Pinning a window always on top can come in handy in a plethora of scenarios.
It could be something work-related as pinning a calculator window always on top while you calculate your expenses listed in notes or something purely for entertainment like playing a video on a media player while you chat away with your friends on an IM.
The only sad part is Windows does not support this functionality natively. However, there are plenty of third-party apps that enable this ease of convenience for you; that being said, we are going to list the two easy and lightweight options out of the lot.
Use DeskPins to Pin a Window Always on Top
DeskPins is open-source, lightweight software that enables you to pin any window to be always on top of your desktop with a simple mouse click. Keeping a window always on top cannot get easier than this.
However, there’s a little catch, since the app is developed by an independent developer it has been several years since the app has received any update. However, the app works perfectly even on the modern Windows system.
Download and Install DeskPins for Windows
You can download and install DeskPins in under a minute. It is fast, easy, and straightforward. Just how any lightweight app installation should be.
To do so, head to the DeskPins website efotinis.neocities.org/deskpins and scroll down to locate the ‘Downloads’ section. Then, click on the ‘DeskPins v1.32’ (version may change) to download the setup file.
Once downloaded, head to the download directory and double click on the setup file to run the setup.
From the setup window, click on the ‘Next’ button to proceed.
After that, if you wish to change the installation directory, click on the ‘Browse’ button present on the window and locate the directory using the explorer. Otherwise, click on the ‘Install’ button to commence installation.
It will only take a couple of minutes to install the software on your system. Once done, the setup window will notify you of the same.
Pinning a Window Always on Top Using DeskPins
Using DeskPins is as plain-sailing as it gets. The software runs in the background quietly and works flawlessly when you need it to do its job.
Once you have installed the DeskPins on your computer, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘All apps’ button present at the top right corner of the flyout.
Next, scroll down to locate and click on the ‘DeskPins’ app to launch it. The app will be launched minimized.
Now, bring the window you wish to keep on top in the focus. Then, head to the extended system tray icon menu and click on the ‘DeskPins’ icon. Your cursor will transform into a pin.
Then, click on the title bar of the window. You will notice a red pin displayed right beside the minimize button; that signifies the window has been pinned. Alternatively, you can also press the Ctrl+F11 shortcut on your keyboard to change your cursor to a pin and then click on the window to keep it always on top.
You can also minimize the pinned window manually if you wish to do without affecting the ‘always on top’ status which will be resumed once you maximize the window back.
And that’s all about the DeskPins software to help you keep a window always on top.
Create a Custom Keyboard Shortcut to Keep a Window Always on Top
If you do not shy away from a little scripting and diving deep into the nerdy stuff. ‘AutoHotKey’ is made exactly for you. You can create your own custom shortcuts using the open-source scripting language and never touch the mouse during your coding or work session.
What is AutoHotKeys and How does it Work?
‘AutoHotKeys’ is an open-source and free scripting language for Windows that aims to provide easy creation of keyboard shortcuts (aka Hotkeys), along with software automation to automate repetitive tasks on Windows applications or Windows itself.
‘AutoHotKeys’ has a syntax designed in such a way that no matter the skill level of the user, they will be able to create a shortcut linked to an action by themselves suiting exactly their needs.
Since ‘AutoHotKey’ is a scripting language, simply downloading it doesn’t do anything at all. It requires a script to tell it what actions to perform; that is a plain text file having
.ahk as its extension.
You can think of .ahk files as batch files or configuration files but with way more tools at your disposal. A script can even perform a single action specified by you and exit, or it can also have a series of actions performed when a particular shortcut on your keyboard is pressed.
Download and Install AutoHotKeys for Windows
Downloading and installing ‘AutoHotKeys’ is a very straightforward process, you install it using the
.exe file just like any other app on your system.
To do so, first head to the AutoHotKeys website www.autohotkey.com and click the ‘Download’ button present at the center of the page. It will expand into three tiles.
Then, click on the ‘Download Current Version’ tile. Your download should begin in a moment.
Once downloaded, head to the downloads directory and double-click on the
.exe file to run the setup.
Next, from the setup window, click on the ‘Express installation’ tile to install ‘AutoHotKey’. If you wish to change the install directory, click on the ‘Custom installation’ tile to do that.
With the ‘Express installation’ option setup will only take a couple of seconds to install the language on your computer. Once, done the setup window will inform you of the same. Now, click on the ‘Exit’ option to close the window.
Keep an App Window Alwasy on Top with AutoHotKey
Once you have installed the ‘AutoHotKey’ language on your system, pinning a window that is always on top is fairly straightforward. Though it requires a bit of scripting by no means it is difficult.
First, head to the desktop and right-click anywhere on empty space. Then, hover over the ‘New’ option and choose the ‘AutoHotKey’ script from the menu.
Then give an appropriate name to the AutoHotKey file and press Enter to confirm.
Next, right-click on the file you created and hover over the ‘Open with’ option. Then choose ‘Notepad’ from the list to edit the file.
Then, type or copy+paste the following command in the script.
^SPACE:: Winset, Alwaysontop, , A
Note: The ^SPACE (Control+Space) at the starting of the command denotes the shortcut key for pinning a window. You can learn more about the modifier symbols and set your own custom shortcut key by heading to the ‘AutoHotKey’ website autohotkey.com/Hotkeys.htm
After that, click on the ‘File’ tab present at the top right corner of the file and choose the ‘Save’ option. Alternatively, you can also press the Ctrl+S shortcut on your keyboard to save the file.
Once saved, exit the file and double-click on it to run. You can now pin any window always on top by simply pressing Ctrl+Space (or the shortcut key specified by you in the
.ahk file)on your keyboard.
Whenever a script is running on the system, you will notice a green ‘AutoHotKey’ icon in your tray icons. To temporarily disable a running script, right-click on it. Then, choose the ‘Pause this script’ option.
And that’s all about how you can keep a window always on top using AutoHotKey.
There you go folks, that’s all there is to it to keep a window always on top.