How to Run Multiple Instances of an App in Windows
It may seem simple in hindsight, but many Windows users don’t know that they can run multiple instances, or copies, of the same app on their PC without having to install the app twice. Whether it’s opening multiple File Explorer windows to copy your data between folders, comparing two word documents side-by-side, or maintaining separate personal and work Web browser windows, the ability to run multiple instances of the same app is not only easy, it can also give your productivity a huge boost.
There are two primary ways to run another copy of an app that’s already open on your PC, and the methods work the same on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. The first method is to right-click on the app’s icon in the taskbar, and then left-click on the app’s name in the pop-up menu that appears. This will open a second instance of the app as if it were being launched for the first time.
A quicker way to achieve this same result is to simply hold the Shift key on your keyboard while left-clicking an open application’s icon in the taskbar. Without holding Shift, clicking the app’s icon merely brings the app to the front of your open windows, or makes it the active application if it’s already visible. But adding the Shift key into the mix acts as a shortcut for the right-click steps mentioned above. As with the right-click method above, you’ll see a second copy of the app appear on your desktop.
Although there are some exceptions for specialized software, in general these two (or more) instances of the app will act and operate independently, allowing you to visualize or manipulate data and text in ways that often aren’t even possible with a single instance. Additional instances also act just like their single-instance counterparts, so when you’re done working, you can simply quit or close the unneeded copy and continue working in your first instance of the app, or close all instances as desired.
Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.
4 thoughts on “How to Run Multiple Instances of an App in Windows”
I have two excel sheets that are using the same .dll. The dll sums an array from the worksheet, waits 10 seconds and returns the sum.
Opening different excel instances with right click / left click (first option in your article) makes it possible to switch between sheets during the sleep period.
However, using the shift left click makes excel hang in the active sheet.
They are different on my system.
But what really solved my problem was this:
Holding down the ALT key when right clicking Excel. Then I got a question regarding starting a second instance of excel.
Comments are closed.