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Some applications do not have the functionality like task manager to stay always on top. Is there a way around this? I am on Windows XP SP2.

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... wrong duplicate. – hichris123 Oct 8 '14 at 22:49

10 Answers 10

up vote 35 down vote accepted

I use Deskpins for this:


There is also PowerMenu if you prefer a context menu solution, which lets you set application priority and transparency from the context menu as well:


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thanks for this – Adam Aug 24 '09 at 17:39
+1 for nice screenshots. – The How-To Geek Aug 24 '09 at 17:42
PowerMenu has issues with Win7/64bit go for AlwaysOnTOpMaker as suggsted below. – user193655 Jan 31 '13 at 11:59
The adware that is installed with the link no matter whether I chose to install it or not is unbearable. – Boris Treukhov Aug 21 '13 at 9:29
Unfortunately the latest version of Deskpins as of this writing is v1.30 and the "Alwasy On Top" functionality doesn't seem to work with Windows 8. – neodymium Mar 15 '15 at 23:54

Install AutoHotkey and use this script to toggle any window as topmost by pressing CTRL SHIFT T:

      WinSet, AlwaysOnTop, Toggle,A
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I prefer this way cause I can use what I create. It's quite simple too :) – nXqd Mar 20 '11 at 9:09
Perfect match for the AutoHotkey users! Thanks :) iglvzx's answer has code for toggling the AlwaysOnTop to off, which is quite useful, too. – np8 Jul 1 at 9:27


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this is working nicely for my outlook popup notifications – Sam Watkins Aug 23 '12 at 8:18
Added this in autostart it is highly effective and doesn't change the look and feel of Windows, it is an hidden secret. Just CRL ALT T and the current window beocomes topmost. Very nice! – user193655 Jan 31 '13 at 11:58

The open source virtual desktop manager VirtuaWin allows you to make windows always on top (or always on another screen etc) by middle clicking on the window like so:

enter image description here

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Is there a way to do this if the application doesn't allow you to bring up this middle click menu? Like Google Chat. – cloneman Oct 13 '12 at 5:52
@cloneman ... or Micro$oft "Sticky Notes" ... (I too am still looking for an answer to this) – nutty about natty Sep 18 '14 at 16:24
you could use Autohotkey as outlined here to bind a keystroke to toggle the on top state as for Sticky Notes I prefer this app as it has a UI to let you toggle sticky notes to be on top – Matthew Lock Sep 22 '14 at 0:34

Ash's answer using AutoHotkey is a great alternative. However, the current state of the script can be troublesome. The AlwaysOnTop property is persistent even after AutoHotkey is no longer running. You could go through each window manually and toggle this property to off, but we're using AutoHotkey; We can do it automatically!:

!#Down:: ;Windows+Alt+Down
    WinGet, windows, List
    Loop, %windows%
        window := windows%A_Index%
        WinSet, AlwaysOnTop, Off, ahk_id %window%
    WinSet, AlwaysOnTop, On, ahk_class Shell_TrayWnd
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WinRoll 2! Middle click on the close button to set always-on-top, as well as the obvious rolling up of windows. At ~800kb of RAM on average, it's well worth having.

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  • Free and Open Source
  • Transparancy
  • Always on top
  • No installation needed (nice for USB Sticks)
  • minimize to tray
  • multilanguage
  • Plugins

Homepage and Download

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I'm having a lot of problems with DM2 on Win7. I can pin windows to the top, but the functionality to unpin them is broken. Even now, I've killed the DM2, but the windows are stuck in "always on top" behavior. – N13 Jul 27 '12 at 18:45

I've used WindowPinner. Small, simple, and does the job.


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I will have to back up and support OnTop:

It has a tray icon. You can use the tray icon to enable/disable it, or "exit". Other than that I've been using it since ~2002 and like it minus the fact that it does not work with a command prompt window (per the readme, even says this). It also didn't appear to work with either calculator or notepad, or both, but that's not a big deal to me as it works with everything else I need or want it to.

Adding it to start up with the system is also not a bad idea, otherwise you'll have to remember to manually start it! Don't know if it works with Windows8 or not though.

It originally came from the site PlanetScott but the site appears to have been replaced with a blank page. You can still get the software from this direct link.

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I use Pitaschio to tweak a number of Windows behaviors, including that one (right-clicking the title bar set to toggle the always-on-top state) and other useful things like disabling caps-lock.

Update 2016-03-11: as noted in comments, this tool is no longer developed or even easily available.

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The link is dead... – Guillaume Mar 11 at 11:22
I found places where you can download 7 yr old files, but it looks like the product is no longer in active existence. – fixer1234 Mar 11 at 11:52

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