How-To Geek

Bring Misplaced Off-Screen Windows Back to Your Desktop (Keyboard Trick)

If you’ve ever hooked up your laptop to a secondary monitor and then disconnected without remembering to move the windows back to the primary desktop, you’ve probably encounted this problem:

The application is running. You can see it in the taskbar, but you can’t see it on the screen, because it still thinks it’s running on the secondary monitor. You try and use right-click, Move, but that doesn’t do anything, and the window doesn’t move anywhere. You end up rebooting and cursing Microsoft.

Getting  Your Hidden Window Back with Cascade Windows

The easiest way to get back a hidden window is to just right-click on the Taskbar and select “Cascade windows”.


This will immediately cascade all of the open windows like this, moving your window back onto the screen:


If that doesn’t work, proceed with the keyboard trick below.

Getting Your Hidden Window Back with the Keyboard Trick

There’s a simple trick to get around this. First make sure you’ve alt-tabbed to the window, or clicked on it once to bring it into focus. Then right-click on the taskbar and choose Move.

Note: If you’re using Windows 8 or 10 you might have to hold down the SHIFT key before right-clicking in order to get the Move menu item to show up.

At this point, you should notice that your cursor changes to the “Move” cursor, but you still can’t move anything.

Just hit any one of the arrow keys (Left, Right, Down, Up), move your mouse, and the window should magically “pop” back onto the screen.

Note: For keyboard savvy people, you can just alt-tab to the window, use Alt+Space, then M, then Arrow key, and then move your mouse.

This should work on any version of Windows. It’s really amazing how many people are not aware of this little trick.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/15/15

Comments (495)

  1. Lindsey

    Thank you soooooooo much for this tip! I had a program that I couldn’t use at all because of this problem – even reinstalling didn’t help. Now it’s good to go :-)!

  2. Jesse

    This is one of those tips that will make you look like a top-notch uber-geek to your friends and family.

  3. obvious

    This is such a great tip – but really – it has to be top 5 peeves about how utterly STUPID windows is. This just doesn’t happen on a Mac because it’s smart enough to realize that oh, hey, you unplugged the monitor so let me move the window for you so you can use it. There are a million nice little things the Mac does like this so my tip to fix this problem is – dump Windows.

  4. Matt

    Thanks for this tip. I use a multiple monitor setup at home, with different sized monitors, and a lot of software tries to place auxiliary windows mostly off the screen. This will help a lot.

  5. Kornhornio

    What’s REALLY amazing is that this bug still exists. Let’s say there is some legit reason why the windows can’t be auto-moved to the remaining monitor (which there isn’t, based on how the Mac handles this situation). Shouldn’t we still be able to right-click, “Move”, and then move the window with the mouse? It’s stupid that the keyboard is necessary here.

    Not to take anything away from the trick; I’ve been using this in XP for a long time, and it works great. I was just hoping MS would fix it in Vista… guess not.

  6. Ms Davidsen

    This happened on my Mac powerbook just today and I can’t make it work with this windows trick – any ideas?

  7. Billy

    This happened to my MS Photo Editor, and it was really annoying because I can only view it in maximized mode, and thus only look at one photo at a time. Thank you so much for this tip!!

  8. Henry

    Unfortunately this does not work for all Windows Apps.
    Some don’t show the “Move” Item in the Menu. For instance Skype shows this Behavior and I have no chance to see the Main Window again without attaching another Monitor. Photoshop: The same…


  9. Mark

    Thanks for posting this trick. Just in time as this has been driving me nuts lately.

    In reply to Henry, I’ve noticed that PSPad also does not have the “Move” option in the menu. Arggg…why? Is it so hard to implement standards?

    “It’s really amazing how many people are not aware of this little trick.”

    Seriously? This is a really arcane sequence of things to do..I don’t know how anybody figured this out in the first place. Seriously though, the window manager should refuse to draw windows that are completely off of any active display.

  10. Bill

    Even though Skype does not have the option when you right-click the window in the taskbar, on Win XP and version 2.5 you can still get the move options by doing an alt-space and M. Not sure if there are OS/skype version combinations that do not work, but I would not rule it out without trying.

  11. Philip

    Oh, thank you! You are great and wise!

  12. Marion

    Here’s another case where it doesn’t work… Dreamweaver MX, so now I can only run it maximized… Even if you re-boot… I think I need to dig for the registry screen location startup…

  13. Errol

    Even nerds like me can learn new tricks every day! I knew about the move menu, but never thought I would be able to use it without the mouse.

    There is a jug of beer waiting for you in Australia if you ever get here. :-)

  14. Marko Mäenpää

    I just did the trick with Vista. Works Fine. Thanks!

  15. T

    Thanks, at times, even an computer literate needs such tips to help us out.

  16. Michael

    I guess that you also could use tile/cascade windows (right click on taskbar)

  17. supa

    Going crazy over this….thanks for sharing

  18. C

    This was frustrating me because windows xp did this to my “display options” window. Which deosn’t even appear on the taskbar. so i got stuck using my tv as my primary monitor (doh!). even worse, i’m in the middle of some torrents and didnt want to restart. Thanks for the help, I’m actually a little upset that i forgot how to do this in the first place.

  19. Sree

    I don’t even know where to start … THANK YOU!

  20. M

    I have this problem but only with Skype. was fine until recently, and using a second monitor (plasma TV) seem to have uncurred this problem. I have tried this tip, but strangely for Skype only, I have no move option on right-click from tool bar. On maximise I can see skype shooting offscreen to the left. Any other ideas ?

  21. xdozex

    M, your not doing the tip right, I also had no “move” option on the right click in my toolbar. You need to click the running program in your toolbar once to make it the active program, then hold ALT and press spacebar, this will pop open the move dialog and allow you to select it. After choosing move, press your left arrow and move your window to the correct monitor.

    Good to go!

    Thanks for the tip, this was driving me crazy for about a week, I was considering re-formatting just because I use this one program every single day and I couldnt access it.

  22. Richard

    when i move mode and press the arrow it does not work! and allso the keyboard does not work propelly. when im trying to press “I K L O P N M U” Numbers comes up. now im using on scren keyboard. please help me someone

  23. Tsubame


    One more reason to hate Windows: They really need to make tricks like these more well known. Thank God for Google.

  24. Bill

    Neat trick. Thanks.

  25. Barryvc

    For windows that do not show in the taskbar I use a little freeware prog called forceWindowsVisible (Google for it to find download). It lists all windows so there are lots that you will never normally see. The ones that are “showing” are highlighted in blue. If they are not on the scree just click twic and they appear.

  26. Jason

    Thanks Barryvc!

    This program is awesome, worked great to fix my problem. A note for others, the spelling is different when searching so here’s the link.

    Thanks to everyone!

  27. Stu

    Doesn’t work with DREAMWEAVER MX ….

  28. Stu

    Managed to get Dreamweaver back onscreen by editing the following registry value:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Macromedia\Dreamweaver 6\Settings\MDIWindowPlacement

  29. username

    is there a way to get windows to prevent off-screen dragging like osx does?

    in osx when you try and drag a window off-screen it “sticks” to the edge of the screen… windows stupidly allows you to drag windows completely off-screen… it’s annoying.

  30. username

    found a program that does this perfectly!!! it’s called allsnap

  31. samov

    Used the alt+space then M and the arrow keys to get my exposure control window back on screen … works like a charm.

    People should also try right clicking on the Start taskbar and choosing Cascade Windows… worked on most situations.

  32. samov

    Used the alt+space then M and the arrow keys to get my exposure control (3ds max 9/2008) window back on screen … works like a charm.

    People should also try right clicking on the Start taskbar and choosing Cascade Windows… worked on most situations.

  33. SJones

    If you right click on a task bar icon, and the MOVE option is gone, chances are the programmer(s) removed it. The “System Menu” can be changed by a programmer. So they can completely remove it, remove some, add stuff, etc. Also, a programmer (if they want to) can detect if the window is off screen and could compensate. Just thought I would give everyone a “programmer’s” perspective on this as to why it won’t work on some apps.

  34. Cary Schwartzman

    Just came across this thread and figured I’d post a potential alternate solution, at least for Windows Vista w/ Aero. — This is a program called Switcher, a free application for Vista. It works a little bit like Expose for the Mac: by triggering a configurable keyboard and/or mouse short-cut, all open windows temporarily resize themselves. Thumbnails of all are visible. Click the window you want and everything restores itself, that window selected.

    Although I agree: this is the stupidest Windows bug in the world. Why isn’t the window bound to the mouse cursor when I first click “move”? Isn’t that what the move cursor MEANS? Grrrrr *furls brow*

  35. Eun


  36. Tarique Naseem

    @obvious: You’re talking rubbish. :) It does happen on a Mac. I’ve got that problem right now, which is why I’m searching for a solution(!)

    Looks like I’ll just have to delete the plist file for the app to bring it back… I thought there might have been a nice Windows-like trick to bring it back, but alas no. :)

  37. cc

    DAmn greatly appreciated, started getting on my nerves!

  38. Deep Text

    Very impressive. Also very obscure and beautiful.
    The real question is “Why did Microsoft allow this to happen at all, ever?”
    Who could ever use a feature like this?

  39. Geoff Faulkner

    If the window is maximized off-screen, you have to right click the taskbar button and then choose Restore. Then you can right click the taskbar button again and choose Move. Tap one of the arrow keys, and then move the mouse.


  40. pgcath

    Perfect solution. Thanks!

  41. Matt Frey

    If only I had found this 5 years ago! Awesome tip, thank you so much!


  42. Alex

    Thanks for the solution.

    I’d tried using the right mouse click on the focused window but then the “North, South, East, West cursor” that appears doesn’t move the window, or disappears if you right mouse click of the top of the window, presumably because the window you want to move is off the screen.

  43. 5n7p3r

    Thanks – this helped A LOT !

  44. Greg

    I have this problem with firefox running on win xp. None of the options here seem to help at all. I never have the move command on the dropdown menu. alt+space and alt+tab do nothing. Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Otherwise kill me now, don’t make me beg.

  45. ViXaY

    Alternative is to install Multi-mon taskbar,
    and use the Ctrl+Alt+arrow keys to move between monitors!

  46. Kyle

    Thank you! This worked like a charm. I would have never figured it out if it weren’t for this blog and Google’s search xD

    Bookmarked, and added to stumbleupon.

  47. Cryptic

    I also use a laptop with an external monitor hooked up ~half the time, but the problem I run into is subtly different than the one described here. The program (generally Adobe products) opens on the screen, but it will place palettes and “Save As” windows off screen. When the palettes are missing, I can close and restart the program to fix things, but when it happens with the save windows things become more difficult. Any suggestions?

  48. michael

    Thank you so much for the info. I was going crazy trying to get the window back. THANK YOU!1

  49. Jack Tang

    Thanks for the tip!

  50. xzone9

    I used this trick just now and I am a hard core web progammer and computer consultant. Windows has so many caveats that no one person would ever know them all.
    Why can’t Windows assemble in tabbed versions so no one window is ever completely covered by another? Nvidia had an application that accomplished this and you could move the layout around anyway you wish so the windows would be different color tabs and arrange along the side , top, or bottom of the screen but the application itself was so resource intensive that I had to uninstall it.

