There are several times where we need to keep a window visible and always on top. Windows, though, doesn't provide us with an integrated option to quickly achieve that. As a result, we keep reorganizing the windows we have currently open and waste a lot of time. In this guide, we will see how we can force a window to always stay on top, to boost our productivity while multitasking on Windows.
Table of Contents
The first tool we are going to check out is DeskPins, a small and easy to use app that helps us keep a window always on top.
To download the latest version of DeskPins, we can visit this page and click on "DeskPins v1.32."
After we install it, we go to the installation folder and run "deskpins.exe."
The program is pretty straightforward, and we won't run into any difficulty using it. By clicking the icon on the notification panel, our cursor transforms into a pin.
Then we go to the window we want to make always visible and click anywhere in it.
A pin will pop up on the title bar. When we mouse over the pin, an "X" will appear, and if we click it, we can unpin the window.
With DeskPins we can make any window to stay always on top. Meanwhile, there are no limits on the number of windows we can "pin."
By right-clicking on the program's icon, we can close it, remove all pins, and gain access to the settings.
There, we will find various options, such as the color of the pin, or if we need to double click to enable the app.
We can enable "Autopin," in which we can add rules to make a window always stay on top automatically.
We can apply autopin to any program or file we want. For example, we can set it, so the "Notepad" is always on top when we open a text file.
To create a new rule, we click on "Add..." and we choose a name on "Description."
Then, we drag the target icon in the window's title. This way, the field "Title" and "Class" will be auto-filled.
You can read more about the class of the apps on DeskPins' help option on the lower right side.
We click "OK" and "Apply" to finalize the rule.
From now and on, every time we open this window, it will always stay on top.
The next program on our list is TurboTop, which functions only through the system tray.
The installation is simple, and after that, the app runs automatically.
TurboTop runs in the background, and an icon appears in the system tray.
By clicking the icon, we'll see TurboTop's menu, where we can select which windows to make always visible.
All windows with a "check" next to them will always be on top.
Even though it would be useful if the program could start automatically on boot, the developer hasn't made it possible.
One solution to this problem is adding a shortcut in the Windows boot folder.
To do so, we press the keys Windows+R and type the following, in case we want to add the shortcut for all users:
If we 're going to add it only to our account, then we type:
After that, we have to go to the folder where TurboTop is installed and copy the file “TurboTop.exe.”
Finally, we go to the start folder, right-click on an empty part of the folder, and choose "Paste shortcut."
Apart from making a window always on top, WindowTop can also adjust its transparency.
Moreover, it allows us to click through the selected window, as well as shrink it.
During the installation, in the following step, we need to make sure to not click on any of the codes.
We can use WindowTop from the bar on top of any window.
When we press "SET TOP" (1), we make the window always on top, and with "SHRINK" (2) we make it tiny.
A shrunk window comes back to standard size just by clicking on it.
With "OPACITY," we can make the window transparent.
An impressive feature of WindowTop is the option "Enable click through" under "OPACITY." This setting allows us to do anything underneath the always on top window.
For example, we can have Microsoft Paint under a picture and trace it as we would do with a pen and paper.
Finally, WindowsTop has a feature that has nothing to do with the primary use of the program.
With the "SET DARK" button, we can apply a dark background on any window. This setting is beneficial when we want to read something in low-light situations.
Window always on top with AutoHotkey
AutoHotkey is a free and open source platform in which we can create macros for Windows.
With a simple script on AutoHotkey, we choose a combination of buttons that will set the current window always on top.
When we install and download AutoHotkey, we right-click on our Desktop and choose "New > AutoHotkey Script," and we name it "AlwaysOnTop."
Then, we right click on the file and press "Edit Script." We will see a text file with the script.
At the end of the code, we add the following line.
^SPACE:: Winset, Alwaysontop, , A
Then, we save and close the script.
Once we run the script with a double click, we will see a green "H" in the notification bar. This icon means the script runs in the background.
With the script enabled, we can press the button combination we set, and the current window will always stay on top. If we type the combination one more time, the command is disabled.
This code sets the "Ctrl+SPACE" as the combination buttons. In case we want another combination, we can find them all on the official website.
Chrome and Firefox extensions
Apart from the apps that were explicitly designed to keep a window always on top, there are also browser extensions that do the same job.
These extensions are created to keep a tab or a window "pinned" on our browser.
The only drawback is that we can use it only in our browser, and not in any other app.
Apps with built-in setting
To keep a window always on top doesn't necessarily demand the use of specific software. A lot of programs have this function built-in.
For example, on VLC we can enable "Always on Top" from the menu "Video."
On the "Task Manager," we choose "Options > Always on top" to activate this feature.
Of course, this setting doesn't exist in every program we have installed on our computer, and we can't search every program's settings to make it always on top.
Until Windows incorporates a built-in feature for every app, we can rely on the programs we described above.
How do you keep a window always on top?
Did you find our guide useful? Do you use a program to keep a window always on top? Do you have any question, regarding the apps we presented in this guide?
Tell us in the comments and share your opinion with our readers.
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