how to rescue windows from off the screen?

otispunkmeyer

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 5, 2007
302
0
Middlesbrough UK
this is one of my pet peeves with Mac OSX

i use dual monitors and some times when im not using dual monitors programs will still open and place themselves in daft positions like i stil have 2 monitors.

for example, i've just opened aMSN which normally then positions itself slap bang inbetween the 2 screens only this time, im in the front room without the second screen.

basically the aMSN window is un-retrievable... i cant drag it to a part of the screen where i can see it properly. Opera does the same thing some times, the bar across the top actually goes up above the Mac OS bar and i then cant retrieve the damn thing so i can use my bookmarks etc.

how do i retrieve windows that open themselves almost off screen?
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Is the second monitor still plugged in at the time? I think OS X treats the monitor as active if its plugged in but off -- e.g. I have to unplug my LCD TV from my iMac when I'm not using it to get a single screen on the iMac. I usually don't see this problem unless I've left the TV plugged in.

One thing you can always do is go to sys prefs -> displays -> gather windows, which should bring every open window onto the screen that the dialog is on (e.g. if you click on the gather windows button on the main display, all windows should come to that display).

Another thing you can typically do is, if you have Expose set to a hot corner, I think, show all windows and then select the window, which should bring it to that display. Although I'm not sure that this trick will work if you've left the second display plugged in....
 

otispunkmeyer

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 5, 2007
302
0
Middlesbrough UK
no, infact my monitor is packed away in a box now...so its not attached. ill try that gather windows though i dont think i ave seen that button. only see it when plugged into my 2nd display, which im not

showing all windows does nothing, i pick aMSN and it all just goes back to its original position...ie off the screen

EDIT: yeah i dont have the gather windows button ?:(
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Mmmm, strange. Try one more thing. Step the resolution down (on your main display) in System Preferences, exit out of sys prefs, and then go back in and step the resolution back up. This should trigger it to reset to default window positions. You may end up with some wonky window sizes that you'll have to restore to what you want, but it should resolve the problem.

I've seen windows hanging off the edge of the screen, but I don't get what you're describing. Odd, I don't know why this is happening on your computer.
 

otispunkmeyer

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 5, 2007
302
0
Middlesbrough UK
Mmmm, strange. Try one more thing. Step the resolution down (on your main display) in System Preferences, exit out of sys prefs, and then go back in and step the resolution back up. This should trigger it to reset to default window positions. You may end up with some wonky window sizes that you'll have to restore to what you want, but it should resolve the problem.

I've seen windows hanging off the edge of the screen, but I don't get what you're describing. Odd, I don't know why this is happening on your computer.
yeah the problem is they are hanging off the screen but the problem is also that the bar aross the top of the windows is also hanging off the top of the screen or hiding behind the OS task bar so i cant get at it to click n drag

switching between different res's has fixed it though, thanks!
 

clockwrkz

macrumors newbie
Sep 10, 2007
21
0
Multi Monitors can be a pain....

The biggest pain I've had to deal with so far concerning multiple monitors is when they are positioned one above the other.

I have my MBP sitting on my desk with a 27" Samsung monitor mounted above it on the wall with an LCD TV arm. The displays are positioned correctly and normally everything works just fine but the odd time an application (could be any window) will not want to move up past the top edge of my MBP. Not only that, but if it does sometimes the window will just jump back down to the lower screen or back to upper screen. Which you can imagine is VERY annoying after a few minutes of playing that game.

Let's just hope Leopard sorts out some of the multiple monitor issues. Obviously there is some window placement logic in there but it's just not quite 100% yet.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
otispunkmeyer, glad it worked. :)

clockwrkz, are your screens different in width? I've noticed that windows bounce back if you try to move them so that they would (ironically, given this thread) be partially offscreen on the destination display. I.e. if you have a narrow (pixelwise) monitor centered on top of a wider monitor, it won't let you drag up a window that runs all the way to the edge of the wider monitor -- the window seems to have to be fully in the width displayable on the narrower monitor.

I don't know if this is what you're experiencing or not?
 

clockwrkz

macrumors newbie
Sep 10, 2007
21
0
clockwrkz, are your screens different in width? I've noticed that windows bounce back if you try to move them so that they would (ironically, given this thread) be partially offscreen on the destination display. I.e. if you have a narrow (pixelwise) monitor centered on top of a wider monitor, it won't let you drag up a window that runs all the way to the edge of the wider monitor -- the window seems to have to be fully in the width displayable on the narrower monitor.

I don't know if this is what you're experiencing or not?
mkrishnan Thanks for the idea but both monitors are the exact same resolution (1920x1200). The window bounce will happen even if I move it so it's fully on the second monitor as well. It sounds like a fun game but when I'm working I've had to step slowly away from my computer for 5 min for a little break.... haha
 

dafyddjames

macrumors newbie
Nov 13, 2007
1
0
I believe if you select 'Zoom' from the Windows menu it will Zoom the window to your current display. Can't test it at the moment as I only have one monitor, but I seem to remember it worked for me a while ago.
This worked for me with a stray Sticky, thanks!

Also, Forget-Me-Not might be of use to some people. It's designed to stop this sort of thing happening when you switch between single and dual monitor setups.

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/22709/forget-me-not
 

Amdahl

macrumors 65816
Jul 28, 2004
1,438
1
Leopard has the cure

If you have Spaces turned on, hit F8. Now drag and drop the window where you want it.
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
Pressing "Detect Displays" in System Preferences has helped my computer remember to forget its external monitor on more than one occasion. The 'lost' windows appear in a similar position on the main display after pressing that button.
 

mac4life

macrumors newbie
Jan 28, 2003
4
0
Nunya Beesnaz
A new solution!

