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How to Keep a Window Always on Top in Windows 10 & 11

When working with multiple windows, it is natural that you might want to pin a window and keep it always on top. This is particularly useful on small screens with limited real estate.

Some programs, like the Windows Calculator, already include a dedicated ‘stay on top’ button. It has a dedicated button to pin it on top of the other windows. However, most programs don’t have this option. However, most programs don’t offer this feature. Fortunately, with free software like AutoHotKey and PowerToys, you can create a custom ‘always on top’ option for any window—be it a browser, media player, sticky notes, or Office apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Simply toggle this option, and the window will remain pinned above others.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you four methods to keep a window always on top. Follow the method of your choice.

Before You Begin

  • Install programs require administrator rights.

How do I Keep a Window Always on Top

1. Using AutoHotKey

AutoHotKey is a free and open-source automation and macro software for Windows. Using it, you can assign a keyboard shortcut, like “Ctrl + Shift + Space” to keep a window always on top. Here’s how.

  1. Go to the official AutoHotKey GitHub page.
  2. Scroll down to the Assets section and download the Setup file.
  3. Double-click on the downloaded installer and install AutoHotKey.
  4. On the desktop, right-click and select “New > Text Document”.
  5. Name the file as “alwayOnTop.ahk”. You must replace the “.txt” extension with “.ahk.”
  6. Keep window always on top 02
  7. Right-click on the file and select “Open with > Notepad.”
  8. In the file, copy and paste the below script.
    ; Always on Top (Shift + Ctrl + Space)
    ^+Space:: WinSet("AlwaysOnTop", "Toggle", "A")

    Keep window always on top 01
  9. Press the “Ctrl + S” keyboard shortcut to save the file.
  10. Close the Notepad window.
  11. Double-click on the newly created file to run it.

As long as the script is running in the background, you can set any window on top. Simply select the window to focus it and press the “Ctrl + Shift + Space” keyboard shortcut. To normalize the window behavior, select the window and press the same keyboard shortcut again.

If you want to customize the keyboard shortcut, here’s a helpful page you can follow.

Note: Windows might display a malicious tool warning when downloading AutoHotKey. This warning occurs because AutoHotKey operates in the background to monitor and automate tasks, which can be mistaken for malicious activity. You can safely ignore this warning. Just make sure to download AutoHotKey from its official website or GitHub page.

2. Using PowerToys ‘Always On Top’ Utility

PowerToys is a free and open-source application designed and developed by Microsoft. It is a collection of useful utilities that make customizing and using Windows easy. One of those utilities is “Always On Top.” It allows you to pin any window on top using a keyboard shortcut. Here’s how.

  1. Download and install PowerToys from here.
  2. After installing, open PowerToys by searching for it in the Start menu.
  3. Select the “Always On Top” option on the sidebar.
  4. Toggle the “Enable Always On Top” option to ON.
  5. You can see the activation shortcut under the toggle.
  6. select a window you want to keep on top and press the shortcut.
PowerToys Always On Top utility

3. Using the ‘WindowTop Toolbar’ to Pin Windows On Top

WindowTop is a simple and portable software to pin any window on top of the other windows. What’s special about WindowTop is that it has a few other interesting features like the ability to change the opacity of a target window. If you are looking for a program that offers more features and customizations, try WindowTop.

Note: WindowTop is available in both free and paid versions. The basic features such as pinning a window on top are free. However, advanced features such as picture-in-picture (PiP) mode, anchors, etc., require a paid upgrade.

  1. First download WindowTop, extract it, open the extracted folder, and double-click on the “WindowTop.exe” file to launch the program.
Keep window always on top 03
  1. Once it opens, mouse over the title bar of a window you want to display a new dropdown icon.
  2. Click the dropdown icon and select the “Set Top” option to pin the window on top.
Keep window always on top 04

To reset, click on the “Set Top” option again.

4. Use TurboTop to Make a Window Stay on Top

If you are looking for a lightweight and simpler but purpose-built program then TurboTop is what you need. Here’s how to use it.

First, go to the official website, download TurboTo, and install it like any other software. Once installed, launch TurboTop from the start menu.

After that, click on the TurboTop icon in the taskbar. You will see a list of all the available app windows you can set on top. Select the window you want to pin on top and you are done.

Selecting it again will unpin it.

Keep window always on top 05

If you have any questions or need help, comment below. I will answer.

5 thoughts on “How to Keep a Window Always on Top in Windows 10 & 11”

  1. Avatar for David

    AHK Great just what I needed thanks, works well but you missed an instruction. The file needs to be right clicked and set to “open with AutoHotKey”. Otherwise the text editor just opens.

    1. Avatar for Bashkarla

      Hi David, thanks for your input. However, AutoHotKey should automatically associate with the .ahk file extension. That’s the reason why you can simply double-click on it.

      In your case, the extension might be associated with a text editor. That might be the reason why you needed to select ‘Open with AutoHotKey.’

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