Window Not Showing On Screen: How To Move An Off-Screen Window Back

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A window not showing on screen is an issue that has probably affected all of us at some point or another. And sometimes, it can be a real pain, if it's an important document, or a window you needed to refer back to.

Luckily, there are ways to get that window back. It isn't lost forever. If you want to move that off-screen window back, there are a few different approaches you can take. Here's what you need to know.

How To Move Off-Screen Window Back

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Recovering a screen that has exited stage-left is actually easier than you may have thought. There are a few different approaches, whether you are on Windows or macOS. We'll take a look at both.

Read More: How To Fix Mouse Acceleration In Windows and Mac

Find A Window Not Showing On Screen On Windows

If you are using Windows, then try any of the following:

Use The Move Option

One of the easiest ways to get that screen back is by using the Shift key plus the arrow keys:

  • Launch the program if it isn't already open, or select the program in the task bar.
  • Press the Shift key, and right-click the active program.
  • Select Move on the pop-up menu.
  • Use the left or right arrows to move the window back onto the screen.
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Alternatively:

  • Launch the program, or select it on the taskbar.
  • Press and hold the Windows key, and then press the left or right arrow key to bring the screen back into view.

Finally, you can use the arrow keys and your mouse:

  • Launch the program, or hover your cursor over the program on the taskbar until a thumbnail appears.
  • Right-click and select Move from the pop-up menu.
  • The mouse cursor should then change to a four-arrow 'move' symbol. Move this to the centre of your screen.
  • Use your right and left arrows to move the window until it's viewable. Press Enter.
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Change Screen Resolution

By effectively zooming out on your desktop, you can bring that missing window back into view:

  • Right-click the desktop.
  • Select Display Settings.
  • Select Display, and then choose one of the resolution options in the Advanced Scaling Settings. Choose a resolution until the window becomes visible.
  • Move the window to the centre of your screen, then you can revert the screen back to its previous resolution.
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Cascade

This will bring your windows back into a catalogue-style grouping:

  • Right-click an empty space on the taskbar.
  • Select Cascade windows on the pop-up menu.
  • All open windows will be arranged into a cascade, including the one that was previously missing.
macOS Ventura - window not showing on screen
click to enlarge
Credit: Apple

Find A Window Not Showing On Screen On macOS

The same issue can affect macOS users. And it can be fixed using some very similar methods.

Change Resolution

As with Windows, you are effectively zooming out until the window becomes visible:

  • Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen.
  • Select System Preferences.
  • Click on Displays.
  • Click the button next to Scaled in the Display menu.
  • Choose a different resolution. Press OK.
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Read More: Windows 11: How To Move Taskbar To The Left

Relaunch the Program

By closing and reopening the program, you may be able to return it to the visible part of your screen:

  • Click the Apple logo in the top-left corner of the screen.
  • Select Force Quit.
  • Choose the relevant application, and click Relaunch.
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Use The Tile Window Function

This is another option to make the missing window reappear:

  • Select one of your visible windows, and make sure it isn't maximised to fill the screen.
  • Click on Window on the Menu bar.
  • Select Tile window to left (or right) of screen.
  • Any other open Windows will then appear in the space on the other side of the screen.
  • Select the missing window. It will now fill this part of your screen.
  • You can either leave this as is, or quit the window and reopen the program.
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Centre The Window

Last, but not least, use the Option key to find your missing window:

  • Click the app on the Dock.
  • Hold down the Option key and click the active app icon once more. This will hide the app.
  • Release the Option key, and click the active app for a third and final time.
  • The window should now reappear in the centre of your screen.
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As you can see, there are many methods of fixing the missing window conundrum. At least one of these should for you, whether you use Windows or macOS.