Everyone has run into this problem at least once: you are running a program, and you minimize it to the task bar. Later, you try to restore the window by clicking the program on the task bar, and nothing happens.
You’re program is running, but its window has somehow moved outside the desktop area. Firefox – bless its flaming little heart – just loves to do this to me.
Since it was such an annoying problem, I managed to figure out a couple of ways to restore the “hidden” window…
The follow methods can be used to restore your missing Window. They are presented in order from the most pimped out to the least:
If you are using Windows 7 – and you should be – then just do this:
- Click the program icon on the task bar
- Hold down the Windows key, and press the left or right arrow key
Win-LeftArrow and Win-RightArrow are the keyboard shortcuts for a fabulous Windows 7 feature known as Aero Snap.
Aero Snap is seriously useful if you’d like to line up 2 windows side by side such that they take up the entire screen. What’s really cool is that when you “unsnap” the windows either with the mouse or with the keyboard shortcuts, they will automagically revert to their original size (and position on the desktop if you use the keyboard shortcut).
For all versions of Windows:
- Right-click the task bar itself and pick “Cascade windows” or “Show windows stacked”
That was easy! Unfortunately, then you have to rearrange all your windows, which is seriously annoying.
Here’s another less effective trick for all versions of Windows:
- Right-click the program on the taskbar, and pick “Move”. If you’re using Windows 7, hold down Shift and then right-click to get the old right-click menu instead of the new jump list menu.
- Use the arrow keys to move the hidden window back onto the screen
This method actually sucks, because you don’t know where your window is hidden! But when all else fails, sometimes it can save the day.
- Close the program by selecting it on the task bar and then typing Alt-F4
- Restart the program
This is the last resort…
So there you have it. If you have a Method 0, I’m all ears!
Happy New Year!
YAY Method 3 FTW! Thanks for the help!!
Method 1 totally worked for me. You saved the day! Thanks!
Worked like a charm. Thank you very much
I am so thankful for your help. I tried uninstalling among other things and nothing worked. Your blog was the best. Thanks
From the bottom of my heart THANKS!!!!!!! Could not find my embroidery software, used your advice, now i am back in business!!!!!
Thank you. Method 1 worked for me. You saved me.
Thank you! Method #3 worked for me.
No help for me, wot running, but I can’t force to screen, I click on the windows icon, I can see it opens, but not to screen, they 3 suggestion did den work..
Thanks Scott – I would not have figured that out in a million years! Very grateful! Cheers!
I have never left comments before but this was so very helpful for my “lost” item. #1 worked for me!!
Rockstar!!! Thank you – worked on Win 8.1.
I’ve got Windows 10. I’m a guitarist and use a freeware app called “QuikChord.” It pulled the disappearing act, showing up in the taskbar, but refusing to appear on the screen. I tried using compatibility mode. I uninstalled and then reinstalled the program. Nothing worked I ended up working around the problem by running it in a virtual machine using Hyper-V. That was still rather a nuisance when I just wanted to check one guitar chord.
I tried all of your tricks, and they all failed. Some of them do not apply to Windows 10, but you got me playing around and I discovered something that WORKS! So here is Method 0(At least for Windows 10): Right-click the program icon in the taskbar. One of the menu items will be the name of the program. Right click that. Then choose “properties.” On the property sheet that appears, one of the options is “Run:” The default setting you will see is “Normal Window.” It is a dropdown menu, so click it and choose “Maximized.” The other choice you do not want would be “Minimized.” I did this and now the program appears without any more difficulty. I don’t know why the so-call normal window wouldn’t appear, but I’m happy to say this method worked perfectly!
Thanks! this was what i was looking.
Thank you, thank you! Worked great with my Windows 10. Took my time to follow your steps and all returned to normal. Additionally my computer showed 2 screens in the display settings when I only had 1 monitor connected. My monitor was “screen 2” and therefore did not show any items on the desktop or in the quick launch bar. After following your instructions I was able to grab and slide open windows into my viewing area from “screen 1”. Ultimately I was able to grab my open file exployer and delete “screen 1” and make my only monitor the primary one. This brought my quick launch bar and icons back to my display.
method 3rd +1! You are the man! Thanks!
This methode worked for me too.
Just highlight the program and press alt-space and maximize. Easiest method.
This worked for me. None of the others (even Method 0) worked
I tried this method
1) Bring up Windows Task Manager
2) Right Click on the program and select maximise
3) Program will go full screen. Go to the Program bar and move it with your mouse. It changes to a window. Done
That’s how I solve it the rare times it occurs 😉
thanks man….the Method worked at once…I was literally stuck in this for last few days and I got the solution..Thanks again…
Method 1 and 2 worked…
You are a super-hero of the online world. Annoying stuff like this application window disappearing or (as in my current case) not responding to the ‘move’ command can drive Windows users mad. I’m an old-pro with the OS from DOS to Win10 and forget some of the stuff you noted above. Thanks for your stuff!!
Very helpfull. It was only in settings need to view after I moved Using Shift key and right click with the Icon. The display view must be in single view and not on extended.
Thanks a lot for the big help
fuck all 3 methods, method 4 only works.
none of the above worked for me. The only sullution that helped finally is this:
1. open the program
2. SHIFT + Right mouse click on the program and Restore
3. SHIFT + Right mosue click on the program and Move
4. with the arrow keys you can move the window (for me I moved with the Left arrow key )
You can do the same thing from the Task Manager by right-clicking on the app and selecting Maximized.
Windows 10. Had same problems. I change the screen to the correct resolution. It fix the problem. You could see the program was running. You can click “switch between Windows”. I need to learn more about virtual desktop in windows 10.
Thanks for your info
Wow what a solution, I have been using Window 8 and the first approach really worked for me and you saved my time. Thank you so much for making things easy like this!
I’ve been trying all 4 methods but sadly the app I was using refused to cooperate. I’ve finally manged to get the window back by using the CTRL+ALT+Right arrow. This rotated my screen vertically and I was able to see the app and grab it back
Thank you, a method that finally worked after hours of frustration!
Another method: I am using Windows 10. Hold down Shift and then right-click the program on the taskbar to get the old right-click menu instead of the new jump list menu and pick “Maximize”. That did it for me.
method 3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks!!!!
If none of these work, your program may be hiding in the Notification Area(System Tray) which is at the very right of the taskbar, bottom right of the desktop, next to the speaker icon and clock.
Click the little upwards arrow to see if your program is there. It may somehow been set to just show up in the System Tray and not on the Taskbar with the other programs. You can probably right click the icon and check settings.
How has Microsoft not solved this problem? Wouldn’t it be simple to check if a restored window is visible on a desktop? Then if not, move it to the top left of the active monitor? This is insanity!
You’re a life saver. Method 1 worked for me….thanks a lot!!!
Same for me.
all you guys are saying is click the icon on taskbar, it isn’t even on my taskbar, it doesn’t say its open, but when I click on the icon on my desktop it tries to load then says its open somewhere else, need helps none of this moving the app is helping at all
Method 1……thank you!
THANK YOU! Method 3 worked like a charm 🙂
Thank you, I started with method 1 and it worked 😀
Very useful! Thanks!
super easy,. None of those you got here worked for me. I had this with Opera browser.
So my method which has worked is to uninstall Opera, then restart your PC and install Opera again. And it worked perfectly, it has even straight away opened my tabs that I had there opened, so no loss whatsoever and it was quick as well.