Windows

Quick Tip: Disable Snap in Windows 7

While many think that Snap in Windows 7 is an awesome feature, many others think that it is annoying. Greg Shultz shows you how to turn it off.

As you know, with the introduction of Snap in Microsoft Windows 7, we now have a completely new way of managing open windows. This feature allows you to arrange open windows, including maximizing and resizing, just by dragging and dropping a window to different edges of the screen. When a window is dragged to the correct position, a ripple effect will emanate from the cursor and you'll see an animated outline of the window instantly appear in its new position. As soon as you release the mouse button, the window will snap to that position.

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For example, you can maximize a window in Windows 7 by clicking and dragging its title bar to the top of the screen. To restore a maximized window, just click and drag the title bar toward the middle of the screen. To position a window on half of the screen, just click and drag the title bar toward the left or right side of the screen. (The further to the right or left side of the title bar that you click and drag, the quicker the snap occurs.) To stretch a window that is in the middle of the screen so that it spans from the top to the bottom, just click the bottom or top edge and drag toward the bottom or top of the screen.

While many of us think that Snap is an awesome feature, many others think that it is annoying. For those in the latter category, I recently discovered that you can disable Snap.

Begin by clicking the Start button and typing Snap in the Start Search box. When you do, you'll see a result titled Turn Off Automatic Window Arrangement. When you select that result, you'll see the Make the Mouse Easier to Use panel in the Ease of Access tool and can select the Prevent Windows from Being Automatically Arranged when Moved to the Edge of the Screen check box, as shown in Figure A. Click OK in that box and that's it, no more annoying Snap.

Figure A

If you find Snap annoying, you can disable it.

What's your take?

Do you find Snap a useful Windows 7 feature or a major annoyance? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

59 comments
mayazoe
mayazoe

My friend mentioned to me your blog, so I thought I’d read it for myself. Very interesting insights, will be back for more! Buy Facebook Likes

calvinbrock7351
calvinbrock7351

They had low operating costs and paid commission salesman to push certain products.  That group got squeezed out by local chains like Crazy Eddy's,  The Good Guys and Ultimate Electronics. Each tried to maintain low costs of operating and commissioned staff who don't get paid if they don't sell.

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TI 99/4A
TI 99/4A

How could they have made this better?  First, I hate this feature and turned it off as soon as I found out how.


If they had just set it up so that the first time you moved a window to the edge it would pop up and tell you what it was doing and asked if you wanted it to that would have been better.  Then it could have asked if you wanted the option that you choose stored as your personal setting.  Wow...if/then statements....looks like programmers at Microsoft would get a clue doesn't it, but instead some bone head decides that their new idea is great for everyone...idiots.


Now on to the Windows 8 problem of getting too close to the right edge of the touchpad and having some idiotic options pop up.  Microsoft idiots at it again.  The problem isn't as much the computer trying to anticipate and think for us as it is the programmers that are convinced that they have reinvented the wheel.

moorpheus
moorpheus

Thanks. What a horrible thing for me, drove me nuts.  As a computer user for decades, I have developed my own ways of working, and I resent being forced to change what works for me.  It's like putting the gear shift in the back seat. 

Give me choices.  Don't force me.

brainout
brainout

Am just now getting some Win7 machines to work alongside my never-will-die, XP Pro machines. That Snap thingy was driving me up the wall. Now fixed, thanks to you! Now if only the insane Windows Explorer changes could be so easily rolled back to the sensible XP method of display and usage...

stargazerjim
stargazerjim

I was ready to snap when Microsoft once more decided what I wanted to do rather than letting me do what I want. Not as annoying as the paperclip, but more disruptive to productivity by far. Thanks for the tip. It is now disabled and will stay that way.

shadzovgra
shadzovgra

For anyone who bothers to look at Performance Information and Tools/Advanced Tools/View Performance Details and Event Log, you will notice that Windows Seven always adds the snap in before opening that particular window, especially on a new boot. In fact you can't view those details without the snap in happening, so I'm all for it. Taking the snap in feature away just because you only see it as being used for extra mouse options etc is a stupid idea

davidg
davidg

As you said, some people hate it, some people love it. I, for one found it so useful I installed a version developed for Windows XP (AquaSnap, featured on TechRepublic before) so when working on my XP machines I have that feature as well. Since I work on wide screen monitors, I find snaping two or more windows very quick and helpful. Each to his own, as you said.

jcover13a
jcover13a

I like using the Snap feature, however I use dual monitors and it doesn't work real well when you're in extended desktop mode. I'd love to be able to quickly arrange my calendar and email inbox side by side on my second monitor, but it's too much trouble to get the half screen effect lined up on the left side. If anyone has come up with a work-around, I'd be interested!

noemib
noemib

I like to move my windows when I want where I want. I don't need this "feature" trying to decide for me.. SNAP OFF - Thanks for the article!! :)

Skibum
Skibum

No luck on a quick Google. I'd like to turn off the top/bottom, but retain the side snaps. Would probably require some Registry work but it would be worth it.

