It’s useful to have certain windows stay on top of others when you have limited screen space in Windows. There is some programs in Windows that automatically incorporate this “always on top” feature, but most programs don’t, and Windows doesn’t include it either.
In today’s post, we’ll cover three easy ways to add the “always on top” feature to every single program in Windows.
1. Use a Keyboard Shortcut with an Always on Top AutoHotkey Script
With AutoHotkey, you can automate multiple tasks with a single keyboard shortcut. The program runs in the background and sits in the system tray.
Our script will use AutoHotkey to keep a selected window on top of all others when you press Ctrl + Spacebar while that window is active. We will show you the script and explain how it works. However, we will also provide you with a downloadable AutoHotkey script file.
Download and install AutoHotkey and then run it.
Download the AlwaysOnTop.ahk script file, extract the .zip file, and put the script in a folder on your hard drive that won’t be moved or deleted.
The script contains some comments and then the following command:
^SPACE:: Winset, Alwaysontop, , A
If you press Ctrl + Spacebar, the currently active window will always be on top. You can change the first part of the command, “*SPACE”, if you’d prefer. Ctrl is represented by the “*” character. The symbols to use for other hotkeys can be found in the Hotkey Modifier Symbols section on this AutoHotkey help page.
You can put the script in the Windows startup folder (%AppData%\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup), so it starts automatically when Windows starts.
The AutoHotkey script remains in the system tray.
Press Ctrl + Spacebar (or whatever keyboard shortcut you assigned) to keep the active window on top. By pressing the keyboard shortcut again, you can disable “always on top” for the active window.
For script options, right-click on the AutoHotkey icon in the system tray.
2. Use Your Mouse with DeskPins
DeskPins lets you grab and use pins to keep any window on top of all other windows. Minimal resources are used by the program, which sits in the system tray.
Download and install DeskPins. Run the program, right-click the icon in the system tray, and select Options to change the Pins, Autopin, and Hotkeys settings.
You can change the color of the pins on the Pins tab. Tracking rate controls how often each pin checks the position and state of the pinned window. The pins are more responsive when the values are lower. You can enter any number from 10 to 1000 msec (milliseonds).
If you have an older computer, you may want to increase the Tracking rate number to avoid slowing down your computer.
You can also choose Single click or Double click under Tray Icon Activation to indicate how you get pins from the DeskPins system tray icon. The default is Single click.
You can have DeskPins automatically pin certain types of windows using rules on the Autopin tab.
Check the Enable box and then click Add to add a new rule. Use the check boxes next to the rules to enable and disable individual rules.
Click Help to access the DeskPins help file for more information about automatically pinning windows.
DeskPins provides default shortcuts for entering pin mode and toggling the active window pin. You can change these shortcuts on the Hotkeys tab.
To pin a window on top, click (or double-click, depending on the setting) the DeskPins icon in the system tray.
Then, click the title bar on the window you want to keep always on top.
A pin displays on the title bar of the chosen window in the color you specified, or in the default color red.
Click the pin again to disable always on top for the window.
3. Use a System Tray Menu with TurboTop
TurboTop also sits in your system tray like DeskPins. But it operates differently.
Download and install TurboTop. Then, run the program.
You can always keep a window at the top by clicking the TurboTop icon in the system tray. Displays a list of all open windows. Choose the title of the window you want.
On the TurboTop menu, any windows you wish to be always on top are indicated with a check mark.
To stop keeping a window on top, click the TurboTop icon in the system tray and select the window again, so there is no checkmark next to the window name.
Bring the Always-on-Top Feature to All Windows
If you prefer to use keyboard shortcuts or to use the mouse, there’s an easy way to keep windows at the top. Let us know if you’ve found other ways to keep windows always on top in the comments.