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How To Make A Window Always Stay On Top.

Sometimes you just want a program/app window to stay on top of any subsequent windows that you open, rather than instantly minimising to the Taskbar.

For whatever reason, Microsoft hasn’t included such an ability in either Windows 10 or Windows 11. So the only way forward is to install a third-party utility to do the job for you.

Here At Home Computers, I use a utility called AutoHotKey. It’s free to use and doesn’t have an impact on your system.

Make A Window Stay On Top.

Download and install AutoHotKey. You can Google for it or click here https://www.autohotkey.com/

On the download page, download the current version.

Once it’s downloaded, install it onto your system.

It will only take a few seconds to complete.

Once it has been installed, click the EXIT button.

Autohotkey download web page.
Download and install the current version of AutoHotKey.

Create An Always On Top Script.

AutoHotKey works by running what are called “Scripts”. A script is a simple command that tells the computer to do something.

To make a window stay on top, we need to create a script that will tell your computer to do just that.

  1. Right-click on your Desktop.
  2. On the context menu, move your pointer onto NEW.
  3. On the second menu, left-click AutoHotkey Script.
The steps to create a new Autohotkey script.
Right-click to open the context menu, hover over NEW, then left-click AutoHotkey Script.

You’ll see the new script created.

You can name the script just like naming any other file.

In this example, I’ve called mine “Always on Top”.

Autohotkey script on desktop.
The “Always on top” script.

At the moment the script is blank. There’s nothing in it. You need to add a short line of code to make it work.

Right-click on the script and the left click EDIT SCRIPT

If you’re using Windows 11, you might have to click Show More Options to get the Edit Script option.

Right click context menu open. Edit Script is highlighted on the menu.
Right-click your new script and then click Edit Script on the context menu.
Show more options is highlighted on Windows 11 context menu.
If you’re using Windows 11, you may have to click Show More Options first.

Enable All Context Menu Options In Windows 11.

Microsoft changed the look of the right-click context menu with Windows 11. Instead of showing all the available options, it now only shows the most commonly used. That’s not something that helps everyone.

If you’d like to get the full context menu back then click How To Restore All Options To The Windows 11 Right Click Context Menu.


The script will open in your default text editor, probably Notepad, but it doesn’t matter which one you’re using.

Copy and Paste the line of code into the script as shown

^SPACE:: Winset, Alwaysontop, , A

Then close Notepad (or whatever text editor you’re using) and Save the changes.

^SPACE::  Winset, Alwaysontop, , A pasted into Autohotkey script.
Paste ^SPACE:: Winset, Alwaysontop, , A into the script.

How To Make A Window Always Stay On Top.

Now that you have you’re script created, it’s time to use it.

Double left click on the “Always On Top” script.

Nothing will seem to happen, but if you look down in the notification area, or under the Hidden Icons, you’ll see a H symbol has appeared.

H symbol marked in Hidden icons area.
Autohotkey “H” symbol in the notification area.

To make a window stay on top of all others, simply press the CRTL key and the Spacebar at the same time on your keyboard.

Whichever window is on the top when your hit the shortcut keys will stay on top regardless of how many other windows you open.

You can still move and re-size the top window, just as you normally would.

To release the “Always on top” window, press CTRL + Spacebar again.

UK layout keyboard. CTRL key and Spacebar marked.
Press CTRL + Spacebar to make a window stay on top.

Summary.

Making a window stay on top seems like one of those things that Windows should be able to do naturally, without the need for any extra software. But it doesn’t, and so here we are.

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