Quick Tip: Move a window back into view from outside the display

In Microsoft Windows (7, Vista, and XP) there is a simple way to move that hidden application window back into view when it has slipped off the screen.

Every once in a while, you or the users you support may work yourselves into a situation where a running application's window is displayed off the screen in such a way that it cannot be moved back into view. The most likely culprit that could create this scenario is when you use multiple monitors and one of those monitors becomes unexpectedly unavailable.

In Microsoft Windows (7, Vista, and XP) there is a simple way to move that hidden application window back into view. Note, this technique has been available in every version of Windows (correct me if I am wrong about that), but many users are unaware it exists or, perhaps, they have just forgotten.

Move that window

The general technique is the same for all Windows, but Windows 7, with the newer Taskbar functionality, may require an additional move of the mouse.

For our example, imagine the Word file sliding off the right side of the display shown in Figure A is completely out of the picture. The only visible connection to that Word window would be on the Taskbar.

Figure A

Imagine the Word file is off the display screen.
Right-click on the Word icon in the Taskbar to bring up the context menu, which should look something like Figure B. Click the Move entry.

Figure B

Right-click the Taskbar icon to get the context menu.

Once you click the Move entry, you should see an icon on your Desktop that looks like arrows pointing in all four directions (up, down, right, left). Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move the Word window onto the current display where you can get to it with your mouse. When you get it into position, press the Enter key or click your mouse and the Window position will be reset to your current display. You can then access it as you normally would.

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By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.