How to Move a Window That Is Off-Screen

Get lost windows back where they belong on PC or Mac

You launch an app or program, but it's running off-screen, and you're not sure how to retrieve it. However, you can 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 remains 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.

    Windows Shift + right-click menu with Move highlighted
  4. Press the left arrow or right arrow key until the program or app appears on the screen.

Find Windows Using Arrow and Windows Keys

A similar method 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.

    Windows right-click on thumbnail window with Move highlighted
  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

Changing your screen resolution can pull lost windows into the main screen. These windows remain stationary on your desktop despite their hidden presence. You basically “zoom the camera” out until the missing windows appear in the frame.

  1. Right-click the desktop.

  2. Select Display settings on the menu.

    Windows desktop with right-click menu showing Display settings
  3. Select Display in the side panel and choose one of the resolutions in the Advanced scaling settings section to temporarily change the resolution until the program or app appears on the screen.

    Windows Display settings with Advanced scaling settings highlighted
  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 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.

    Windows right-click taskbar menu with Cascade windows highlighted
  3. The open windows are rearranged into a cascade, including 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 opened something and it's showing off-screen, try these tips to make it reappear.

Change the Resolution

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

  1. Click the Apple icon located in the top left corner and select System Preferences.

    The System Preferences command under the Apple menu
  2. Click Displays.

    Mac System Preferences with Displays selected
  3. Click the radio button next to Scaled in the Display tab and choose a different resolution.

    Mac Display System Preferences with Scaled selected
  4. Click OK to confirm.

    Display preferences with OK highlighted

Force a Relaunch

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

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

  2. Select Force Quit.

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

    Force Quit selected in Apple menu

Use Window Zoom to Make a Window 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 in the Apple menu bar and select Zoom in the drop-down menu.

    Zoom selected in the Window menu of a Mac

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 on the Dock.

  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 reappears centered on your screen.

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