  51. VoR

    Fantastic tip! Saved me a lot of time, effort and cursing! Thank you so much.

  52. h410G3n

    Thanks so much! Worked like a charm!

  53. gerrrg

    freaking simple and brilliant!

  54. Erik

    This trick is pretty funny. With all the positive responses in the comments, I thought it might be worth writing a tiny AutoHotkey script. Unfortunately, I can’t test it properly since I only have one monitor, but if anyone is willing to do so and report back, I’d be more than glad to improve it or add features. The script can be downloaded from here:

    Source here:


  55. Xzone9

    Trusting as I am I decided to give your app a try. Last time I downloaded something like this resize windows or someting; it was riddled with viruses.Your mini-app seems to work fine and I will try it from my office with two monitors and feedback again.
    I would think Windows would be smart enough to rearrange open windows including browser and application according to monitor setting changes, but sadly no.

    Can you apply a keyboard stroke acivate the application?

    Thanks for the app.

  56. Erik

    Xzone9: If you think there are any viruses or malware, you can download AutoHotkey from and compile your own version from the source code I linked to. You could also easily create your own keyboard shortcut, but that will require you to have the program running in the background all the time. I don’t know how frequent this problem is for people?

    One solution is to download the EXE I linked to and put the file in your program files directory, then create a shortcut to the EXE file, right click the shortcut and select properties. On the window that pops up there’s a field that allows you to assign a keyboard shortcut. This solution won’t require you to have the program “running” in the background and you can easily change the keyboard shortcut to whatever you want.

    Thanks for testing/trusting, look forward to hearing if it worked from your office too.

    P.S. The program hasn’t been tested on Vista and I have no clue if it would work or not.

  57. Xzone9

    Tested at office and it worked great so far. This looks like a keeper. I created shortcut and assigned key as you mentioned, and that works great as well.
    I run Windows XP Pro and whenever I use my laptop at home after using two screens at office, the problem occurs… just about daily.
    Any VISTA user would like to give it a try. It is a small, compact app that works exactly as designed, and fixes the windows off the screen problem. Thanks to Erik.

  58. Erik

    Xzone9: That’s great news! I suppose you’ll have to reposition the windows once you reconnect at the office so that some of them are displaced on the second monitor?

    Perhaps we could add a few features to make things easier. One new feature would allow you to save and restore the current position of your windows. Another feature could detect if your laptop is connected to a LAN and if so, automatically restore your windows.

    With these two features in place, the script would fit nicely in your startup folder. It would run in the background once everytime you log in and arrange your windows based on your settings.

    Any thoughts?

  59. tini

    I love you. You made my day. Thanks for the tip.

  60. xzone9

    Erik –
    The windows position just depends on which setup I had opened up the application last. Preparing window positions depending on the setup would be great. Your application seemed to basically put the window to the farthest right if the window was smaller than the screen running the app, while still fitting onto the screen; placing them each one at a top until they assembled into view.
    This works great enough as-is mind you and you don’t have to shuffle keys or wait for the window to finally appear using the arrow keys.
    If you could have multiple setups by choice so you can arrange the windows automatically by presets that would be awesome as well. Is that what you are referring?
    I would be glad to test it out. I would also be glad to help distribute the app if you are just doing it free-source.
    Thanks, Erik.

  61. hitesh

    i have a problem in my has windows vista home basic. i had installed norton antivirus 2008 from the internet. and then shutted down.
    but now whenever i start my laptop it shows me window page of my documents and on the background there is nothing and taskbar has also disappeared.
    i had uninstalled norton antivirus but still problem is same.
    i dont know what to do.
    plz help.
    waiting for your quick reply.
    thank you.

  62. Keena

    Thank you so much. you are the only site I found that could help me! and it worked!! thank you thank you thank you!

  63. Erik

    “If you could have multiple setups by choice so you can arrange the windows automatically by presets that would be awesome as well. Is that what you are referring?”
    -Yes, that’s what I had in mind.

    “I would be glad to test it out. I would also be glad to help distribute the app if you are just doing it free-source.”
    -It would be freeware and probably open source. Haven’t thought about distribution yet, we’ll see what comes of it.

    In the meantime, I found what looks like a nice freeware here:

    But I’m not sure if it solves the problem in this topic or not. Another application which seems to be highly recommended is: (30$ for one license)

  64. Xzone9

    Thanks for your responses Erik. The freeware link for the multi-monitors looks interesting. The only thing I see is that the resolutions need to be the same on each mointor, That would never work with me.
    I might try that one out but actually the little app you created with the enhancements you mentioned would be suitable for a simple no frills app.
    Let me know if you find time to reoutput another version of the “Show All Windows.”

  65. gert

    THX soooo much, i actually got this problem from trying to run a dedicated server in a game XD

  66. Paul Bond

    Thank you so much – I’ve been trying to find my find and replace for hours. You are a star!

  67. Phil

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  68. TJ

    Thank you, I have been struggling for days. This really helped!

  69. Valerie

    Thank you so much. You’re right, not too many people know this trick. I was struggling all morning until I found your article.

    THANKS again!

  70. Bayberuth

    Yep. Simple fix. Thanks. I’m in school for IT and I didn’t know this simple fix. Been bugging me for two weeks. Thanks for the tip.

  71. Plano_Tech

    Simple fix (ONLY IF YOU KNOW HOW!) Thanks for the tip.

  72. Brent

    Drat! The most useful page I’ve found yet, but DOESN”T WORK in my instance.

    I’ve got double monitors at work, a laptop at home. Guess what? The file I brought home is off-screen … in Mathematica. For those who don’t know, Mathematica is a multi-window software program, so maximizing it doesn’t help — the main file taskbar is perfectly visible, but the active window is still on “monitor two.” Switcher doesn’t help either.

    If only the different “windows” of Mathematica showed as separate tasks, but they do not (and not because windows groups them). Stupid bug. Should be able to switch between “terminals” a la Linux or Solaris. What a drag…

  73. shaz

    thnaks for that my kids always do this

  74. Erik


    I didn’t quite understand how Mathematica looks and works, but if you scroll upwards in the comments and look at the discussion I’ve had with Xzone9, you’ll see that I wrote a tiny Autohotkey script which might be of help, you can download/run it from here

    Unfortunately, I haven’t spent any more time on improving the script, but it would be interesting to know if it worked for you or not.


  75. Brent

    FYI — I finally figured out (duh!) that “cascade / tile” windows is ALSO available in programs that handle their own windows (and thus whose active window can’t be selected from the task bar). In this case the Windows bug has to be fixed within the other program (can’t be fixed via Windows!).

    Yarggh! It’s so frustrating having a window just “off-screen” where you can see the edge but can’t drag it or anything. Great help in this column, though. Wonderful stuff.

  76. Vaclav

    I know this trick with keyboard. It is functional for regular window.
    But I do not know trick for logon screen. Alt+Space, then M does nothing…

  77. John Schooling

    Submitted again to replace “less than/greater than” with lt and gt.

    I have known about the Alt+space M for some time but it doesn’t help for apps that have no system menu (like “Google Talk”). Having two monitors at work and two at home, I was able to find the missing “Google Talk” by changing my work display properties to be the same as at home, then move the window, then set the display properties back.
    If you do not have two monitors and need to move all your apps then the following MS Word macro will do it for you. Note that some apps will only be visible when you select them from the task bar (“wdWindowStateNormal” does not always restore from minimised).
    Sub app_move()
    ‘Author: John Schooling.
    For Each t In Tasks
    If t.Visible Then
    End If
    t.WindowState = wdWindowStateNormal
    If t.Top < 0 Or t.Top > 1000 Or t.Left < 0 Or t.Left > 700 Then
    t.Move Top:=10, Left:=10
    End If
    End Sub

  78. Fixed my problem

    Thanks a lot! Had problems with volume control not showing up. Now it’s fixed.

  79. Jamzy

    i have to say the idea didnt work for the program I was using but the cascade windows idea did – right click on taskbar and hit cascade windows!!!!! Fabulous piece of advice from the person who had that idea!!

  80. Jena

    This was a life saver as I was trying to install an old game I’d found. Now I can relive (replay?) my memories! Thanks!!! :)

  81. Shirley

    Erik, your showallwindows is a life saver the alt+space M combo didn’t work to restore What I call Sub windows of an application. Thanks so much to you, I found my SQL navigator output window after doing without for several days. You Rock!!

  82. Erik

    Hei Shirley,

    That’s great news, thanks for letting mr know. Cheers!


  83. kevin

    + 1 another thanks for the tip

  84. mcs130

    AWESOME… The typical “You Rock” doesn’t begin to express my appreciation for this one.

    Thanks, big time :-)

  85. DiiV

    Very clever… thanks a lot for sharing that!

  86. Gaz

    Great, thanks.

    One needs the save the “keyboard savvy” option since not all icons offer the “move” option !

  87. caananc

    thank you so much.
    I do use multiple monitors, although sometimes I switch the right one for my tv so I can watch movies from the comfort of my couch, but the volume control somehow got off the left edge of the left monitor.
    this has been driving me crazy. I’ve tried reconfiguring my monitor setup and nothing has worked. I was just missing the ‘hit any one of the arrow keys’ portion of the equation

  88. Gorona

    Hi thanks for this tip. Yes it works for individual items but I have an entire desktop that is off screen. I can see the taskbar and start menu also the desktop but no icons. I had tried to use multiple monitor and use my Tv. Any ideas of how to get my desktop back in action. Thanks.

  89. tom

    this was the greatest computer trick I have ever seen. You are tops
    Keep up the great work.
    Many thanks

    Bring Misplaced Off-Screen Windows Back to Your Desktop (Keyboard Trick)
    If you’ve ever hooked up your laptop to a secondary monitor and then disconnected without remembering to move the windows back to the primary desktop, you’ve probably encounted this problem:

    The application is running. You can see it in the taskbar, but you can’t see it on the screen, because it still thinks it’s running on the secondary monitor. You try and use right-click, Move, but that doesn’t do anything, and the window doesn’t move anywhere. You end up rebooting and cursing Microsoft.

    There’s a simple trick to get around this. First make sure you’ve alt-tabbed to the window, or clicked on it once to bring it into focus. Then right-click on the taskbar and choose Move

  90. scottiemac

    Another user mentioned this trick not working with Dreamweaver MX. My problem was with DW8 and again it did not work. I had to do a registry edit because my screen’s Y-position had been corrupted with the value “19e”. I was able to get to it through

    HKEY_CurrentUser/Software/Macromedia/Dreamweaver 8/Site Status Dialog
    (completely different registry location than with DW6/MX)

    and adjust my X- and Y-position values. If you’re running a program on which this tip doesn’t work, you should be able to use the “HKEY_CurrentUser/Software/” path in RegEdit and then work your way to your particular program developer and program, then look for some X and Y keys.

  91. Brad G.

    Awesome! Awesome!!!! THANKS! Highly Recommend this trick!!!!

  92. Kathy

    Thank you so much. I knew this had to do with the double monitor thing, but the move was not enabled on the application bar. However, the keystrokes work to get the window to move. Great stuff…

  93. dennis

    great trick, HOWEVER, my taskmanager doesnt come up with any menus when i right click on it, and Alt+space then M doesnt do anything, even with moving or clicking the mouse(after an arrow key)… i cannot seem to think of anything short of changing back to other vid card for duel monitors… suggestions would be nice.