Keith Hailey
Keith Hailey

So, it's called Snap, huh. I thought my mouse was freakin' out.

dawn
dawn

I hate it - if I want a window full screen its easy enough to click the full screen button. I find both snap and the hover on the task bar features awful and time consuming. thanks so much for showing me how to get RID OF IT!

mwclarke1
mwclarke1

The biggest issue with many features, impacts performance, makes software more bloated. I would rather keep features down to a minimum, the ones that are mostly needed, can the eye candy. I like things to perform faster and just do the basics quicker. I can not stand seeing an hour glass at all. Usually when I need to do something, I need to do it quickly, and I need to have my computer be very reliable. Which is neither when software is so bloated with all these features that make it slower and less reliable. I say keep the less important features out of the code period, since even if can turn something off, windows seems to keep the over bloated stuff hanging around, still taking up disk space, keeping DDL's in memory, bloating the registry, etc.

gavin.burgess
gavin.burgess

My problem is the opposite. The default on my machine is set to check the box and disable the snap function on startup and nothing I do can apparently change that. Any ideas?

pbug56
pbug56

I tried it. Next thing I know, whenever my mouse pointer passed over certain things, I had a computer voice telling me what I could do with the item I was passing over.

Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Never bothered with snap. Something useless probably coppied from OS X or elsewhere.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

We're all over you like stink on fresh schitt. X-(

john3347
john3347

I am far beyond jumping and snapping, and docking and blocking. I am surprised, yet ever so thankful that they didn't force worthless "Gadgets" in the faces of those who do not want them. I just want my computer to work. This, along with Jumping, and Libraries (which further screws up a total train wreck that Vista Windows Explorer was), and a few other new "Features" makes an otherwise fine working OS miserable to try to live with. It is such a shame that one has to spend 6 months accumulating and applying tips and tweaks such as this along with third party software (Classic Shell for instance) to make Windows 7 into something that should be optional from the start. I am still looking for a third party fix to totally eliminate (or disable and hide) the multiple user provisions of Windows Explorer. This also should be optional. I am the sole user of my computer. I don't need a "Public" folder, a "Guest" folder, a "something else" folder, etc.

BillGates_z
BillGates_z

Yet another "feature" whose controls are buried in absurdly hard to find places. What, no ribbon?

Rodo1
Rodo1

This "feature" is just one of several that has made me decide to part company with Microsoft after XP is no longer supported. If they spent as much effort on fixing security problems and other bugs as they do on "features" like this and transparent windows and other eye-candy they could have a rock solid, usable OS. As it is now all they are doing is pandering to computer illiterates. I'm going to Linux as soon as possible. 20 years with MS is enough. EDIT: And furthermore it looks like with the new UI they are just trying to make it look like GNOME or the Mac.

Rob C
Rob C

There should be single setting somewhere, that when ticked, will turn off all that crap. EG - - No Sticky keys - No Snap - Will revert to Classic mode the - - Start Menu - Control Panel - Windows Explorer And will show File Extensions, and will not hide Folders/Files. In other words, it will just let us control freaks, control everything. If we wanted flashy/glossy we would get an Apple Mac, and use Chrome.

pgit
pgit

Obviously it's a matter of taste, some find snap useful, I don't. Great tip.

jeman022004
jeman022004

Thanks for the tip. That is an ok feature for Desktops, but annoying on my laptop. No more annoying snap!!

krsmav
krsmav

Sysop - Please delete this spam.

usmie
usmie

Well, in my part as a secretary do more job every now and then Snap is very helpful for me. I can type two papers in the same time without disturbing the other one... Snap is a very nice feature for doing fast typing job.

mikaej
mikaej

Great! Now I'm not annoyed anymore by w7

kevsan
kevsan

I despise anything Microsoft do automatically when it comes to the desktop . I prefer it when I have control over what I see and how I see it. The snap feature may be some whiz bang gadget but when a computer is shared, especially with those with little understanding of operating systems, it just results in more Help Line calls.

PoppaTab
PoppaTab

I use snap nearly every day in one way or another. If I want to compare two graphic images, if I want to compare areas in Excel sheets, if I want to compare documents. Snap works well for me. I can also see how snap would irritate some folks with multiple monitors and the like. Sometimes instead of bring up a folder sync program I snap the two windows for the same deal. There are many situations where snap is of great use.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

I haven't even used it once and I can already tell you that it will be as annoying as the retarded animations introduced in win95 & up I'm sure that if I got forced to use win7 that I'd be looking for a way to shut as much crap off as I can including snap, libraries, etc.

gharlow
gharlow

I have a three monitor configuration, and everytime I move a window from one monitor to another it would "snap". A few seconds on Google and it was GONE!

Tommy S.
Tommy S.

Its one of the best NEW feature in Windows 7.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Do you like the Snap feature in Windows 7? Or, do you find it annoying?

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