkowal

Bill, DO a another VIDEO on making it better and replacing AEROSNAP WITH AQUASNAP, http://www.nurgo-software.com/products/aquasnap This is what MS should have done! and by the way I have nothing to do with the company other than I learned of this software from someone else.

Computer_User_1024
Computer_User_1024

In fact, I have noticed that some of the newer Linux distro's seem to have snap built into them. This is a convenient way to split the screen between two different windows to copy and paste data between them or just compare their contents. I also like that if I drag the top of a window to the top of the screen the window in question goes full height and if I want it back to normal I just drag it down a bit and it snaps back to where it was. In some ways I think of these features of more modern minimize and maximize. Now if we can get Microsoft developers to quit trying to reinvent the wheel with each release of Windows where they seem to think that control panels must function differently, and be in different location's than in prior releases that would be a good thing.

dolo724@
dolo724@

I've been using edge detection for years in KDE and Gnome to help organize my windows. Windows 7 is getting closer to the usability to which I'm accustomed. Yay!

Coss71
Coss71

I think one of the main reasons people wouldn't like it (I personally really like it) it that it is because of lazy end users. They don't want to learn anything new. They want to come in, do their minimum job requirement, and go home. Why learn something new? That takes effort, even if it means that they could do their jobs more efficiently. As I've been told by different end users "that's the way I learned, and it works for me, why change it?"

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Couple that with a touch screen and you've got a Windows i-Touch ! LOL :D People LOVE teh resizing feature on Apple products, when Windows makes a realy useful resizing feature though, nearly a 3rd of users say 'I HATE it", a bit strong, isn't it?

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

A Linux user seeing it for what it really is. I know you haven't said that you like Windows more than 'nix but just your ability to recognize that MS is actually offering better software that is functional is applaudable.