  94. Erik


    I wrote a small autohotkey script which tries to squish all of the windows into the current screen size. See my post above or download it from this link:

  95. Kevin

    Dude thank you much. This one has bugged me for years.

  96. Phil

    Thanks, this has been driving me crazy

  97. Justin

    Thanks ! This was brilliant – I have had that silly half-window on my left screen for many weeks now. You are the best !

  98. nasaboy007

    Awesome tip. Thank you very much.

  99. eniola

    I never comment about anything…but I have had this problem for years…thanks so much

  100. yuko

    Thank you so much for posting this!!!! OMG_ the volumn control is back on my computer screen!!

  101. Wavioli

    Thanks a Million, was really buggin me, I use the Find and replace function alot in dreamweaver, and it was killing me that it was stuck off screen!

    You’re a legend!

  102. nate dowg

    thanks a lot! can now use several programs that were previously unavailable. cheers!

  103. Topper

    echo yuko:

    Thank you so much for posting this!!!! OMG_ the volumn control is back on my computer screen!!

  104. d0za10

    Posting in this badass thread! :D

    seriously, like everyone else i am ever thankful about having stumbled on this.

    i used this search query in google: dual monitors switch off screen windows

    and it brought me here :D
    i love you, and google. Thank you all. Enjoy yourselves, also checkout the tunes.

  105. Suppedaasen


    I didn’t know of this, how would I? :P Thanks a lot!

  106. Xzone9

    I am still using Erik’s little application to get my windows back on the screen. I have used it with Adobe stuff (Photoshop, Flash, Dreamweaver, and Premiere) and just about anything on my computer and it works great every time.

    It’s just an EXE that you don’t need to install. Keep a shortcut handy, and run it when your windows are misplaced (most often occurring when you had been using multiple monitors and switching to a single monitor).
    I have used it for months, no viruses or malware embedded in there.

    For me I use two monitors at my office but I take my laptop home and just use the single monitor there. Anything I had moved to the second screen when exiting is still over there, invisible, unusable, and frustrating if you know you just cannot reach it with your mouse.

    Use the keyboard trick or let Erik’s application do it for you, either way.

  107. AFann

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I thought that I was going to lose my mind when my misplaced off-screen window would not come back into view. Your keyboard tip did the trick. I felt so stupid and grateful after following your directions. Awesome!!

  108. Brett

    Thank you!! You made my day. My Skype window would not move to my laptop screen after unplugging from my external monitor. I was going nuts because I couldn’t talk to the person I needed to. I was so close yet so far haha. Thanks again!

  109. Circulus

    This DOES happen on Macs, in fact it’s even more annoying and doesn’t involve multiple monitors. I”ve got a browser window that somehow “slid” most of the way off the monitor so that there’s no way to grab the %(#%*# thing with the mouse (the top bar is totally off the screen). I can’t find any way to bring it back. Ideas???

  110. Battiale Fauber

    Thanks, this was killing me after I switched from duel to single monitors.

  111. MIKLO

    I hope this hasnt been posted already, I look but didnt see. A trick I have always used when and icon or whatever is on my desktop but I cant see it is. I go in and change my display settings to a larger numbered screen size, then I retrieve the icon or item and place it in the middle of the screen and then return Display setting to my default size.Kinda a long way around but it does work. I have done this on XP and Vista. Hope it helps at least one person.

  112. DBLJ

    I had not run into this issue for a couple years and had figured out the Move fix but just a couple days ago it reared it’s ugly head with a “sub-window” with no move functionality. Erik’s little utility just resolved this issue on two different systems. Thanks!

  113. cgac

    When I try to execute showallwindows.exe (in WinXP Pro, SP2), I see the following error:
    “…\showallwindows.exe is not a valid Win32 application.”

    What do you think is causing this?
    Tnx, Garry

  114. Erik


    I’ve never heard of this before, but I found this thread in the AutoHotkey forums:

    “The file was corrupted and a new download did the trick. I should have checked the file size.”

    The correct file size for showallwindows.exe is 332 kb. Are you using Internet Explorer? I’ve had some strange problems lately when downloading files with IE, I fear it’s a virus of some kind. Downloads finish very quickly because IE only downloads a fraction of the files. Has anyone else experienced this? Try downloading the program again from a different browser (Opera, Firefox etc.) and make sure you have the correct file size.

    If you still have problems, you could try to install AutoHotkey from here:

    then download and run the source script, see my original post for the link to the .AHK file.

    Hope that helps!


  115. cgac

    Thanks Erik, you were right – the IE-downloaded file size was only 106KB. Tried it again, size now 332KB, and it works like a charm.

  116. Karinka

    Hack again?!

  117. Luis G.

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

    I was getting desperate. My volume control was somewhere off the left side of the screen and I couldn’t find it.


  118. Danny

    I love you!

  119. AJ

    Just wanted to say thanks! Great tip, I had no idea how to do this.

  120. abc

    Any trick on bring back the sub window (like preference) which is opened by the main window?

  121. John

    You can switch between child windows of an application by using Ctrl+tab (instead of alt+tab). The child window menu is alt- (alt, then minus). So, to move a child window that is out of view, do this:
    ctrl+tab to switch to the hidden window, alt {minus} M, move mouse and press arrow key.

  122. homealone

    this tip made my day!

  123. Taylor

    Forgive me if this was already mentioned somewhere in the last 1.5 years of replies, but I have an alternate fix if the alt+space bar, then M procedure doesn’t work for you.

    I was having this problem with Macromedia Flash 8, running on windows 2000. I can only view the app when it is at full screen mode, and it completely disappears when I go into windowed mode. I ended up leaving flash in fullscreen mode, then moving a firefox browser window to the same monitor as flash. Next I set the firefox window to fullscreen mode, and then right clicked my task bar and chose ‘Tile Windows Horizontally’. This should take flash out of full screen mode, and correctly position it on that monitor.

    You are now free to position it as you please =)

  124. andy

    it’s crazy how simple it is… and i’m using computers for over 15 years now…


  125. Graham

    I used Erik’s ShowAllWindows script and it worked great for me. I remote into my office machine (dual monitors) from my laptop (single monitor) and offscreen dialogs, which, of course, don’t show up in the taskbar, have been driving me insane.

  126. nathan

    thanks :) i was about to throw my pc out of the window .

  127. John

    Oh. My. Goodness.

    This saved my ass big time. Haha. Thankyou soo much :)

  128. Rev

    Wow. Thanks.
    I am a keyboard maverick harking back to the C64 days but I had never known this particular trick and it really helped me just now.
    FYI My situation had nothing to do with external/additional monitors…just the one app opened up with the window bar off the TOP of the screen, so I closed it and reopened it and it got…..worse lol.

    I tried to ‘move’ but didn’t previously understand/know you had to hit an arrow key to activate/sticky the move function. I was like I can’t grab the window TO move it.

    This is one that will stick with me forever – thanks again.

  129. Noah

    Thank You for this tip!! Helped tremendously!

  130. Super

    That didn’t address the issue, nor does it force programs to open within screen parameters. (Thanks for the attempt at tech, but maybe think of a career in basket weaving, genius)

  131. jd2066

    @Super: Actully, it does address the issue mentioned in this acticle. It may not work in a permanent way but the article doesn’t say it will.
    Also no where in this article does it say that this tip will force programs to open with certain parameters.
    It just says it is a one time keyboard trick. Nothing more and nothing less.

  132. Patrcik

    Funny how this works, I disconnected my second monitor, windows thought it was still connected. So I went into the display tab in windows and unchecked extend the desktop on this monitor, and then everything moved over to the first monitor. Weird. I was looking for this because I thought it wouldn’t do that but it did.

  133. Scott

    Thank you!!!

  134. elle haynes harris

    thank you soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much this helped alot

  135. Anita

    I was so frustrated with a sub process. When I ran this from my main program I could still see my main process but not the pop up window. I used the alt space m then the arrow keys (when I right clicked on the task bar move was not available) and this moved it over. I will now notify our help desk that this is the way to do it.


  136. Bradley Price

    Thanks so much, but good lord – what an unintuitive way to do something that shouldn’t even need to be done!

    My Windows laptop at work (Vista SP1) uses 2 monitors and consistently fails to properly display applications or desktop icons when it is used without the external monitor. Incredibly bad design for an incredibly common usage scenario.

    My Macs here at home just don’t have that problem.

  137. Lisa Dennys

    You are my hero…saved me pulling all my hair out today. You will be my go-to computer geek forever!!

  138. Raymon


    I am one of the many people here: THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!
    finally my program back!

  139. Anders

    A real life-saver!

  140. Reg

    I didn’t have the option to Move the window. So I had to first open task manager and close dwm, desktop windown manager. Then, once it started back up, I pressed Alt + space bar, and pressed one of the arrow keys, which brought it into view.

    (This applies to Vista)

  141. Dee

    You are a lifesaver!

  142. nick


    You are my god

  143. Mike

    Thanks, it did not work. I think it is the application not letting be move it.

  144. Nick

    thanks muchly for that tip.

  145. rob

    awesome man thanks !!!

  146. AD

    thanks a lot…:) u save me from uninstalling some applications….:)

  147. james

    i have the same problem as this except right clicking on the program doesnt bring up a menu for me to click ‘move’. can anyone help?

  148. Thanks

    Great Tip!
    I’d moved from 2 monitors back to 1 and I couldn’t get to some windows. Your tip fixed that immediately!
    I’d found the move thing before but would never have thought to try the arrow keys.

  149. Sam

    Great tip. Did not know you could use the arrows to get this done.

  150. Ono

    Thanks much.

  151. Alex

    Hmm, Tile/Cascade didn’t help me! Everything which was on the removed second monitor got tiled/cascaded on the second invisible screen! Very helpful.

    The move trick has just saved me a bunch of grief.

    I can understand if a monitor blinks out for a minute or so you don’t want your desktop resetting, but when you start an application, you’d think it would go where it would be seen.

    Any tips for getting pop-ups to be bound within their parent app, instead of in the middle of the default screen? You know how many times I’ve been working with something and not seen the floating dialog box pop up behind another app on the other screen. Most enfrustrating.

    Still, this is a helpful tip and I will try to remember it.

  152. JD

    Thank you for your help. Without you, life would be difficult for many of us.

  153. Colm

    I had the same problem with PSPad as some other folks; the solution is simple, no tools needed.

    Even if the window is off-screen, you can hit Alt-Space to bring up the window’s system menu. Select move and use the cursor keys to move it on screen.


  154. JD

    this was literally driving me wild with frustration thank you so much

  155. PJ

    Thank you so much!

  156. CM

    Hello from yet another person who you have helped! Thank you so much for posting this!!!!

  157. AF

    I too am among the masses who have to say thanks for putting this up. I was told how to do it once but, completely forgot the “use the arrow key” part.

  158. CB

    Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, I have a card game, and the taskbar only has minimize and close as options. There’s no Move option. Any suggestions in this case? Thanks.