My circumstances are not quite the same as above, but pretty damn close. I had my TV hooked up as an external display to my iMac to watch a movie on it since it was not in an AppleTV compatible format and wouldn't convert properly. It was however working in iTunes, so my boyfriend thought you had to drag the video off to the 2nd monitor (TV) to play it on there. I explained it would be automatic, but he wouldn't listen. Well, that didn't work, but when I entered fullscreen mode, it did. Anyhow, the next time I was in iTunes I was trying to watch a video in windowed mode since I was working on something else. However it was maximized taking up fullscreen and I couldn't resize it cuz the bottom edge was under the dock. Whenever I hit the green "zoom" button, it went off screen as if it were still on the second monitor. I could see it in exposé but I couldn't grab it. I tried changing resolution, grabbing it in spaces, expose, all to no avail... not to mention I couldn't find my mini DVD to video adapter. Eventually I hid the dock, used the corner to resize the Maximized window. Then I hit the zoom button and it went back to maximized. Now I was able to use zoom to switch between maximized and manually resized windows without if jumping off the screen. I hope this helps.
 

kokonutmama

macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2008
2
0
I believe if you select 'Zoom' from the Windows menu it will Zoom the window to your current display. Can't test it at the moment as I only have one monitor, but I seem to remember it worked for me a while ago.
Yes! Thank You! My problem was not that the computer thought there was a monitor that wasn't there: both are in use, and the windows in question were totally off both of them. I have been changing the resolution a lot because there are users with different visual ability using the computer, that's all I can figure caused it.

Window > Zoom did the trick!
 

J the Ninja

macrumors 68000
Jul 14, 2008
1,824
0
iTunes started playing music :rolleyes:


If Spaces does the trick, I assume it would be the easiest way to handle this scenario.
If you have special functions on your F keys, it's Fn+F8. Or the hot corner, or a mouse button or keyboard macro key if you have one configured. The key thing here is that when you go to the birds-eye-view of your spaces you can drag a window by grabbing it anywhere.
 

phandy

macrumors newbie
Aug 8, 2009
1
0
I had the same problem as well, and this suffers me for quite a few months....

I think this is application dependent, normally, after you unplug the monitor (for mac book), applications will automatically gather to the main screen, but for some application, such as keepass, it can't, and much worse, those methods suggested above can't work because:

1. use F8: No, as with out second monitor, even click F8, you only see 1 screen per section, so you can not click and drop the app to main screen.

2. use Windows -> Zoom, not for keepass, as it didn't have such menu...

3. F3, well you can then see the app (keepass), but when clicked, it will go back to secondary monitor... virtually.

4. lower resolution.. nope, as to macbook, you only have one screen.

5. Gather windows button: nope, as it exist only when your macbook had a monitor plugged in.

The only way now, i can solve this issue, is plug the monitor back, move the window back to main screen, then unplug.... very stupid, but work....

really hope someone know a better solution, as not always had a monitor to plug to....:(
 

ddallam

macrumors newbie
Aug 8, 2009
1
0
Windows off the screen

Simple. Hold down the "Option" button while selecting the "+" sign in the upper left.
 

tom3118

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2009
1
0
Other fixes

None of these worked for me. But what did was selecting "Tile Windows" from the "Window" menu.

I also read "here" that you can delete the program's .plist entry (from ~/Library/Preferences) and that should do it.
 

tweezer748

macrumors newbie
Dec 5, 2009
2
0
None of these worked for me. But what did was selecting "Tile Windows" from the "Window" menu.

I also read "here" that you can delete the program's .plist entry (from ~/Library/Preferences) and that should do it.
Thanks Tom3118. Nothing else would work, but deleting the plist entries seemed to do the trick.
 

CodeCavalier

macrumors newbie
Mar 30, 2011
14
5
I'm an Ex-PC, and this problem REALLY bothered me, too! Window->Zoom worked.

Thanks, all, for the Window->Zoom solution. That worked for me.

Too bad there isn't a "global" shortcut for OS X, like there is for Win. (See: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/wind...-windows-back-to-your-desktop-keyboard-trick/)

I go back and forth between having my Air plugged into an external screen, and using it by itself (like any time I leave my desk). I run into this problem often. Until I found this thread, I simply had to wait till I got back to my desk to get my window back. This would really interrupt my work flow.

Now, I suppose if the app in question doesn't offer the Window->Zoom option, then I'd still be stuck. Pressing F8, F9, F10, F11 doesn't fix the problem for me; the window remains unreachable in all instances. Switching to a different desktop in Spaces lets me watch my errant window fly onto the screen, then quickly fly right on by, but that doesn't let me access the window in any way. Gather Windows only gathers the System Preferences windows, not apps. None of the Option-Shift-Command-etc-etc key combinations worked for me, either. I didn't get around to changing resolutions before I had already found a solution. That thing about .plist entry seems promising--haven't tried it, yet.

I wonder if Zooom/2 (http://coderage-software.com/zooom/index_green/index.html) could implement a solution to this problem. That would be helpful.
 

jasmine84

macrumors member
May 16, 2007
57
0
Toronto ON
Step the resolution down (on your main display) in System Preferences, exit out of sys prefs, and then go back in and step the resolution back up. This should trigger it to reset to default window positions. You may end up with some wonky window sizes that you'll have to restore to what you want, but it should resolve the problem.
This worked for me, thank you. :)

4 years later and Apple still hasn't come to a solution for this??
 

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