How to Fix Application Opening Offscreen in Windows 11

Introduction

It’s incredibly frustrating when you launch an application in Windows 11, but that application doesn’t show up on on your screen. The root cause of the problem is often switching between using an external display and not using an external display. And while you can hold down the Windows key and use the arrow keys to move your application window back on your main screen, this isn’t a long term solution. In this video I’ll show you how to fix the problem once and for all.

Some of the images associated with the steps are included inline below. All images associated with these steps can be seen in the embedded YouTube video. Also, please note that you’re not able to leave a comment directly on this article. If you have a question or feedback, please leave it on the YouTube video.

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Steps to Fix Application Opening Offscreen in Windows 11

  1. Locate the app icon on the taskbar associated with the app that’s open but you aren’t seeing on your screen.
  2. Hold down the “Shift” key, and then right click that app icon. A context menu opens.
  3. Click “Move” in that menu. You won’t see any immediate changes on the screen.
Click Move in the context menu.
  1. Start holding down various arrow keys until you see an outline start to appear on your screen. This outline represents the current location of your application window.
Start holding down various arrow keys until you see an outline start to appear on your screen.
  1. Continue moving the application window outline to the location where you want the application to open going forward using either the arrow keys or your mouse.
Continue moving the application window outline to the location where you want the application to open going forward using either the arrow keys or your mouse.
  1. Press “Enter” after you get the outline positioned where you want it to open going forward. Your application will appear. Going forward, this is the location where this application window will open in Windows 11.
Press Enter after you get the outline positioned where you want it to open going forward.

Reasons to Consider Fixing an Application Opening Offscreen in Windows 11

1. Multiple Displays with Different Resolutions

Using multiple displays with different resolutions can cause applications to open offscreen in Windows 11. This happens when an application is opened on a display with a higher resolution, but the user switches to a display with a lower resolution. The application window may be partially or entirely offscreen, making it impossible to see or access.

2. Changes in Display Settings or Resolutions

Changes in display settings or resolution can also cause applications to open offscreen in Windows 11. This can happen when the user changes the display resolution or orientation, or when they switch to a different display altogether. If the application window was previously positioned based on the old display settings, it may be offscreen when the new settings are applied.

3. Misconfigured or Corrupted Graphics Drivers

Misconfigured or corrupted graphics drivers can also cause applications to open offscreen in Windows 11. This happens when the driver fails to correctly position the application window on the screen, causing it to be partially or entirely offscreen.

4. Incompatible or Outdated Software

Incompatible or outdated software can also cause applications to open offscreen in Windows 11. This can happen when the software was designed for an older version of Windows, or when it conflicts with other software or hardware on the system. The application window may be offscreen as a result of these compatibility issues.

5. Issues with the Windows 11 Operating System Itself

Issues with the Windows 11 operating system itself can also cause applications to open offscreen. This can happen due to bugs or glitches in the operating system that affect window positioning.

6. Incorrect Window Positioning Settings

Incorrect window positioning settings can cause applications to open offscreen in Windows 11. This can happen when the user changes the default window positioning settings or accidentally drags the window offscreen.

7. User Error

Finally, user error can cause applications to open offscreen in Windows 11. This can happen when the user accidentally drags the window offscreen and forgets about it, or when they close the window in an offscreen position and it reopens in the same position.

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About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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