  159. Augusto Uyenco III

    Another issue is when dialog boxes, on multiple monitor set-ups, suddenly pop-up and appear on top of the maximized app, half-in/half-out of the monitor. Since the top of the dialog box (with the click and drag title) is out of the monitor, it cannot be moved or dragged back into position. What I’ve found is that my monitors were not graphically set-up accurately in my Display Settings!
    The solution was to go into my display settings (right-click desktop-properties-settings) and re-set the multiple monitors graphic to represent an accurate physical monitor set-up. You re-set this by clicking on the offending monitor graphic (1 or 2 or 3 ,etc…) and dragging it into a more accurate position based on the actual physical positions of your monitors. Whew!

  160. Vanessa

    OMG you save me from a trip to the mental hospital!

  161. Traci

    This problem has been driving me crazy all morning. You saved me a trip to the mental hospital as well. Now I can focus on my tasks again! You’re awesome! I love you How to Geek! :-)
    Thanks so much!

  162. Rick

    I didn’t have “move” on my menu either. xdozex, thank you for that awesome tip.

  163. szp@k

    Thank you, that helped me very much.

  164. Russ Jenkins

    Thank you for the help. This was very useful.

  165. Alex

    Skype does not have a MOVE option so this was REALLY helpful

  166. Todd

    This was it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks

  167. wertstahl

    yeah. you saved me some nerves!


  168. Gawen

    Men!, you save me big time!, thxs.

  169. OpusAtrum

    Good god. Thank you, thank you, and thank you. I lost my SNES emulator, and friggin’ Windows actually remembered the window position after reinstalls! Didn’t even realize it was just off-screen until I clicked it on the taskbar and maximized it. Who would’ve thought it would be as easy as pressing a friggin’ arrow key. An actual easy solution in Vista?

  170. Johnny

    I am from non english background but that is not the case, I think I have got english right, the problem I don’t understood the this tip at all.
    any one to explainn to me, that is appreciatable.

  171. dotlizard

    Oh thankyou thankyou thankyou!! i was going crazy, just yesterday I started using multiple monitors at work, then brought the laptop home (no extra monitor here) and I was going out of my mind!

    I won’t bag on Windows, really, overall I am a very happy Windows user, but I do wish Microsoft would fix this. I do have Win7 on my small laptop, I think I’ll do some testing next time I’m at work to see if it happens when I do the same thing (I was using notepad windows for cut & paste, and leaving them in the other monitor), and maybe submit a bug report. Who knows, maybe they’ll fix it?

  172. dave d


  173. Pedro

    THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH !!!! You have no idea how much you helped me.

  174. Max

    Hi, the free WindowPad utilitity is a nice solution that also recovers non-resizable windows!

  175. bonnie

    thanks for the tip. i have been struggling with this simple problem for some time now. now i don’t have to worry about unplugging my secondary monitor.

  176. Susan Stelps

    This application does also moves tougher windows like mediamonkey or skype:

  177. Jason

    Thanks, you’re a feckin hero!

  178. Trudie

    thank you thank you thank you. You’re brilliant. I’ve had trouble with this for sooooooooooo longs.

  179. Lindsay

    THANK YOU!!!!! The additional step of alt-space-m is what I needed to know!!!! Huge help.

  180. bw

    Many thanks! You saved many more hours of frustration. Even a right click on the taskbar was not an option with one program. Had to resort to the all keyboard solution.

    One would think that windoze would be smart enough to not put stuff out of reach….

  181. Jerry

    Its a great tip, but I cant get it to work with Microsoft magnifier it moves the settings window around but not the magnifier window.

  182. John

    Thanks! The tip on moving an application not displaying correctly was a life saver! Kudo’s

  183. Joe

    Thank you! I was about to borrow my friend’s (only) monitor to hook up as a secondary one but luckily I didn’t have to do that! Thanks, I can’t believe I never thought of this.

  184. lalala

    thank you. thank you. thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  185. Matthew

    Heh. Wonderful. I’m a Information Technology Director, and I didn’t know this. Been bugging me for weeks!


  186. Peter

    Brilliant! The window I was after wasn’t even appearing in the task bar. It was an address pop up for a groupwise email. Thanks Heaps!!!

  187. Brad Squarepants

    I had an audio task bar jump completely off screen, and thought my audio was doomed for all eternity. I didn’t even drag it off screen, it jumped there by itself. I searched pop ups forever until I found this site with the tricks….WHEW!

  188. Naim

    thank you so much

  189. Anon

    Thanks! This helped a lot. I tried move but then just moved my mouse. It wouldn’t work since there was no where to click on.

    The pressing keys (left, right, top, down) was so easy, can’t believe I didn’t think of it! Thanks again!

  190. jordy ragon

    my downloads are off screen,and i cant move it like it says to,so what do i do?

  191. Mike

    Brilliant. Have been battling with this issue for the last couple of years.

  192. Chikiko

    This doesn’t work on Windows 7. MS has removed the restore/move/size/minimize/maximize options when you right click on something in the taskbar.

  193. David

    I was looking for this solution, but found this as the first link in the google search I used. It didn’t work the first time I tried it, but the second time, the window was moved onto my display. Can you believe that I was using Maximize to get the hidden window to display – and I finally decided to dig a bit further.

  194. Chris

    Chikiko, I thought so too but if you turn on Aero Peek (it should be on default) then you’ll get a mini version of the window appear above its bit on the taskbar. You can then move your mouse over the image and right click to get the context menu with Move on it.

    I had the problem where Win7 had decided that I had two monitors in use, and the monitor properties panel kept on appearing on the imaginary second screen, so I couldn’t switch it off! I managed to move it back on to the main screen after finding this trick. Hope it helps!

  195. Brian

    Had the same problem for a sub-window of an application in Windows 7. None of the tricks listed in this article or in the subsequent comments helped, but they did get me thinking in a different direction to discover new Windows 7 shortcut keys that do solve this problem.

    If you hit the Windows Logo Key plus the left or right arrow keys it snaps the off-screen window to the left or right side of the desktop (of the “active” display).

    I’m entrenched in Microsoft products and believe that MS has done many things well in the past, but it is ashame that things like this don’t “just work” by default. The OS should just recognize that the 2nd monitor isn’t there anymore and should snap windows to the absolute center of the “active” desktop. This should happen, especially in light of the fact that MS has taken an active role in the graphics of their OS’s with DirectX.

    Thanks again for the tip!!

  196. Fred K

    thanks… two years and counting and you’re still saving butt… only read down a few posts and was able to do the deal w/o a hitch… and I usually know what I’m doing…. but this was a new one on me….thanks again… have to bookmark your site for next time…. (at the age where, if it happens again, I’ll have to start over from scratch…)

  197. Andrzej

    Oh god….. – thank you very much!! My life is saved :D

  198. Lez Carmen


  199. Refrito

    My search window in Dreamweaver 8 dissapeared and I was about to go crazy until I found this tip, so simple, so easy, just like a lifesaver.

  200. Bret

    Fantastic…this little problem was starting to make me think of a reformat…lot of effort for a “bug”…thanks for the advice…all fixed…

  201. Jake

    Thank you so much! This was excellent help :)

  202. Craig


    Thank you so much for your showallwindows.exe. I was having a problem with a missing find dialog box in SQL Server Management Studio 2005 that none of the other tricks would work on (focus on an Alt+ space would just shift to the main SSMS window) , I ran the script and Viola! There was my missing search box.

  203. Phil

    Nice Save. Thank You! You can also right click the task bar, and “Cascade Windows.” That should reorganize all your windows into a neat row and bring off screen and slightly off screen windows into view. Figured that out while following your instructions…

  204. Michael Paladini

    Super tip! Many thanks. ~mp

  205. michael h

    i love you man

  206. Shini

    Thank you so frickin’ much…I had so many problems with this and I finally got fed up when a photo editor wouldn’t come back on screen.

  207. Roach

    thanks, i actually had to quit using specific applications until i found this site.

  208. Coz

    Cheers, simple fix for a simple problem :)

  209. Jason

    You made me look so cool at a presentation of hundreds of people!! Thanks!

  210. Peter

    Thank you so much. I can get back to work now… I was cursing microsoft for a moment. Thanks again…

  211. scott

    What do you do if “Move” is not an option? All I have is restore, minimize, maximize and close.

  212. Brad B.


  213. ryan

    Doesn’t work on Windows 7 unfortunately

  214. Jon

    Dude, thanks a million!!!!!! Definitely saved my backside!!

  215. Mark

    Doesn’t work with VLC Player..

  216. Nevo

    Thanks, it worked.

    im using Windows 7 RC and this shit happened for the first time. ><

    But after googling it and ending up here, i got it to work. So thank you as i really needed to use that damn FTP client. :P

  217. T41

    thanks a million – thought i was going to have to reinstall media monkey cause i could not move it around the screen. That alt + space did the trick.
    Thanks again

  218. T41

    p.s. – i am using windows 7 – it does work, so before believing all the posts – try it for yourself 1st. Obviously it depends on what your problem is and different circumstances, but it worked a charm for this boy. Cheers m8s

  219. Mark


  220. Paul

    Thanks! Worked great for me!

  221. Karl

    It doesnt work for winamp apparently =( it just moves the cursor instead of the window

  222. Ted

    Thank you very much, works perfectly.

  223. Raoul

    Alt+Space mothod works, but taskbar menu method doesn’t work in Windows 7(it doesn’t have ‘move’ option in taskbar menu).

  224. Aernout

    Hello there and thanks for all the work in this thread.

    I’m running XP SP2 and have my Display Props window open off-screen. This window does not have a move option and I’m not able to grab it and drag it back into view.

    The MS Word macro didn’t work, neither did the cascade options.

    Any ideas?

  225. Brenton


    i have had this problem for about three months since i added a secondary screen to my pc!

    I wish now that i had done a google search earlier!

    Cheers and thanks a million

  226. Matt

    Windows 7 has jump lists without the move command, so this tip came in quite handy (the keyboard shortcuts and all). Thanks a lot!

  227. Josh

    Bless you sir, that was a really useful solution to post. Just saved my neck.

  228. Greg

    For Win 7, you may find that you have to open a second program and place your focus on that program. Then hover over the task bar icon of the program you are missing and a single item should appear in the jump list above it. Right click ON THAT jump list item to see the move option. If you only see Close Program, pin to task bar, etc…, you need to first loose focus on that program to a different program. Don’t click or select the program first like the instructions suggest.

  229. Anonymous

    Excellent tip. Thanks

  230. howcome

    Awesome program (showallwindows.sitadella) – this really helped me out!

  231. thankful

    outstanding tip dude!

  232. Mate!!!!!

    With my laptop, I use two monitors through a docking station when at work but just the laptop at home. SQL Server has been driving me insane by putting property windows and dialogue boxes anywhere but on a screen I currently have on. Now I get them back.

    This is must be the Windows tip of the decade! People have been replying with thanks for nearly 3 years to this thread and I reckon it will last as long as Windows.


  233. philippos

    man thank so you much, i had firefox without the restoring window feature for weeks! while restored, i moved the window to an out-of-screen, impossible-to-click place! <3

  234. geoff


    I dunno if you frequent this at all… but I would like to let you know that i love you! lol… Had a “sub-window” that was rescued by you… Thank you!


  235. xsexyxbabex

    i am sorry i wasint looking at this L:-(!. i was looking for when your laptop shutted down and you have written some think down in microsoft office word 2003 and how whould you get it back :-)!.if you know how to do it can you please sent a comment here please i realy need it!…

  236. Keith

    Holy crap, thank a ton! You just saved me a new monitor… I was seconds away from putting my fist through em!

