How to Find a Window That Is Off Screen on a Chromebook, Mac, or Windows PC
At times, the windows for our running applications and programs tend to display off-screen. Has this ever happened to you? If yes, you’re in the right place to learn how to recover your missing window.
In this article, we’ll outline the best ways to bring a window back to view for a variety of operating systems. Plus, our FAQ section includes tips to solve the other common problem of the disappearing mouse/touchpad pointer.
How to Find a Window That Is Off Screen?
Typical causes for the disappearance of our running programs and application windows include:
- Disconnection of a secondary monitor, or modified display settings. The computer behaves as if no changes have been made and will attempt to display windows on the space where the monitor once was.
- A bug within the application or program; usually realizes the problem and re-positions itself.
But if it doesn’t, here are some tips for fixing the problem yourself:
- Change your screen’s resolution. This can pull your missing window into the main view by zooming out the camera.
- Cascade windows. This feature should cascade all windows for your running applications or programs including the missing one.
- Select the missing program from the taskbar and maximize it. This forces it into view, however, when reverting to your previous window-mode the window will return to its off-screen position.
Read on for the specific steps on how to achieve these, and other fixes.
How to Find a Window That Is Off Screen on Mac?
Using macOS, try the following to bring your window back into view:
Change Your Screen’s Resolution
- From the “Apple” menu, select “System Preferences…” then “Displays.”
- Under “Resolution,” make sure “Scaled” is selected.
- To force the window back on the screen, choose any other setting.
- Then change the setting back to the previous.
Use Window Zoom
- From the dock, select the app or program.
- Select “Window,” then “Zoom.”
Center the Window
- From the “Dock,” click on the app or program to ensure it’s active.
- Whilst holding down the “Option” key, click on the app or program icon again to hide it.
- Now release the “Option” key, and for the 3rd time click on the app or program icon. The window should reappear in the center of your screen.
Use Mirror Mode
- To try toggling your mirror settings, hold down the “Command” button and press “F1.” On some Macs you may need to press “Command” + “Fn” + “F1.”
Force Mac to Quit
- From the “Apple” menu select “Force Quit…”
- From the “Force Quit Applications” window, select the app or program.
- Now hold down the “Command,” “ALT” and “Escape” keys to open it.
How to Find a Window That Is Off Screen on Windows 10?
Using Windows 10, try the following to bring your window back into view:
Use Arrow and Window Keys
- In the taskbar, click on the active app or program to make it current.
- Hold down the “Windows” key with either the right or left arrow key.
Use Arrow and Shift Keys
- Press the “Shift” key, right-click the active app or program icon from the taskbar.
- In the pop-up menu select “Move.”
- Use the right or left arrow keys until the window appears.
Use Arrow Keys and the Mouse
- At the taskbar, hover your pointer over the active app or program until a thumbnail appears.
- Right-click it then select “Move.” Your cursor will turn into the four-arrowed move icon.
- Move the cursor to the center of your screen.
- Move the missing app/program into view, using the right or left arrow key.
- Then press “Enter.”
Arrange Windows Using Cascade
- On the taskbar, right-click an empty space.
- Click on “Cascade windows.”
- All windows, including the missing one, are rearranged into a cascade.
Change Your Screen’s Resolution
- On the desktop, right-click.
- Click on “Display settings.”
- From the side panel, select “Display.”
- Select one resolution from “Advanced scaling settings,” to change the resolution temporarily until the missing window is visible.
- Then move the window to the center and change the resolution to your desired setting.
Use the Desktop Toggle
- Press the “Windows” + “D.” All apps and programs will disappear.
- Press the “Windows” + “D” again. Everything should reappear including the missing window.
How to Find a Window That Is Off Screen on Chromebook?
Using ChromeOS, try the following to bring your window back into view:
Display All Active Programs and Applications
- In a single motion on your touchpad, either swipe downwards or upwards using three fingers.
- Windows for any active apps and programs will be displayed.
Switch Between Screens
- Hold down the “Alt” key, then keep pressing the “Tab” key until the missing window appears.
How Do I Get Hidden Windows Back With a Keyboard Trick?
