Wednesday, April 09, 2008

How to rescue an off-screen window

On Windows, it is possible to get into a situation where one or more application windows are positioned entirely outside of the bounds of the viewable area of the monitor. This can sometimes happen with a machine in a multi-monitor setup where one of the monitors is disconnected; an application window that is in the minimized state at the time that a monitor is unplugged can, when the window is restored (un-minimized), be restored to a position somewhere off the screen, in what was the viewable area of the disconnected monitor.

Here's one way to "rescue" such an off-screen window and bring it back onto the active monitor:

  1. Make the off-screen window the active window by clicking on its icon in the Windows Taskbar.
  2. Press Alt+Space, and then press the M key. This will activate the window's system menu, and put the window into "move mode."
  3. Press any arrow key once. This will put Windows into a mode where moving your mouse will drag the active window around the desktop (even without holding in a mouse button).
  4. Move the mouse around until the window reappears on the active monitor.
  5. Left-click once with the mouse (anywhere) to exit "move mode."

That's it! This works on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. I hope this helps!

10 comments:

  1. Thank you so so much- I was getting so mad at my computer. And just so you know I have Vista and it worked!

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  2. Thanks, simple trick but saves some serious frustration!

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  3. Dude, you are a friggin GENIUS!!!! I used to have my laptop set to multiple monitors but took one off and have been struggling for months to find a particular window that used to be on the other monitor. Even when I put another monitor back on the laptop that window would not appear. I followed your steps and BAM!!!!! Back in business! Awesome!

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  4. Thank you for posting this.

    I'm running Windows 7 on a laptop, and half my programs open up windows that are too long (or tall, I guess you'd say) for the laptop screen. Can't make the windows smaller if you can't access the bottom of the window.

    This solves the problem. Thanks bunches.

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  5. Thank you so much! This works in Windows 7 too. I consider myself a pretty computer savvy person, but this was driving me crazy : ).

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  6. Thanks mate - this will prevent loads of frustration!

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  7. Works on windows 8 too! Great post!

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  8. worked great, like a charm, thanks a lot!

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  9. Wow, you're a genius! Thanks, got my chrome task manager back into view

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  10. Works on Windows 10 as well!

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