  237. Mike

    Wow the keyboard short cut works for windows 7 also amazing. I was so used to this trick but after Microsoft changed things in win 7 the right click option on the task-bar was no longer there. Anyway wanted to say thanks

  238. Giuseppe

    the whole of my desktop it is off screen (on the right).can anyone help to bring it into view again???Please

  239. kharmin

    Thanks! I knew that there had to be a simple way to do this.

  240. Alchemancer

    Like everyone else here,
    OMFG Thank you! Who knew such a frustrating problem would have such a simple solution? Leave it to Microsoft to make such a simple task so difficult to solve, that seems to be their specialty.

  241. Carlos

    If you find you dont have the Move Option try pressing ALT then Space Then M then using arrow keys

  242. tangopeter

    Thanks. Great help!
    [in Dutch XP use ‘R’ (Verplaatsen) instead of M (Move)]

  243. Ern

    Really cool & useful tip – I had an SMS Remote Client window creep off the top – couldn’t find any way of bringing it back, even with trying cascade, stack windows etc, couldn’t grab an edge with the cursor…
    whereas using the arrow down keys worked a treat. THANK YOU

    PS Extra cool that this was the TOP Google search item, and that it has been helping people so far for almost 3 years and still going strong. Kudos to The Geek :)

  244. Li

    Thanks so much! My Photoshop CS4 fly off the screen when I tried to use it today. This technique saved my day!

    It is amazing to see the photoshop window moving back inch by inch when I hit the arrow key.

  245. ladybugg

    Thank you so much! I knew there must be a way to do this, but damned if I could figure it out on my own!!!

  246. Brent

    Great tips…thanks!

  247. Steve Boston

    Excellent fix! I was about to pull out what little of my hair ramains. :)

  248. Smacked

    Well, I’ve found that temporarily changing the screen resolution, even to a smaller setting is often all it takes to find your missing window (probably want to move window to center of screen for good measure before reverting back to other screen settings). Worked when that Alt+Space and M command that someone mentioned years ago didn’t.

  249. Smacked

    And if you are moving windows with the arrow keys, pressing the control key at the same time lets you get pixel precision movement.

  250. Hate of Windows

    thx for the tip and im cursing the MS for this, how they missed even in SP3 version of XP??
    I am sure they missed in vista and win 7…If linux could solve game problems i would never use this crap…

  251. Melanie

    Ugh… this does happen on Macs and it is incredibly frustrating because all of the trouble shooting sites are for PCs. Reason number six million and one why I hate using macs at work.

  252. Jessica

    adding to the long list of praise, THANK YOU SO MUCH

  253. Diane Jansen

    I can’t get back my original welcome screen. What should I do?

  254. KB

    This trick didn’t work for me (XP). Another solution is to go into your Desktop Display Properties and Go to the Settings tab and then click on the monitor or device that was turned off (usually #2) and UNCHECK the box next to “Extend my Windows desktop on to this device.” This worked for me!

  255. FilthyRich

    I always tried to use that Move feature and was never able to do it or figure it out, of course I was too lazy to read help files.

    To KB: my turned off monitor did not have “Extend my Windows desktop on to this device” checked.
    but it did have a drop down called “Display” where I could select (multiple monitors) or single monitor.

    althought I did not try it I think this might work also.

  256. JakeyBoy

    Ok, so what if the window I want to move is a game (Oblivion) and doesn’t seem to let me input any kind of button click or keyboard shortcut whilst it is the active window? Is there something in the .ini file?

  257. ricardo

    Increible pero cierto, es una gran publicación.
    Muchas gracias, he podido recuperar mi ventana sin problema alguno.

    Amazing but true, great post.
    Thank you very much, I could recover my windows without any problem.

    Grazie mille, ho potuto ricuperare la mia finestra senza problena alcuno.
    Ci sentiamo!

    Those mean that I don’t know how to say thank you for this tip.

  258. Nici

    THANK YOU !!!! @article poster and xdozex. foxpro was driving me crazy – sometimes even when I move it back to my main monitor before disconnecting the secondary, it tries to open on the secondary later. NOT GOOD when you are out on an implementation and need to tweak a custom prg. I may actually get the customer fixed and sassified by morning.

  259. Twinkles

    Oh my gosh, I could just cry. I know, I know, this is a few years old and a kajillion other people have said better than I, but…you saved me from leaping off the roof. Thanks :-)

  260. JC

    It is ashame that they did not think of making this easier. I have my LCD TV hooked on my pc as a 2nd monitor and sometimes watch streaming online (especially now with the olympics online in HD) so if I get to the computer and open Internet Explorer I need to turn the TV on or switch the input to be able to shift the window to my main display … what a pain. On top of that, I use Windows 7 and guess what!? they removed the “MOVE” feature when you right click the program in the taskbar …. guess they are making sure they will be able to get a new OS in a year or two. what a rip off…

  261. JC

    I guess I have to withdraw my complaint on this one. I extended my search and found a nifty trick for Windows 7 ….
    WindowsKey + Shift + arrow (left,right) will move active window to the next display
    Still took me a while to find this out (been searching for a while) but at least it is there …
    One less thing to complain about!

  262. Penny

    Took me a few goes to get it to work with Windows 7 too, but I did it slightly differently than JC..

    When the program is open, if you ‘hover’ over the icon in the taskbar, it brings up the program again, if you right-click on that ‘hover’, then you get the “move” option, so now you can click on the move option and use the arrow keys to get your window back.

  263. jul


    to resolve the problem on a Mac:

    1. go to System Preferences
    2. Display
    3. click on Detect Displays

  264. Mike

    I cannot tell you how frustrating this has been…. I have a HP laptop open in a laptop stand, and attach a second monitor to the left. I run both as dual monitors. I have Vista 64 bit and MS Word 2003…. and for some reason MS Word has been off to the left and off screen.


    I finally googled the problem, found your solution, and whala! victory! Thanks so much for this simple and effective answer!

  265. Elena

    Thanks so much! This worked on Win 7: “you can just alt-tab to the window, use Alt+Space, then M, then Arrow key, and then move your mouse.”

  266. Franca

    Wow! thank you :) Great tip!

  267. haidong

    It works, thanks a lot.

  268. Dee

    You are a “Bloody Diamond”

  269. Peter

    Thank you very much, that really has helped me.

  270. Fordlad


    if you’ve been working on two screens and unplugged one while having windows still open on the second screen you need to either:

    plug the second screen back in or

    go to system preferences and change your resolution. the window will pop back onto your screen… re-size, then put your resolution back to whatever you usually have it on!


  271. Max

    Wow that was incredibly helpful. I am currently running dual monitors and I moved one monitor to the other side of my main monitor to save space and my programs were opening onto a non existent monitor.
    I tried rightclick+move but it did nothing like this tutorial stated. This has worked on all of the programs I have attempted to use it on thus far. Than you sooooo much for having this information here, free of charge nonetheless!

  272. Gabriele

    Thank you!

    Without >our tipp I still couldn´t use my Dreamweaver anymore!

  273. Janisu7

    I just want to thank John for the following solution to moving the child or sub-window of an application. It worked like a charm!
    “You can switch between child windows of an application by using Ctrl+tab (instead of alt+tab). The child window menu is alt- (alt, then minus). So, to move a child window that is out of view, do this:
    ctrl+tab to switch to the hidden window, alt {minus} M, move mouse and press arrow key.”

  274. Jon

    Adjust your display settings (right click – desktop – settings) and play with the resolution / extend to second monitor / don’t use this monitor. This will bring -all- windows back within the screen, regardless if ‘move’ is greyed out or not present.

    I appreciate this little tip! I’ve been using the resolution / cascade trick for the past few years.

  275. Oh Man

    Oh my God!!! You don’t know how many years I’ve been trying to figure this out and the binds I’ve been in because of it!!! Bless you mystery guy!!!

  276. Jessica

    THANK YOU!!! I was trying to move a Word window and I could see everything but the very top bar so I couldn’t save/print or move! So annoying!

  277. dave

    Mark nailed it.
    “It’s amazing how many people don’t know this trick”
    How about “It’s amazing that people should even have to do this because Windows should prevent this from even happening.”

  278. John

    Thanks for the tip, worked great! I could maximise the window and get back on my screen but anytime I tried to reduce the window it flew right out the right side.
    Thanks John

  279. DeathCrunch

    God tier move. Cheers.

  280. Ed L

    Brilliant. I’ve been deperately trying to update my anti-virus software. Hopefully now my computer can return to normality.

    Many thanks,


  281. Eric

    That is AWESOME! I don’t have two monitors, but my monitor was only showing the right side of my desktop (no start menu, etc,). I knew the keyboard shortcut to open the control panel, but it was still opening off my screen. I was able to access it with this trick! THANK YOU!

  282. alec

    But windows 7 doesnt have the “move” option

  283. robert hood

    Thank you. You saved me !!!

    I rotated one of my Dual monitors and everything was off screen when I bring them up…

  284. Nick

    Excellent tip!

    One tangential question: I have my application back to the single monitor, but how do you bring the Save As box over too? When I hit Save As, the application greys a bit, so you know the Save As menu is active. Then I can hit Esc, which re-highlights the application. It’s over there, but not accessible. Any ideas?

  285. cognito

    YEAH!! thanks … why did this stqrt in the first place?? i did not unplug my monitor … downloaded an update for a text document program and suddenly my windows media went way LEFT.

    don’t get it, but thanks

  286. Marla

    Thank you!!

  287. george

    Thanx! I knew the ‘move’ option but didnt think of the arrows!

  288. Matthew

    Eric, in Win7 if you hover your mouse over the item on the taskbar until the preview pops up, you can then right-click->move on the preview, then use your arrow keys.

  289. Fred

    OMG THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks man!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  290. Craig

    Thanks, Matthew!!! Been looking for that trick for months now.

    *shaking head in shame*

  291. Sarah

    Thank you so very much, this problem just occurred and I would have wasted valuable time trying to rectify it without your help.

  292. konqi

    For Windows 7 Users:
    Shift+Left-Click the Task-Bar Icon, Select Move, Use Arrow Keys
    Yes! It’s that simple!

  293. randy

    thanks Barryvc and Jason!!!! forceWindowsVisible is really app!!! been struggling with this problem for 4months now as the right button window does not show an option to restore nor to move the window, this app just solved everything!!!! thanks much!!!!

  294. randy

    *really great app!

  295. glen

    Thanks for this, but this doesn’t seem to solved problems to misplaced screen when the application is running in background, such that it doesn’t show in the taskbar. I have this problem, and up to now I haven’t found a way to solve it. Restarting or exit or reinstalling the program didn’t work. I was thinking that windows vista keeps a record of the previous position of the application. The application that I’m having a problem with is this program (Desktop Calendar). I love the program because it’s very simple and it fits to my work. Though currently I have Active Desktop calendar, still i wanted to use that program. I would be glad if someone could help me.

  296. Gene

    I love it – thanks!

