Microsoft Windows offers some quite amazing multi-tasking features, making it very easy to work on more than one thing at the same time. However, it still lacks a very important multi-tasking feature, “Always on top window”. This feature is extremely important in scenarios where you need to interact with a window often or there is something visual in it (a video, perhaps).
Fortunately, there is an app for almost every problem. You can easily download a third-party app that will let you set any window as “always on top”. Most of these apps are free to use, but some may offer paid version with some additional features.
Furthermore, as developers already know that Windows doesn’t offer built-in always on top window feature, they add this feature right in their software. All you need to do is enable this feature in the specified software or app that you are using.
In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to set a windows always on top using different tools.
Enable Always on Top Feature in VLC Media Player
VLC media player is one of the most used media players, which is why it deserves to get the always on top feature. Many people need to see videos while working on something else, whether for entertainment or following instructions. Fortunately, we don’t have to opt for third-party tools as VLC media player comes with this feature built-in.
To enable window always on top feature, click on “Tools” in the main interface of VLC and then click on “Preferences”.
In the preferences, click on “Video” tab and check the option “Always on top”. Now the VLC media player window will always stay on top while the video is playing until you uncheck this option.
Make your Browser Window always on top
There can be many reason why you may want to keep your browser window always on top. You might be following some specific text, picture or video based instructions or you are simple using YouTube and want to make sure the video is always in your sight.
For this purpose, there are many extensions available for both Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, all you need to do is choose the best. There is an extension named “Always on Top” available for both Chrome and Firefox.
Just download and install the respective extension, and type the address of the tab you want to set as “always on top” in the interface of the extension. The loaded page will now be set to “always on top”.
Here are the download links for the extension:
The best thing about using Browser extensions is that whether you are using Mac, Windows or Linux, It will work the same in all three platforms.
Third-Party Tools to Set any Window as Always on Top
If you want make any other window “always on top” that doesn’t offer built-in always on top feature, then it is time to use some third-party tools. It might be a better option, because some of the tools for this purpose also offer some extra features and controls, that you won’t get with standard always on top feature of the programs.
1. Window on Top
Window on Top by Skybn is a light (632 kb) and simple to use tool to make any window always on top. The concept is simple, you will see a hand sign in the main interface. Click-and-hold on it to grab and then move your mouse cursor and leave it on the window which you would like to set as “always on top”.
This is it, that window will now always stay on top. To remove the window from “always on top”, repeat the same process again and it will be removed. If you are not comfortable with this dragging trick, then you can also use a hotkey to set a window always on top.
By default the hotkey is “Ctrl+F8”, but you can always change it. When the program is running, make sure the window is on top and press the hotkey, that window will be set to “always on top”.
Note: Make sure Window on Top is running, if you will exit it, the window will also be removed from “always on top”.
As the name suggests, this tool will create a clone of the original window and set it as always on top. The interaction with the clone window is quite limited, you can’t actually navigate inside the cloned window. However, it is perfect for scenarios where your visual depend on something, like a video.
The cloned windows doesn’t have any extra options and if you are cloning a window with a video inside, then only the video will be shown in the cloned window without any extra interface. This is very handy when you need to view a video while taking less space on the screen.
On top of this, the cloned window itself is quite easy to customize with adjustable size. You can specify where the window may reside on the screen and also select a specific region of a window to show in the cloned window.
To clone a window, all you need to do is launch the program and select the window from the interface of the program. Once selected, it will be automatically cloned and you can right click on the cloned window to customize it.
DeskPins provide experience similar to pinning something on a board for easy reference in reality. The program works from system tray with no interface of its own, it will stay in the system tray while working and will let you pin window on top.
To pin a window on top, left-click on the icon of DeskPins in the system tray and your mouse cursor will turn into a “Pin” icon. Now, all you need to do is click on the window which you would like to set as “always on top” and it will be pinned on top.
You will see a Pin icon on the top left corner of the window you just pinned, confirming that it is set to “always on top”. To reset the window to normal, just click on the pin icon on the window and it will stop being on top.
There are also some customization options that you may like to tweak for better experience. You can change the color of the pin and also set a hotkey to set a window on top with just a press of a button. Furthermore, there is also an auto-pin option that will automatically pin a window on top after a specified time.
AquaSnap is actually a full featured window manager with tons of features to control a window. Obviously, it also comes with the ability to set a window “always on top”. You are free to explore all the window managing features of this tool (they are worth checking out!), but we are only going to review the window “always on top” feature.
Just like Deskpins, this tool also works from the system tray. To set a window on top, all you need to do is click-and-hold and shake the window a bit to set it to “always on top”. The window will now always stay on top and a “Pin” icon will confirm that. You can shake the window again and it will be removed from being on top.
You can also customize options according to your need. Right-click on the AquaSnap icon and select “Settings” from the context menu. From the “Settings” click on “AquaShake” tab and you will find customization options there.
You can change opacity, sensitivity, duration and speed as you may please. You can also turn AquaSnap on/off from the system tray instead of completing shutting it down.
The best thing about this software is that it is feature rich and compatible with Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7 and XP.
SEE ALSO: 19 Beginner Tips for Windows 10
If you want a specific application to be always on top, then it is better to check its settings to see if it offers this features. Otherwise, you can always use a third-party tool and the above mentioned tools are more than enough to satisfy needs of many.
If there are any questions or you know any other nice tool to set windows “always on top”, let us know in the comments below.