In theory, you should never lose an open window at the edge of your screen. It should go this far and then offer to go full screen. It doesn't have to disappear completely. This is Windows and strange things can happen. This tutorial will walk you through recovering an off-screen page in Windows 10 if it ever happened to you.
One way this happens that isn't Microsoft's fault is if you're using multiple monitors. If a monitor disconnects while Windows was on, it misses the action. If something were to happen to that other monitor, you have more to worry about than a missing window, but you may need to get it back before you can fix the problem.
These methods for recovering an off-screen window should work if you lose a monitor. Some will also work if it's a Windows problem or an app causing the problem.
Of course, if you lost a screen in Windows 10 due to monitor failure, you should always try disconnecting the cables first and reconnecting. This is the easiest and most effective solution, so start there. You should also check that the power source is properly connected. Often these simple solutions can save you a lot of time. If it's a complete mechanical failure, you'll need to recover your pages, apps, and other content by following the instructions in this article.
If you use two monitors at home but take your laptop with you, this can be a constant problem for you. Knowing the right keyboard shortcuts will save you time and the hassle of searching for documents, web pages, and off-screen programs.
Recovering an off-screen window
We're so used to the drag-and-drop nature of Windows that when we can't drag something where we want it, we can quickly get lost. There are other ways to achieve your goals, but it may take a second or research to memorize or discover them.
Unfortunately, if you restart the app, it will likely reappear in the same part of the desktop that you can't access. If so, try the following steps to get back to work quickly and easily.
Here are some ways to recover an off-screen window in Windows 10:
Using the taskbar to retrieve a window
This one seems to be quite simple and effective. Assuming the app or program is already open (go ahead and open it if not).
- Simply right-click the program's icon in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen.
- In the small pop-up window, select Move. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to bring the program back into view. Unfortunately, if you don't know where this window is, you'll have a hard time knowing which way to move it. If so, keep reading. There are more solutions available.
The easiest way to locate an off-screen window is to use the Desktop Layout settings in Windows 10. Most often used for arranging multiple windows on a desktop, it can also be useful in this situation.
- Right-click on the Windows 10 taskbar and select Cascading windows.
- If Windows has detected that the other monitor is not working, the lost window should snap onto your remaining monitor. You can also use them stacked or side by side if you prefer. They all realize the same thing.
Use a keyboard shortcut to recover a window
There is a keyboard shortcut for almost every element of Windows and this is no exception. If you lose a window, you can trigger cursor movement to bring it back. It takes a few seconds but achieves the same goal.
- press Alt + Tab to select the missing window.
- press Alt + Space + M to change the mouse cursor to a movement cursor.
- Use the left, right, up or down keys on your keyboard to make the window reappear.
- press Enter or click the mouse to let the window disappear when retrieved.
Alt + Tab is the keyboard shortcut that allows you to quickly switch between open applications and windows. If you hold down the Alt key and press the tab button, all of your open documents will appear in a list.
You can also use the arrow keys to recover the window this way. This will only work if you have configured taskbar buttons to show up on the main taskbar as well as wherever the window is open.
- Again, press Alt + Tab.
- Now press the the Windows key + the arrow key. It can vary in the direction to hit, up, down, left or right.
As mentioned by Sai in the comments, here is another hotkey that might work wonders for you.
- Again, press Alt + Tab to select the missing window.
- Now press Alt + Space + X to retrieve the window.
There are many keyboard shortcuts on Windows, hope this one will solve your problem. As always, thank you for sharing your views in the comments.
Change screen resolution to grab a window
You can change your screen resolution to recover an off-screen window in Windows 10. This resets your desktop and should bring the missing window back to your main screen.
- Right-click on an empty space on your desktop and select Display settings.
- Now under Display resolution, select a different preset than the one defined.
The Windows desktop should reset to the new resolution and your window should appear on your main desktop. Simply reset the resolution to its original setting once you have the viewport you want.
Change multiple display settings
You can have Windows recognize that a monitor has disappeared so that it also brings back the missing window if you prefer. As long as everything else works fine, this should force the desktop to reset to your primary monitor.
- Again, right-click on an empty space on your desktop and select Display settings.
- Now select Detect to encourage Windows to see that you have a broken monitor.
If you lost a window due to monitor failure, this should bring everything back to your main desktop. If it's a graphics driver or some other issue that's causing you to lose a window, it won't necessarily work.
Using Task Manager to recover an off-screen window
The last way I know of to recover an off-screen window in Windows 10 is to use Task Manager. You can maximize all open windows, which should bring the app back to focus.
- press Ctrl + Alt + Del and select Task Manager. You can also press Ctrl + Shift + Esc open Task Manager directly.
- Now look under the Processes tab and select the missing window.
- Once located, right click on it and select Maximize.
Depending on the missing window, you may need to select Expand before you see Maximize. It seems to depend on whether it's a native Windows app or something else. If you see Develop, select it, and then select Maximize.
As you can see, there are several ways to attempt to recover a lost off-screen window in Windows 10. As you probably already know, it's best to start with the simple solutions and then progress to heavier recovery measures. .
How was your lost screen recovery in Windows 10? Let us know in the comments below.