  297. 619

    i changed my monitor and screen size 4m properties and changed 4m plug and play monitor to windows original and applied it….now i have encountered da same prob all my icons r gone and only toolbar can be seen wit no icons at all ………………and i just cant seem 2 get the iconz bak or change my properties cuz every tym i try 2 open them da program openx out of sight on da left hand side of my screen which i cant see… me wat 2 do 2 restore my screen bak 2 normal

  298. josephine

    Many thanks! You are a life saver!
    I just wanted you to know that even though you wrote the article in 2007, it is still helping people!!

  299. Wayne

    Awesome little trick saved me a MASSIVE headache!!

  300. managana

    Thanks a ton…………………… :)

  301. rrv

    excellent tip

  302. Earl

    I am not sure what problem, people are having, but I did find the solution in one of Eric’s post above. I know people are complaining about windows that are opened through other programs that do not have a icon below to move the window. But I did download Eric’s Show All Windows and it worked. What I did was download it to my desktop, and then grabbed it and put it on my taskbar so I could always see it. I opened up my mediashout program which is the same as what some of you are running where it opens up a running program where I had to click on other icons and my window did not show up because it is stuck out there on monitor 2 and then I just clicked the icon Show all Windows I got from Eric and it my lost window reappears. The bad thing about this is that when I close my media shout and go back in, it does not save my changes, but who cares, I got my windows back.

  303. Dee

    For Windows 7 You can use Win + Shift + Left Arrow Key & Win + Shift + Right Arrow Key to move windows between multiple monitors

  304. George

    Dude — this is awesome. Thanks so much for your help!

  305. doubleH

    This was so frustrating since Windows 7 doesn’t have the ‘Move’ option when you click on the taskbar icon. But the ALT-SPACE, M key sequence saved my bacon. THANKS!

  306. Dennis M

    This doesn’t work on Windows 7, i like how you say it works will all windows versions…

  307. elmegil


  308. Rob

    Thanks for the tip. It worked great. The old vista disappearing window trick was getting really old.

  309. Embee

    Big thanks this helped me.

  310. Andrea

    you saved us from a 10 minute nightmare :-)

  311. dual screener

    gracias, GRACIAS !!! thanks !! domo arigato!!!! MUCHAS GRACIAS

  312. Bob

    Great trick – been a computer guy for years and didn’t know about this one!

  313. Ella


  314. fedon


  315. Daryl William

    Thanks for the helpful hint. I just have one more problem. How can I move a window that is stuck and have no options like the one in the picture.

  316. Mia

    Thank you so much for this tip! I was really confused as to what was happening. You’re a life saver!

  317. rob

    If it still won’t work, try this:

    right click on the link to the file, set it to open maximized, then click OK or save, then re-open the file, it should now be visible.

    Let me know if this helps.

  318. Nicholas "Lavacano" O'Connor

    For people complaining about how it doesn’t work in Win7, so therefore it doesn’t work in “all” Windows versions:

    This article was written in 2007. Win7 wasn’t out yet. Just hold Shift when you right click.

    Holding Shift when you right click stuff in Windows Explorer will bring up other options too (try it on a folder if you need a command line!)

  319. AlliPodHax

    Thanks a million, installed snow transform pack and it messed up my windows ,thanks

  320. Solomon

    Thanks a tonne…
    “…and the window should magically “pop” back onto the screen.”
    Oh yea.. It freaking did…

  321. Coby

    I loose windows all the time on my macbook pro after i disconnect my 24″ cinema display or if I put the laptop to sleep with the external monitor still plugged in and then unplug it. I found a very easy way to get them back on the laptop display:

    If you loose a window on a mac during switching back and fourth with and external monitor, got to the system preferences – chose displays – change the resolution of the screen to a temporary resolution and switch it back to your normal resolution again immediately. This will reset the open windows to be centered on the screen. If some windows are too big – click the green ‘plus’ button and it will re-size to your screen.

    No programming or apple scripts needed :)

  322. BoBY

    I can’t believe how long I am suffering with this issue, thanks for the tip.

  323. Krith

    Wow…. this is excellent…. i m soo relieved to have my window back in view…that soo much for the life saver tip :)

  324. Jack

    With so many people going on about how to get the “move” option in Win7 (shift+right-click the task bar icon, or hover and right-click the preview), I feel a need to restate what JC and Dee have already said:

    In Windows 7, use win+shift+arrows to move a window between monitors. This is in my opinion the best and easiest way to do it.

  325. Luis GomezDelCampo

    The move trick is great but when the app does not have a move (e.g. Burn4Free), then it does not work… one thing I did try and worked was the following… at least this was under Vista…

    On the icon for the application (Burn4Free in this case) in the desktop, right click, properties… shortcut TAB… run (options are normal window, minimized, maximized)… I picked maximized…. apply… OK
    I double-clicked on the icon to start it and it opened maximized on the main monitor and I closed the app.
    I went back to the icon properties and changed it back to “normal window”… apply… OK
    I opened Burn4Free and voila… now it knows it should open in main window…

    Another method is to actually go to the register editor and change the last settings for the window; a 100×100 position will do… but that is more complicated… apps tend to “remember” the last position by storing it in the register or even in the .ini

  326. Dan Salvador Jr

    thank you soooo much! i’ve been in pain (almost literally a pain in the ass) for the problem you just helped me solve

  327. Ami

    Thank you soooooo much! I can’t believe windows didn’t figure out to prevent this stupidness to happen. You guys saved me!

  328. Still Using XP At Work

    Awesome tricks. Thanks. I had gotten the four-way arrow before, but didn’t know that you have to press an arrow key to actually activate it. Thanks Windows! My home computer is now a Mac.

  329. trendymartini

    Thanks to all who commented regarding this trick with WINDOWS 7.

    I agree Jack! He said:

    “With so many people going on about how to get the “move” option in Win7 (shift+right-click the task bar icon, or hover and right-click the preview), I feel a need to restate what JC and Dee have already said:

    In Windows 7, use win+shift+arrows to move a window between monitors. This is in my opinion the best and easiest way to do it.”

  330. Richard

    Thank you for the helpful tip.
    One figure salute to stupid apps that put windows offscreen.

  331. Imtiaz

    Thank you very much for this tip, very very grateful to you.

  332. Nils


  333. richard

    what a guy! thanks for that nearly re-installed dreamweaver to find the find and replace window, saved me hours and a headache!

  334. Anne

    I knew there had to be a way, and I found the “move” option but lacked the ability to intuit that hitting the keyboard arrow key would bring my window back. Thanks for looking out for us!

  335. Jasee

    Thanks! I knew there had to be a way, but I always had to right-click and “Maximize” which would bring it full size on screen.

  336. Vasko

    Thanks! I got as far as the “Move” button, but I never would have thought that hitting an arrow key would work!

  337. kestie

    If that doesnt work for you the Flag+P should let you choose single monitor. One of the biggest complaints I see about Windows 7 is that the windows move to the active monitor when the unused monitor goes to sleep. I havent seen the problem myself, but the item in question should self migrate to the active desktop in Windows 7 …. contact Microsoft if its not.

  338. tony

    thanks so much! My program didn’t have the Move option when I right clicked on it, so the Alt+Space trick was vital!

  339. Bernard

    there is an easier way, just select the Application from the taskbar and hit the Start Key + arrow, and it will come back in focus

  340. Velociraptor

    Wow, that is so cool… thanks heaps
    I had a video converter application that kept doing this, and I found the default X & Y coordinates in the registry, but when it happened to one of my programs that didn’t (Wacom Configuration Window), I was so pleased that I found this!!

  341. mstko

    *recovers from my ‘D’OY! i’m-SUCH-an-idiot’ mode 2 say…*

    U R AN EFFIN’ GOD!!! thanx MUCH! this had plagued me for YEARS!

  342. Tim Phillips

    I heart you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  343. April Dionela

    Thank you so much for sharing this tip! I have been struggling with my Powerpoint for months because it won’t cascade (just maximize and minimize). I really appreciate you posting this.

  344. Glory

    whew i did it! thank you so much, and more power to you!!!

  345. Sue

    You have saved my sanity. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been messing around trying to figure this out. Thank you!!!

  346. KJC

    So simple and yet so infuriating that it’s not obvious.

  347. FeliciaB

    OMGsh!!!! Thank you… I was struggling. A co-worker had the same issue and was not able to fix it… I knew I was smarter than the rest of the office.. ha!

  348. Peter

    This is one of the simplest and most effective tips I have ever seen for an odd little problem. You just helped me solve a show stopping issue for my end user and helped me understand a problem I’ve been having on my own dual monitor setup. You rock!

  349. Don

    THANK YOU :D After a now former-friend used my computer and screwed a number of things up with it (including installing software that was actually a v1ru5), I just found that in MSWord if I started the Find function, the find box would open up but do so off-screen. I couldn’t get it back on the screen for the life of me — including after reinstalling the software. These hot keys worked. Ghesh, if she was a friend she’d no longer be allowed to touch my tech — seems now I have about 3 problems solved.

  350. Carlos


    problem solved;-)


  351. Marko

    I was in the middle of teaching a classroom of students and launched a program in XP whose window was off-screen. I use a ceiling projector for a second display but it was not there either. Don’t know how it got off to the unusable display area, but it wasn’t accessible. Move + Arrow Key anchored my cursor to the window so I could get it back. The Update Tip to Cascade the windows would’ve worked too. Thanks a million! It was a teachable moment for the class.

  352. Tammy

    Thanks for the help!
    Very simple solution. Wish I had looked to you hours ago.

  353. Tim

    Thank you so much for that tip. I was so annoyed with this issue for 2 months now. Though this does need to be updated for Windows 7, as you have to use the ‘Alt-space’ trick to get that Windows ‘move’ pull down menu to show up. At least it showed up ‘on-screen’ otherwise the full keyboard method would have been our salvation.

    This really should be addressed with an update by Microsoft. It makes Mac look so good to have simple ‘smarts’ like this built into their OS.

    Microsoft’s salvation is the number of geeks out there giving free advice on the internet, otherwise Apple’s OS would have replaced Windows has the dominate OS a long time ago.

  354. chandran

    I read the remedy for Screen freezing.Now i have to test this trick whenever screen freezes again.Then i will send my remarks to know the world if it serves well.Any how i am also thankful to u for the trick freely publishing for the benefit of the com puter users who are troubling with this type of problem,I am always glad to get your simple but effective computer tricks for so many other problems also by my email Thanking u ,sir u rs(Chandran)Palakkad,india.6-11-10

  355. Daniel

    Thanks for this! I was able to minimize and maximize but couldn’t find where I had misplaced it!

    This site rocks!

  356. David

    I had the same problem with Mathematica. Somehow one of my palettes ended up barely off-screen and nothing I tried seemed to work. I tried the script found at and it worked immediately! Just one note: you have to give the focus to Mathematica before you double-click on the .exe file. This means you also need to make sure you can see your desktop (or wherever you put the script) while Mathematica is open.

  357. ashraf

    Thanks. This is a nice tip. But in Windows 7, right click on the taskbar and then ‘Move’, there is no such menu item. However, the shortcut key Alt-Space , then M works fine. Keyboard shortcut is the Guru of everything……

  358. B-Dub

    doesn’t work with Win 7, but does with XP

    in Win 7, right-clicking on the window button in the task bar only gives me 3 options:
    * the name of the program
    * pin to task bar
    * close program

    placing focus on the program and doing alt+space and M keystroke doesn’t do anything either

    windows 7 enterprise

  359. bruce

    you are god


  360. jason4207

    I was playing around w/ DVI vs VGA b/c of a forum post. After the black level experiment I disconnected the VGA cable, and from then on my firefox was stuck off-screen.