Try the following keyboard tricks to get your missing window back into view:
Use the Window and Arrow Keys
1. On the taskbar, locate and click on the program or app to make it active.
2. Click on the Windows key, and keep pressing the right or left arrow key until the window is visible.
Use the Shift and Arrow Keys
1. Press the “Shift” key, then from the taskbar locate and right-click the program or app.
2. Click on “Move” from the pop-up menu.
3. Keep pressing the left or right arrow keys until the window displays.
Use the Mouse and Arrow Keys
1. At the taskbar, point your cursor at the open program/app until the thumbnail shows.
2. Right-click the thumbnail then select “Move.”
· Your pointer will change to the four-arrowed move icon.
3. Move the cursor to the center of your screen.
4. To bring the missing app/program into view, keep pressing the right or left arrow key, then “Enter.”
How to Bring a Lost Window Back to Your Desktop?
As well as trying the keyboard short-cut tips described above, here are a few other ways to bring your window back into view:
Use the Window Cascade Feature
1. From the taskbar, right-click on an empty space.
2. Select “Cascade windows.”
3. All opened windows, including the missing one, are displayed as a cascade.
Adjust Your Screen’s Resolution
1. Right-click on the desktop.
2. Select “Display settings.”
3. Click on “Display” found on the side panel.
4. Select a resolution from “Advanced scaling settings,” to adjust the resolution temporarily until the lost window is visible.
5. Now move the window to the center and readjust the resolution to your desired setting.
Toggle the Desktop
1. Press the “Win” + “D” keys, for all apps and programs to disappear.
2. Press the “Win” + “D” keys again, everything should reappear, hopefully including the lost window.
For tips on how to do the same on a Mac, please check out the relevant section towards the beginning of this article.
How to Fix When the Cursor Disappears?
Try the following when your cursor disappears from the screen in Windows:
Establish a New Connection
· If you’re using a wired mouse, unplug it, then plug it back in, try using a different USB port.
· For a wireless mouse, disconnect the attachment from the USB port, and turn off the mouse. Plug the attachment back in, wait five minutes then switch the mouse back on.
Reboot Your PC
1. Press “Windows + D.”
2. Use “Alt”+ “F4” to get to the shutdown options.
If trying the basics doesn’t help, try these:
Re-Enable Your Mouse
Here are two ways to re-enable your mouse:
a. From your laptop, try the key combination to turn your mouse on/off. Depending on your laptop model its typically: “Fn” + “F3,” “F5,” “F9,” or “F11.”
b. From mouse settings:
1. Press the “Windows” key then type “mouse.”
2. Press the up or down arrow on your keyword to select “Mouse settings” then “Enter”.
3. Use the “Tab” key to get to then highlight “Additional mouse options” under “Related Settings” then “Enter.”
4. Use the “Tab” key to highlight the “Buttons” tab (one with the dotted border).
5. Use the right arrow key to open the “Device Settings” window.
6. If your device is showing as disabled, use the “Tab” key to highlight “Enable” then hit “Enter.”
First check for updates:
1. Press “Windows” + “R” to open the run command box.
2. Type “check for updates,” then hit “Enter.”
3. Follow the instructions to install any available updates.
Check for Hardware Problems
1. Type “
msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic” into a run command box, then “Enter.”
2. Now follow the instructions to check for any problems with your mouse.
Uninstall and Reinstall Your Mouse or Touchpad
1. Type “
devmgmt.msc” into a run command box then enter.
2. Use “Tab” to get to “Mice and other pointing devices.”
3. Use the right arrow key to expand the menu.
4. Highlight the pointing device in question by using the down arrow.
5. To access the uninstall option press “Alt,” then “a,” then “u.”
6. When “Uninstall” is highlighted press the “Spacebar” to confirm.
Now restart your pc:
1. Press “Windows + D.”
2. Use “Alt” + “F4” to get to the shutdown options.
3. Windows will automatically reinstall the mouse or touchpad driver.
Return of the Phantom Window
Ending up with an inaccessible window can be frustrating. Our computers are supposed to be so advanced but, even so, there is potential for so many issues. One of those being, a window that has disappeared. Luckily, we have plenty of ways to recover them.
Now that we’ve shown you how to get your wayward window back, which of the tips worked for you? Have any of your windows disappeared since? Let us know in the comment section below.