How to Move a Window That Is Off-Screen

Get lost windows back where they belong on PC or Mac

How to move a window that is off-screen

You launch an app or program, but it's running off-screen and you're not sure how to retrieve it. This guide shows you how to move a window that’s off-screen in Windows 10 and macOS.

The instructions in this guide cover both Windows 10 and macOS computers.

Why Is the Window Off-Screen?

Typically, lost windows stem from removing a secondary display. For example, if you created a document on your main screen while searching the web on your second, the web browser will remain positioned in that extended space even after you disconnect the secondary display.

How to Move a Window That's Off-Screen in Windows 10

There are several ways to move a window that's off-screen in Windows 10. Some involve using different keys on the keyboard, while others involved adjusting settings within Windows 10.

Find Windows Using Arrow and Shift Keys

This method uses the Left and Right Arrow keys on your keyboard to move off-screen windows. 

  1. Launch the program or app (if it’s not opened already).

  2. Press the Shift key and right-click the active program or app icon located on the taskbar.

  3. Select Move from the pop-up menu.

    Select Move to move an off-screen window
  4. Press the Left Arrow or Right Arrow key until the program or app reappears on the screen.

Find Windows Using Arrow and Windows Keys

This is a similar method, but swaps out the Shift key for the Windows key. It also relies on the snapping feature that 'snaps' windows to the sides of your screen.

This second method moves the missing window to three specific locations: Snapped to the right, to the center, and snapped to the left.

  1. Launch the program or app (if it’s not opened already).

  2. Select the active app or program icon located on the taskbar to make it the current selection.

  3. Press and hold the Windows key while pressing either the Left Arrow or Right Arrow key.

Find Windows Using Arrow Keys and Mouse

This version doesn’t use the Shift or Windows keys. Instead, the mouse cursor helps bring your lost windows back to the home screen.

  1. Launch the program or app (if it’s not opened already).

  2. Hover your mouse cursor over the active program or app located on the taskbar until a thumbnail appears.

  3. Right-click on the thumbnail and select Move on the menu.

    Right-click on the thumbnail to move an app
  4. Move the mouse cursor—now switched to a four-arrow "move" symbol – to the middle of your screen.

  5. Use the Left Arrow or Right Arrow key to move the missing window into the viewable area. You can also move your mouse while the missing window "sticks" to your pointer.

  6. Press the Enter key.

Change Screen Resolution to Find a Lost Window

Swapping your screen resolution could help pull lost windows into the main screen. These windows simply remain stationary on your desktop despite their hidden presence. You’re simply “zooming the camera” until the missing windows appear within the frame.

  1. Right-click the desktop.

  2. Select Display settings on the menu.

    Access display settings from the desktop
  3. Select the Display resolution dropdown menu, then temporarily change the resolution until the program or app appears on the screen.

    Change the resolution in the Settings app
  4. Using your mouse, move the program or app to the center of your screen.

  5. Change the screen resolution back to its original setting.

Unhide Windows With the Desktop Toggle

This doesn’t require a series of steps. Simply press the Windows key+D. All programs and apps will disappear the first time you type this combo. Do it again and everything—including your missing windows—should reappear.

Use Cascade to Arrange Windows

This feature arranges all windows in a cascade, stacking the title bars like an old-school card catalog.

  1. Right-click an empty space on the taskbar.

  2. Select Cascade windows.

    Select Cascade windows to retrieve a missing app
  3. Your open windows should be rearranged into a cascade and you should see your missing windows.

How to Move a Window That Is Off-Screen in macOS

Like Windows, there are several ways to move a window in macOS to find the one you're looking for. If you've opened something and it's showing off-screen, try these tips for making it reappear.

Change the Resolution

Your lost window doesn’t change its position. By altering the resolution, you’re 'zooming the camera' in and out until the missing window appears within the frame.

  1. Click the Apple icon located in the top left corner.

  2. Click System Preferences.

    Select System Preferences on Mac
  3. Click Displays.

    Select Displays in System Preferences
  4. Click the radio button next to Scaled, then choose a smaller resolution.

    Select a lower resolution in macOS
  5. Click OK to confirm.

    Confirm your lower resolution in macOS

Force a Relaunch

Forcing an app or program to relaunch could bring your window back into view so you can access it again.

  1. Click the Apple icon located in the top left corner.

  2. Click Force Quit.

  3. Choose the off-screen application from the list., then click Relaunch.

    Force Quit a hidden application in macOS

Use Window Zoom to Make a Windows Appear

Unlike changing the resolution, this version zooms the app or program until it appears on your screen. Once it emerges, drag it fully onto your display.

  1. Click the active program or app shown on the Dock.

  2. Click Window > Zoom in the toolbar running along the top edge of your screen.

    Use Zoom to find a missing window in macOS

Center the Window to Make It Visible

This is a simple, neat trick using your Mac’s Option key.

  1. If the off-screen app or program isn’t actively selected, click its icon shown on the Dock. If it’s already a focused app or program, skip this step.

  2. Hold down the Option key and click the active app or program icon again. This hides the app or program.

  3. Release the Option key and click the active app or program icon for a third time. The window should reappear centered on your screen.