    I tried reconnecting the VGA, and was switching back and forth b/n VGA and DVI inputs, but the firefox window was off to the left of the left screen. I tried swapping which monitor was 1 and which was 2, but that didn’t help either.

    Even opening in safe mode as suggested on another site didn’t help.

    I have Win7 Ultimate x64 and I had to use the keyboard shortcut; focus on program, alt+space, then press M. Then I pressed the arrows keys, but nothing happened. Then I tried moving the mouse, and there she was!

  361. Julian

    Great tip, but won’t bring windows media player’s title bar back into view.

  362. jbk

    Thanks so much!

  363. Naji

    in windows 7, right click on the task bar and choose cascade, it works.
    Thank a million :)

  364. Justin

    Fyi for windows 7 users with pane preview enabled (hover over icon on taskbar and a preview of the window pops up) …

    Instead of right clicking on the icon, you now have to hover on the icon until the preview pops up, right click on the little preview and the options appear that would normally be available by right clicking on the program in the task bar (such as move, minimize, maximize and close)

  365. El_Andy

    Thanks Thanks a lot.

  366. Jorge

    One more thank you ! :))

  367. Corsal

    This trick was not working for my application. What I did was maximize the window (it will bring it to your main screen), make sure that is the active window and then right click on task bar and click cascade windows. Close it as Restore size and the registry will save it in the new position.

  368. Allyson

    Wow – thanks for this quick and easy tip – a must know for everyone. :)

  369. Jerad

    Thank you Brian, for finding the solution in Windows 7! It was really annoying not being able to figure it out in 7!! Your Windows key and arrow trick worked!

  370. WBT

    Thank you much!
    You saved my windows.

  371. Aliff

    Thanks and it worked. Anyway to prevent this?

  372. makenoiz

    Does not work if your only options are close and minimize as in FlashFXp on XP

  373. Mark

    Thanks. Worked perfectly using Linux Mint.

  374. Robert Bridenstine

    Thanks! I’ve been trying to figure this out for awhile. I’m glad you posted and I found your tips.

  375. Silas Rao

    Thanks for the tip. Helped me move Firefox window back to desktop.

  376. A

    Oh My God, Thank You Sooooooo Much for this page!!!!!!!!! Just saved me from a serious last second disaster

  377. Jim

    Nice trick to know since I am constantly docking in and out of a second monitoring and leaving open applications on the second monitor.


  378. Oz

    Damn, thanks for this. Thought i had some serious client/app probs. hahaha THANKS

  379. Neil

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This problem was killing me.

  380. Ahmed Kamal

    OMG this is super PRO :D :D :D
    Thank you so much.

  381. Karla T

    THANK YOU! You saved me a long agonizing (and likely fruitless) IT call.

  382. Pgt

    thanks for the info.
    btw, on Win 7, I had to do shift+right click to get the menu.

  383. mike

    nice one. thx. and thx to Pgt for the win 7 bit.

  384. Mike Curran

    This is awesome, I was so close, I had been wondering how the move process functioned, clicked it many times before, but never combined the arrow key. Thanks

  385. Radu

    There is a simpler way for Windows 7 users. (haven’t tried on xp).
    Shift+ windows key + left or right key, will move the window you selected from one monitor to another.

  386. Tom

    Really old post I know but still having to deal with this problem regularly…

    One of the applications I use keeps opening its own dialog boxes off screen (i.e. the main window is fine, but the options I want can’t be seen) but doesn’t create a window so to speak so it can’t be selected in alt tab or any other way I can see. Even more frustrating is that once this dialog is open the main program window can’t be reselected until it is closed! So have to kill the process in task manager. This happens because at one point in the past I used this program on a second monitor, and then seemingly it reminders its position permanently through restarts and all. Highly frustrating.

  387. Kaeti

    Genius! Thank you!

  388. Charnita Fance

    Thank you this is so helpful!!!!!!!!!!!! I was having this issue on my desktop (no clue why since I only use one monitor), but this helped me get the window back in view.

  389. Amber

    I found this out on my own, BUT this trick does NOT work for notices that open within programs. Your computer won’t recognize the window that has opened as it’s own program in your task bar. For example ‘save as’, in Photoshop will open a window within Photoshop and ask you to fill in your preferences. These windows open off the screen too and so the ‘move’ function will not work! Any ideas?

  390. SDG

    Having the same problem as Amber with Photoshop files opening off the screen. The move trick only move the main app window, not file windows.

    As a pathetic workaround, I used the Layers palette to copy and paste information I needed into a new file! Luckily all I needed was pixels; there was no filter, mask or text info I needed.

    If anyone has any better suggestions, please share.

  391. Chris Sullivan

    The alt-space M trick on XP worked like a charm for the dialog boxes that are off-screen. I’d figured the task-bar move trick out on my own but the dialog boxes were driving me nuts. Now I’m happy as long as I can remember alt-space M next time it happens.


  392. Martin

    So easy, so useful!

    In Windows 7 it doesn’t work with right click on the task bar. (Only see a Close Window option)
    Alt + space did the trick!

    Thanks a lot.

  393. Dominic

    Great tip, thanks a lot!

  394. Fred

    Doesn’t work.

    First, I don’t have the MOVE option.
    Second, Alt+M only gives me a error beep sound.
    Third, Cascading opens all windows except the one open off screen.

    So yeah… Mine is still screwed up.

  395. kinder

    thank you 100 times!

  396. happy now

    you have just solved for me something that has been driving me nuts for months.
    I think i am in love. ;-)

    You may have posted this years ago, but it is still relevant and saving people from deep depression today. ;-)

    thanks again.

  397. Dior


  398. Glenn

    Great help, well written, nice and concise and saving me some frustrations. Thanks.

  399. Frank

    Thanks Bill!!!! Alt-Space + M was the key to fixing this frustrating problem!

  400. John

    Wow – 4 years after the article and I needed this tonight! Thanks!

  401. Ivan


    Many thanks for this, mate!
    1. Alt+Space
    2. M
    3. LeftArrow
    4. Mousemove
    5. ???????
    6. PROFIT

  402. JooJooJackoffisaur

    I wonder how many are using ATI and if it’s a problem with their software, sure wouldn’t be the first time! Never hooked up an additional monitor to my PC and my Video Card only has one HDMI port.

    Thanks for the help. I get tired of troubleshooting problems with Windows and program issues.

  403. ron

    Thanks for this FIX!! I found another fix that suggested going to edit the Dreamweaver 8 Prefs file with a text editor – and moving the box to a central location. However, this must have been a fix for MACs, because the directories mentioned don’t exist in windows 7 (or Vista, or XP for that matter). This was much easier, and taught me a trick that might work in other applications as well. Made me look like a genius. . . !

  404. Suisei

    Thank you so much!!!!!!!

  405. Larry Cunningham

    Hey, you’re pretty smart. :-)

    I removed the secondary monitor from my PC, to move it to a new one; I had several applications that opened up in the now-phantom monitor window. This tip saved me mucho aggravation.


  406. Hiba

    thanks! very useful.

  407. what

    skype don’t let you do that trick, right click no move option.
    skype is very annoying, pops up anytime you use your phone.

  408. p

    Great!! worked first time – thanks :)

  409. chris

    i just had this happen on a mac with a magicjack window that couldn’t return after a display failed and i disconnected and restarted (several times). it seems my dock, positioned on the left side of the screen was blocking it. when i moved the dock to the bottom the magicjack window magically reappeared. The command-tab idea was key for knowing when it was active and might be moveable. Thanks!

  410. Steve

    Brilliant. Just managed to get Scribus back on screen. Strange as I’d actually uninstalled and re-installed the software to get it working. Thanks for the great tim :-)

  411. Will Baryo

    Windows 7 –
    Alt+space then use arrow keys worked great.

    Windows key+ arrow keys worked for many of them but I had one application where only alt+space worked.

    Thanks to all for the tips and tricks.

  412. Jay

    Does not work on Windows 7 Ultimate.

  413. Mark

    Thank you! The mouse commands didn’t work, but the keyboard did. Now I have Master Volume back on my XP monitor!

  414. Teresa

    Thanks a lot! this is really helpful :-)

  415. Mare

    When nothing else worked, I tried the forceWindowVisible utility. It worked. This was so frustrating. Thanks to this link, I got it working again.

  416. lol

    I dont have two monitors but windows explorer got stuck. THX SOOOO MUCH MAN!

  417. jojo

    God bless you! I was about to pull my hair out!

  418. Claire

    Absolutely amazing – had this problem today and you saved my life – thank you so much! :)

  419. Guy W

    You are the MAN! Thank you.

  420. Not that techy

    OR the easier way would be to make the window active and hold the WIN-KEY and use the arrow keys till you see it it will be much faster!!

  421. Jason

    This solution was posted over 4 years ago, but is still relevant today because MS has not bothered to fix this!

    The keyboard shortcut (alt + space, M, arrow, mouse) DOES work on Windows 7. Search this page for “Windows 7” for many other options, like right-click task bar and choose “cascade windows” or right-click the little preview window, then choose move, or the other solutions using the Windows key and arrows.

    Still, it’s lame that it’s been nearly 10 years since XP was released and users are still forced to struggle with this.

  422. K. McKean

    Thanks a million! This worked for SPSS popup windows that I couldn’t retrieve any other way without finding another monitor to hook up my laptop at home.

    For any SPSS users out there, the Chart Editor does the disappearing off screen; you can retrieve it by using the Alt-Spacebar M arrow keys. (Have faith; the arrow key will bring it over if you’re patient). But the Chart Editor has its own popup (the Properties window), you also have to retrieve that.

    It requires faith. Right-click to bring up the Properties window. (Right, you can’t see it.) Before you do anything else, press Alt-spacebar, then press M, then use the arrow key to bring your Properties window into view.

  423. Jeff


    This doesn’t work for “error messages” or pop windows alerts! I have a program that pops up a dialog box, for which I need to enter text (mp3 idinfo edit box (pops up from the Export dialog box)), and I CANNOT move it back onto viewable screen.

    None of the old fixes (alt-space, m, etc) work. Can anyone help?

  424. Haddicus

    Thanks a TON for this! Been trying to figure out how to do this for the longest time, but never found a sufficient answer.

  425. cursed

    BRILLIANT! i love you and i want to have your children!! no, but really thank you!!! <3

  426. domeone

    thx a lot for saving a lot of time and saving me from client as project was gett5ing delayed as i was busy in finding the way
    thx again

  427. Mike

    Almost 5 years later, this TIP still saves human lives.

    tnx :)

  428. Leon

    Yes, almost 5 years later it just saved ME. No way I would have EVER figured this out. Thank you. I can sleep better now!!

  429. tuck

    Bill from 2007 thank you!! Alt-Space-M worked as I didnt have the move option on the program tab!

  430. Locomotion15

    How do you do this without right-clicking? My school doesn’t allow right clicking…

  431. ALR

    Crazy that this is still and issue. NeatWorks doesn’t offer the Move option, Cascade windows didn’t work, but i was able to recover by holding shift and right clicking the program in the task bar and selecting Maximize. Brought to main monitor in its full glory!

