Skip to main content

How to split screen on a Chromebook

hp chromebook 14 deal black friday 2020
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Splitting your screen into two separate windows is a handy method of task management that fits well with busy Chromebooks. Splitting your screen is excellent for doing research, looking up tutorials, consulting multiple sources, comparing images or video, and much more. Fortunately, Chromebook makes this split option very easy to do or undo at a moment’s notice. Here's how to split screen on a Chromebook.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • A Chromebook

  • Mulitple app windows or browser tabs you want to view at the same time

How to split screen on a Chromebook

Use the following step-by-step instructions to drag and drop your windows into a split-screen format. If you'd rather use keyboard shortcuts instead, skip to the second section about those shortcuts.

Here's how to use split screen on your Chromebook:

Step 1: Drag and position your first window. For this example, let’s start with a humble browser tab. Open your window as you normally would, and then look at the upper-right corner to see your options for window management.

Look for the small Window icon -- it’s typically the two-window “restore down” icon at this stage since the window is filling your entire screen, but it will change to a single-window “maximize” button when made smaller. For the purposes of splitting your screen, it doesn’t matter which version of the icon is there.

The top third of a browser tab showing the Digital Trends website and the browser window's Maximize option.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: Now, select that Window icon and hold. With the cursor held down, drag the window toward one side of your screen or the other. You should activate a lock-on function that will snap the window toward one side or the other of your screen, with a temporary divider line appearing to indicate you are splitting your screen.

A browser window that has reduced in size and has been snapped to one side of a Chromebook's screen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Release and the window will be locked onto the side you dragged it to, but otherwise, everything should remain the same. If holding down and dragging is annoying (such as while using a trackpad), try only holding down for a second and then releasing. Chrome OS should then show two Left/Right arrows around the icon that you can select to lock the window over to one side. It’s a little slower but could be easier in some situations.

Step 4: Position your second window. With your first window in place, it’s time to tackle the other side. Open up another browser tab that you want to access, and once it’s ready, again select and hold the Restore down/Maximize Window button in the upper-right corner. Drag this window to the opposite side of your first window, and it too should automatically snap into place, allowing you to release your cursor hold.

Now the two windows will be active on the screen at the same time, allowing you to move freely between them. One key point to remember is that the Restore down/Maximize button should be available on all your Chrome apps, so you’re not stuck only splitting browser windows -- you can also split a variety of apps and browser/app combinations as you need to.

A completed split screen on a Chromebook featuring two browser windows side by side.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 5: When you've finished with split-screen mode, select the Maximize button. This should return both windows to their expanded state and remove the locked-split screen. You can use the same trick to return to the split-screen whenever you want.

Since the whole process requires dragging and dropping, it generally works better and can be a bit easier with a mouse than a trackpad. To make the process even easier, you can try mastering some keyboard shortcuts. Or, check out our guide on how to split your screen on Windows 10.

A keyboard diagram with the split screen keyboard shortcut keys highlighted in red.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Don't forget the keyboard shortcuts

There are also keyboard shortcuts for splitting your screen on Chromebook, and this can make the process even faster if you plan on splitting your windows frequently and would prefer a shortcut to do it.

The shortcuts involve the Alt 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.

Tyler Lacoma
Former Digital Trends Contributor
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
Best Buy is selling restored Chromebooks for under $200
A front view of an Acer Chromebook 315 on a white background.

Getting a cheaper laptop is always nice, especially if you just want to browse the web, watch videos, and do some simple online homework or type up documents. One great choice for this situation is to choose from one of the best Chromebooks, Google's pared down laptops that work well with cloud storage and have a low cost. Another great choice is to go for refurbished laptop deals, taking a gently used computer, saving a ton on it, and giving it a new life. Chromebook deals offer even better savings if you're willing to limit your selection. But the best choice just might be when you combine the two together to get a restored Chromebook.

We've compiled a list of the three restored Chromebooks over at Best Buy that are worth taking a look at. They're all under $200 and, if you're just looking for something easy to work with and don't have too many requirements, any of the three is a good pickup. For that reason, we'll list the three here for you to look at now, but keep reading for a more in-depth analysis.

Read more
How to enable secure boot in Windows 11
Secure Boot setting in an ASUS BIOS.

Enabling Secure Boot is an important step in upgrading to Windows 11, as it's part of the system requirements. It ensures that unauthorized software can't run on your PC, and you will have to enable it before you install Windows 11 or it just won't work. Fortunately, enabling Secure Boot is as quick as changing a single BIOS setting.

Here's how to do it.

Read more
Grab this HP 2-in-1 Chromebook while it’s $250 off
Several Chromebook Plus devices sitting by each other.

We see a lot of laptop deals in our line of work. We also see a ton of tablet deals. Of course, a combination of both device types is what we call a 2-in-1 computer, and there’s one sale that’s getting a lot of love at Best Buy right now. Thanks to a $250 discount, you can take home an HP 14-inch 2-in-1 Chromebook Plus for only $450. Normally priced at $700, it’s hard to say how long this promo will last.
Why you should buy the HP 2-in-1 Chromebook
Chromebook deals can be found just about anywhere, but we do our best to highlight the sales with the best perks. In the case of the HP 2-in-1 Chromebook, we’re working with an Intel i3-powered machine running off 8GB of RAM. Storage wise, there’s up to 256GB to work with. While this may not be the powerhouse PC you’ll use for Adobe Creative Suite multitasking, it’s strong and reliable enough to be a go-to PC at work, school, or on your living room couch.

The 14-inch WUXGA IPS screen packs in a 1920 x 1200 pixel spread. When you’re using your 2-in-1 outside on a bright, sunny day, the display does a decent job of pushing away glare. And while 250 nits isn’t overly bright, the 178-degree viewing angle means you’ll get the best visuals possible from most vantages. Not to mention the touchscreen is Corning Gorilla Glass, one of the most heavy-duty names in the world of device displays.

Read more