Tip: Disable Aero Snap (and Switch Among Open Windows More Quickly)

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Sometimes, automatic actions that are meant to be helpful can turn out to be frustrating if they aren’t doing what you are really trying to do. For instance, we recently had a tip on turning off the feature in Word that automatically selects entire words when you may be trying to select just part of a word (see More Precise Text Selection in Word and PowerPoint).

Likewise, you might want to disable Aero Snap—the feature that automatically snaps windows to a certain size and position when you drag their title bars on the desktop.

It is possible to turn off this feature, though the setting to do so is not readily apparent. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Click the Start button to open the Start menu.
  2. Type mouse in the Search Files And Programs box.
  3. Select Change How Your Mouse Works from the list of items that are found.
  4. Select the checkbox for the option Prevent Windows From Being Automatically Arranged When Moved To The Edge Of The Screen.

Note that this will also disable the Aero Shake feature, which lets you shake a window to minimize all other open windows.

Also worth noting, check out the option shown just above the Prevent Windows From Being Automatically Arranged… option. The Activate A Window By Hovering Over It With The Mouse checkbox can really streamline how you interact with a desktop full of open windows. By moving the pointer to a window, even just a corner of a window sitting behind other open windows, that window will jump to the forground and immediately become active (similar to the behavior on Linux systems).

Tip by Matthew Graven, TechNet Tips Editor.