  432. Michael

    Windows isn’t perfect, but something like this isn’t a reason to change. I don’t like OSX doing that because if my monitor cable gets bumped, or I’m only unplugging for a minute, I have to move things back.
    What about the messy UNIX file system underneath the polished OSX shell? Hey, UNIX was fantastic in it’s time, but it’s messiness is no longer required, and Apple is still using slightly updated 20 year old tech underneath its pretty “operating system” that is not really one at all. It’s a windows manager, and it’s far less complex than a wm built into an OS like Windows is. Sure that gives devs more time to work on polished GUIs, but it means it will always be a bit behind Windows in terms of disk efficiency. I’m pretty sure that no-one is about to advocate /Applications over HKEY… surely…
    Don’t get me wrong. I’m a software and regularly use Fedora when developing java, and am comfortable on a mac, because I can do almost everything that I’m used to at Terminal and not worry about the whole GUI, but in a lot of ways, MS is ahead with Windows.
    Sidenote: there are a few things that OSX’s GUI fails in: just the other day, I had to fix a mac because their Firefox wasn’t updating and they needed to reinstall. Even changing permissions through the GUI (admin account) wasn’t working, so I tried it through Terminal with a SU and it worked fine. Windows’s lack of root wouldn’t have allowed that.

  433. Michael

    You could probably do it, but it would take time and depending on how strict your admin is, could get you in trouble. I spent most of my highschool lunchtimes going through admin drives and stealing software installers, but I also got banned a few times as a result.

    I would suggest you see your admin and tell him the problem. He will either use this trick or edit the registry/ini left and top values for that application. If he’s dumb, he’ll plug in an extra monitor and move it around until he finds it, and then you can look smart by telling him about this :)

  434. Bob

    Nice tip! Thanks.

  435. John

    thx for the tip, saved me a lot of frustration!

  436. Lee

    Good solution. Been struggling with microsoft software ever since Windows 3.1 and I did not know this trick!

  437. dkmart

    OK…This was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO awesomly helpful !!!

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you !!!!

  438. Jy

    I have been using this trick and it has been working great until this morning. Now it won’t work. Any thoughts…?

  439. Penty

    Thank You so much for the solution!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have been fighting this problem forever! I just love you!

  440. Tobias

    Stil,l have the problem about retrieving subwindows (alt, – , m doesn’t work) Any new ideas on how to solve this?

  441. Szilard

    Thank’s a lot. I removed my software from my laptop, reinstalled it, and didn’t appared neither. Thank you again.

  442. superman

    thanks a lot i usually never comment on posts but i am really grateful thank you so much.

  443. Shannon

    My Task Manager was off screen, no idea how it got there as I have never used 2 monitors. I tried everything. For some reason when I right click on the icon in the taskbar I don’t get a “Move” option (I have Windows 7). Was starting to despair until the Alt + Spacebar + M finally allowed me to drag it back on screen! Thanks so much!

  444. This doesnt work

    This doesnt work if the window is a dialog box within a program because there is no taskbar button to click on. Like adobe illustrator when you press save the main window locks up and a dialog box appears, if its off screen you cant move it. How else can it be moved?

  445. die

    didn’t work for me. had to reboot. so this trick DOES NOT always work.

  446. alison

    alt spacebar m is the magic answer for when my external monitor was still being detected and the extra pop up sub menu auxillary windows inside an application was out of sight. after you hit alt spacebar M – let go and then hit the arrow key. THANK YOU for helping me find my missing window that was off screen

  447. marco


  448. Michael B

    Thank you!

  449. Jay D

    HI im having the same problem using msn. Msn itself opens up but when i try to open up a conversation box it dissapears to the side of the screen. And when i try to left click on the conversation box it dissapears . Any ideas everyone. Thankyou in advance

  450. elicia

    thankyou very much

  451. Moe

    I thank myself for being so smart to find this tip, THANK ME VERY MUCH.

  452. Blondy

    Thank You!!!!! XXX

  453. George

    Thanks so much for this tip.

  454. Mirka

    I can’t thank you enough. I spent almost an hour trying to get it back. I will never forget this and will be using your help when my dad messes up his computer again. :)

  455. DC

    Thanks so much, this helped me so much. I wasn’t even expecting to be able to find the answer in Google.

  456. c

    goshk. my hewo

  457. Ireland

    My husband borrowed my new MacBook Pro and somehow made the very top of it go away into hiding (the part with the apple, and name of whatever program’s currently running) – so for example, if I’m in Safari, I have the URL place, the toolbar and the tabs, which I want to see, but if I want to modify in Safari, or print, or go to file/ edit/ view, etc., I have to move my mouse to the top of the screen to get that line out of “hiding.” It’s okay, but I’d love to get it back. I tried “view” in safari, but it didn’t have an option for that particular item to be viewed.

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

  458. meenakshi


  459. Celvie

    Thank you so VERY much, saved my day, primary FireFox window with restore session tab was the missing window, and thnx to your advice, I have all of my work/research back !
    you ROCK !

  460. td

    “It’s really amazing how many people are not aware of this little trick.”

    No, what’s amazing is that this little trick is required in the first place.

    Even more amazing is the ability of some to Google the bowels of the Internet to find this little gem.

    Fortunately, in my case, somebody was able to point me here.


  461. Tracy


  462. Paul

    legend, thank you

  463. Bill Gascoyne

    Arrow keys! Brilliant! THANK YOU!! (Got to the right menu, got the correct pointer, but the mouse buttons weren’t doing anything…)

  464. Brian FitzGerald

    Brilliant. This saved me from a serious case of virtual insanity.


  465. Anne

    Oh, thank you! I knew the “right-click taskbar button” > “Move” technique, but it wasn’t an option for my Excel windows. The keyboard shortcut saved me.

  466. Cheryl


  467. Dude bro

    I love you

  468. Sohan

    In case Alt+Space and Move does not work (Windows 7 Pro, perhaps), this slight modification is something you can try (worked for me):

    – If the offending window is not active (on top), click the taskbar button for it and make sure it is

    – Hit Alt+Space and select Size (instead of Move) to change the mouse cursor to the crossing arrows.

    – Hold and drag the mouse anywhere within the visible area of the window.

    – The window should automatically force its edges to fit the display’s borders upon releasing the mouse button.

    @”Brian FitzGerald”: thanks for the 90s Jamiroquai nostalgia upswell

  469. Hafiz Waleed Hussain

    The permanent solution is that if you on auto-hide-taskbar, please off and than use, the off screen problem is solve.

  470. CoonDog

    Used the alt+space then M and arrows just fine on Windows 7. As mentioned several times, not all applications will show move option displayed in original taskbar.

    But hey you cant blame Microsoft for every App that runs under windows. In my case it was IIS Manager.

    Oooops . Never mind. Go ahead and blame them.

  471. Manjeeth

    USed “Alt + Space” and then the option “Tile windows horizontally”. you’ll get it right on the screen :)

  472. Christina

    OMG THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH! could not function and could not figure out why this happened….still don’t know what caused it but could not work for 5 hrs…***sigh of relief*** I could just kiss you!!

  473. Captain Hotdog

    LOL Mac people, I know the apple design appeals to you like god itself, but while having your religious experiences about your shiny new dildo spare us from your sacred pilgrimage. You really think I would pay serious bucks just to get rid of one window annoyance? Well think twice, I’m just not stupid enough to fall for one of those OSX is better flames when *I know* I can do more with my windows than OSX. Another cool thing about windows, is you pay just for the hardware, if you’re crafty enough you can even choose exactly what pieces of it you have.

  474. Brenden

    Bless you! Never mind hooking laptops up to other monitors, I’ve been having issues with app windows disappearing from my desktop on my work PC after a normal shutdown. When I relaunched the next day, for no reason that I can discover, the item appears in the tray, but the window itself has flown off the edge to regions unknown, though the tool bars & detached menus are still where I left them. As observed by yourself, the move command by itself wasn’t helping, and I was very frustrated at having to work in full screen mode all the time to be able to see these things. I figured there must be some command to get them back, but couldn’t discover it in the help menus. Then I happened upon your delightful tip and the sun has come out again!

  475. monk.e.boy

    THANK YOU!!!!

  476. Massi

    Thanks alot! you saved my day ;)

  477. Mylissa

    Fantastic. I was racking my brains trying to get a menu from a program to reappear on my one monitor (I had remoted into my work pc which has 2 screens). The ALT space helped get the screen back onto my monitor. Thankyou!!!!!

  478. JNH

    Amazing. Wish I knew this years ago. Who would think to use the keyboard?

  479. Talulah Bancroft

    4 and a ½ years later and it’s still just as useful as the day it was posted haha. Now THAT is amazing. Whats also amazing is that in my *mumble mumble* years working with computers, I’ve never come across a situation where I’ve needed this… until today! Thanks a ton!

  480. savi

    thanh you sir your answer is amazing. because of u these computer problems are easily solved without reinstalling windows or something..

  481. Ujjwal

    Thanks a lot for this tip. It was magic when the window showed up. Actually when nothing happened after pressing the arrow key, I thought it is not going to work.

    I have been stuck with this issue for so long. One work around I used was to select: Maximize instead of Move, and that used to bring the window in focus, but I could resize it. Normally these problems used to go away, but some programs were just stuck with this behavior. Finally today I decided to google the issue and Voila I landed on your page and the answer was easily spelled out. Although it makes me wonder, whoever designed this behavior expected the user to figure this out by themselves, without any indication.

  482. Akshay

    Hey thanks for the suggestions. Surely helped… was in serious problems while doing a project.

  483. TAPT

    Since 2007 one of the most important posts on the internet!

  484. phyllis

    Couldn,t get to any of the sides of my screen. did what you suggested and i can now. thanks so much.

  485. jay

    thanks @brian. you my friend are a Ninja… works with ACAD

  486. UADM

    Works perfectly. Yous saved my day … !

  487. ian

    It’s really amazing that this is even necessary. Thanks for helping, but the blame lies with microsoft for not thinking through this problem at all.

    Windows don’t reposition themselves at all when you take away spanned monitors. And they really should not disappear in a manner that is completely confusing like this.

  488. Larry

    Thanks for this tips. This problem almost pissed me off today

  489. jp

    Your advice here got me out of a bind fast, so first and foremost — THANKS!!!

    And it’s really NOT amazing that people are not aware of this trick. People don’t think like computers.

  490. yesky

    thank you for thiz,,..
    help much for me….


    All of your listed tricks didn’t work for me… but here is what did:
    After alt+tab ing to the window I held down the windows key and pressed a left or right arrow key to move the selected window to the next monitor (for windows 7)

  492. Pamu

    This trick works but when again i open a downsize program that same and i have to do move again Any solution for it that open this downsize program on screen nt on offscreen

  493. Shirley

    Thank you so much for sharing this trick!!! Every time I had this problem I always had to connect to an external monitor to work around. Now I don’t need to do this any more and I am very grateful.

  494. Shane McCallum

    Great tip! Chome always restores all windows from the last session and they were all appearing off screen. This tip worked prefect. Thanks for the share.

  495. Khalid

    Doesn’t work for u-torrent!
    Help :s

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