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How to Use Split Screen on a Chromebook

Posted by Arch on August 14, 2019
how to split screen on a chromebook

Not everyone can multitask, but whether you’re good or bad at it, it’s inevitable that at one point or another you’ll have to multitask. Whether you’re talking to friends and family, shopping online, or working, multitasking is simply inevitable.

Luckily for Chromebook users, there is a method that allows you to work on two tasks simultaneously, intuitively called “Split Screen.” Check out this tutorial to learn how you can multitask better and improve your productivity on Chromebook.

How to Use Apps Side by Side

Call it whatever you want, side-by-side, multi-tasking mode, or split-screen viewing, this feature can be essential towards increasing your productivity or when you have to micromanage a lot.

split screen

The great thing about it is that it’s very easy to use. There’s no need to manually resize, pull or drag, or anything of the sorts, unless you really want to go that route. Here’s how you can split the screen for two apps:

  1. Open up your first app.
  2. Click the “Maximize/Restore” button.
  3. Hold the button until two arrows appear.
  4. Click on either the left or right arrow to send the app to that part of the screen.

Alternatively, you can press Alt + [ ] to the same effect, if your touchpad or mouse aren’t working.

  1. The app will be resized to fill that half of the screen.
  2. Bring up the second app and follow the same procedure.

This gives equal screen space to two apps at the same time. You can also use more than two apps in the split screen mode. This will make your multi-tasking even smoother.

There’s also an alternative method for doing this. And, this might work better if you don’t exactly need a 50/50 split.

  1. Drag two app windows to the left and right edges of the screen, respectively.
  2. Keep dragging the window until a gray outline appears.
  3. Snap the window.
  4. Hover the cursor in the middle (there should be a dividing line) until the adjustment bar appears.
  5. Click and drag the bar left and right until you get a comfortable split.

How to Split Screen in Tablet Mode

You won’t be using your Chromebook in laptop mode all the time. But, that doesn’t mean that as a tablet, it won’t allow you to multitask just as easily. Here’s how to split the screen in the tablet mode:

  1. Bring up two or three app windows.
  2. Swipe down with three fingers from the top of the screen.
  3. Select which window goes where.

How to Switch Between the Apps

Chromebook works like any other computer when it comes to some common shortcuts. Simply pressing Alt + Tab is enough to toggle through the list of open apps. You can also use Ctrl + Tab if you want to switch between browser tabs. Alternatively, you can use the three-finger swipe to the sides, if you want to use the touchpad.

Using Dual Monitors

Unfortunately, using dual monitors and an extended desktop is not something that Chromebooks support yet. Although some manufacturers or YouTubers may offer tips and tricks for this, there’s no conclusive data and information on how to make this work.

Maybe because daisy chaining monitors was not a priority for Chromebooks. It might be in the future though. However, there is something that you can do to handle your workload faster. You can mirror your Chromebook’s display to a monitor or TV and then use the split-screen feature on the monitor.

Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Connect a monitor to your Chromebook.
  2. Go to “Settings.”
  3. Go to “Device.”
  4. Select “Manage Displays.”
    chromebook mirror
  5. Go to “Internal Display.”
  6. Select “Mirror Internal Display” or “Start Mirroring.”

You can even use a brightness trick to turn off your Chromebook screen if you find it distracting. Simply press and then hold the decrease brightness button. Hold it until you can’t see anything on your Chromebook monitor.

Split Opinions on the Chromebook Split Screen

While split-screening works just fine, Chromebooks still lack one very important feature. It’s not easy or even possible at times, to use multiple monitor displays. Although Google said in the past that this is being worked on, there doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency about it.

How do you feel about using Chromebook’s split screen feature and would you trade its Autofill and Autofit functions for the ability to daisy chain multiple monitors? Let us know in the comments below.

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