Windows 2000/XP/Vista: Fix a Window or Application that Opens Offscreen

Every once in a while, you will run into a situation where a window or application opens somewhere beyond the scope of your monitor. It magically was placed somewhere to the far, far right and you can’t get to it to bring it back. I’ve experienced this with Winamp and IE has done this to me a couple of times. There’s a simple solution to get your application or window back on your screen, here’s how:

The key to this is to change the screen resolution to a lower value, thereby making windows move everything to fit the new resolution. Once this is done, simply return the resolution to its previous setting.

To change your screen resolution:

1. Right-click your desktop.

2. For Windows 2000/XP, Select Properties. When the Display Properties window appears, select the Settings tab. For Windows Vista, select Personalize and from the Personalize window, click Display Settings.

3. Use the slider under Screen resolution to change the resolution.

4. Click Apply.

5. When prompted as to whether you want to keep it, click Yes.

6. Go back to the Screen resolution slider and change it back to its original value.

7. Click OK.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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The Conversation

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  • John

    Didn’t work!

  • CG

    Have you tried this?

    1. [Alt][Tab] to select the window (window should be the current one)

    2. Hit [Alt]+[Space], then hit M (for Move)

    3. Hit appropriate arrow key to keep moving the window to the screen center

    4. Move the mouse to re-position the window.

    • donna


    • Andy

      Awesome…worked when others did not!

  • Tom Leys

    A quicker solution is to do the following:
    1) Select applicaton from taskbar (or alt tab to it)
    2) Press alt-space
    3) Press M (for move)
    4) tap an arrow key
    5) Move mouse cursor (now attached to your window) back onto your monitor.
    6) Click to detach window

  • Dawn

    Thank you so much!!

    Ignore those other people… I have a program that Does Not have the “Move” programed into the menu, which somehow managed to snap it’s title bar just out of my mouse pointers reach. No other method was usable, save this one!

  • donna

    after i put the screen resolution back where i want it the SCREEN IS TOO BIG FOR me to fing the APPLY button! So now what do i do?