How to Open Multiple Windows of the Same App on Windows 10/11

People often use multiple instances of the same program in order to boost their productivity. Programs such as Excel and Word allow multiple spreadsheets and documents open at the same time. But some programs don’t allow this. So, this time, let’s discuss how to open multiple windows of the same app on Windows and boost your productivity using those stubborn apps.

While Windows allow most programs to run on multiple instances such as Notepad, Paint, File Explorer, Photos, Word, Excel, and many more, for some reason, some programs can only run once instance of themselves which stifles productivity and makes having an additional computer necessary. Fortunately, users can get around that limitation. There are actually several ways to open multiple windows of the same app on Windows depending on what type of program you’re trying to open multiple times.

We’ll discuss each of them here in this tutorial. And since Windows 10 is the current prevalent version of Windows, this tutorial applies to Windows 10 and maybe even Windows 11 users. On a side note, having an additional screen or two will do wonders when running multiple apps or multiple instances of the same app.

Method 1: Open Multiple Windows – Relaunch the Program

This is the easiest method as many applications are developed to run in multiple instances. The best example is File Explorer. You can open multiple windows of it to view the contents of each drive or major folder individually. The same goes with Command Prompt, Notepad, Paint, Calculator, and browsers like Firefox and Chrome.

Simply type the app’s name on the search and open as many windows as you wish. If you have a shortcut to these apps on your taskbar, simply pressing the Shift key while clicking on the shortcut, opens as many windows in as many clicks, that is if the program supports multiple windows.

Method 2: Run Multiple Instances of a Program – Use Different Windows Accounts

You’ll eventually encounter a program that doesn’t respond to the first method. The second method is by relaunching the program in question as a different Windows user. If you use two or more user accounts on the same PC, you can open just as many instances of the same program.

run multiple instances of a program

In case you don’t have other user accounts on your Windows PC, let’s create one with sample steps. If you already do, skip this part, and read to the next paragraph. Or read on to create a new one. Go to Settings. Then click on ‘Accounts’. Then look for ‘Family and Other Users’ and click on it. Scroll down the right side until you get to ‘Other Users’. Click on ‘Add Someone Else to this PC’. Microsoft will ask how the person will sign in. We’ll only be creating local accounts so click on ‘I don’t have this person’s sign-in information’. The Create Account screen will appear. Choose ‘Add a User Without a Microsoft Account’. Set a username and password for the new account.

Open up one program by clicking its shortcut on the desktop. Then open the next instance by pressing the Shift key then right-click and select ‘Run as Different User’. Enter the username and password of the newly-created account. Another instance of the program opens up. Notice that it behaves as if running for the first time with no previous configuration or save data. The second instance has no connection with the first.

how to open multiple windows

Method 3: Using Sandboxie Isolation Software

Sandboxing is a method where a program is run in its own separate environment but still within the confines of the host operating system.

The two previous methods are reliable for most programs. However, they don’t work for games or other advanced applications. In that case, we’ll resort to isolating the instances from one another. We’ll be using an isolation software called Sandboxie. Sandboxie is a popular tool that allows you to run another instance of a program for free.

Download and install Sandboxie. Once installed, try running any program from the desktop. To run the second instance of the program, right-click on the shortcut and choose ‘Run Sandboxed’. Another window of the same program should appear. But if you try to mouse over it, a yellow border will appear on the window signifying that it’s sandboxed.

how to keep multiple windows open

To open another instance, you’ll have to configure Sandboxie first. In Sandboxie, create a new box by clicking on the Sandbox menu and choose ‘Create New Box’.

open multiple windows of the same app in windows

Once done, open the file location of the program’s executable. Right-click on the Shortcut and then choose ‘Open File Location’. Then once there, copy the path from the File Explorer’s address bar. Back in Sandboxie, right-click on the new box. Click Run. Then choose Run Program.

how to open the same app twice on Windows

A dialog box will appear. Click on the Browse button then paste the copied path in the dialog box’s address bar. After doing so, select the app’s executable file, then click Open. Repeat the steps in this paragraph for further instances of your program.

how to open multiple windows at once

Method 4: Use Multiple Accounts of Chat Applications

For most purposes, the first three methods should be quite sufficient in learning how to open multiple windows of the same app on Windows. This fourth method is somewhat specialized as it applies to messaging services such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Skype, Discord, and others. For this method, we will be using Franz.

First, download and install Franz. Once installed, launch the app. Franz is free to use, but it will require a login account using your email address. The app will get its compensation through your and other people’s email addresses. Using Franz, you can create as many accounts as you wish. For example, Franz can enable you to sign in to five different WhatsApp accounts which will all run separately.

open two windows at the same time

Optional: Virtualization

If none of the other methods work, you can run separate instances of the same program using virtual machines. The program instances won’t be on the same desktops though, but on virtually separate machines. They’ll still be on the same physical machine. For this method, we will be using Virtual Box. Virtual Box is a free virtualization software for Windows. You can also go on the Hyper-V route. Hyper V will be available depending on your version of Windows, so Virtual Box is the safest bet. Download and install Virtual Box. Set up a separate virtual machine and install your preferred apps there.

Now you know how to open more than one instance of a program on Windows. Was this tutorial helpful? Let us know in the comments.