30 December 2009

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:

Method 1:

If you are using Windows 7 – and you should be – then just do this:

  1. Click the program icon on the task bar
  2. 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).

Method 2:

For all versions of Windows:

  1. 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.

Method 3:

Here’s another less effective trick for all versions of Windows:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Method 4:

  1. Close the program by selecting it on the task bar and then typing Alt-F4
  2. 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!

QuickFix: My program is running, but I can’t see the window on the desktop!
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28 thoughts on “QuickFix: My program is running, but I can’t see the window on the desktop!

  • 19 January 2013 at 21:59
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    YAY Method 3 FTW! Thanks for the help!!

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  • 21 November 2013 at 14:14
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    Method 1 totally worked for me. You saved the day! Thanks!

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  • 23 May 2014 at 15:55
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    Worked like a charm. Thank you very much

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  • 24 August 2014 at 13:54
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    I am so thankful for your help. I tried uninstalling among other things and nothing worked. Your blog was the best. Thanks

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  • 5 December 2014 at 17:32
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    From the bottom of my heart THANKS!!!!!!! Could not find my embroidery software, used your advice, now i am back in business!!!!!

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  • 9 December 2014 at 07:41
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    Thank you. Method 1 worked for me. You saved me.

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  • 14 January 2015 at 15:58
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    Thank you! Method #3 worked for me.

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  • 23 March 2015 at 00:38
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    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..

    Reply
  • 15 August 2015 at 09:23
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    Thanks Scott – I would not have figured that out in a million years! Very grateful! Cheers!

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  • 18 August 2015 at 17:04
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    Very helpful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 8 December 2015 at 23:49
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    I have never left comments before but this was so very helpful for my “lost” item. #1 worked for me!!

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  • 23 April 2016 at 15:23
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    Rockstar!!! Thank you – worked on Win 8.1.

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  • 24 April 2016 at 20:46
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    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!

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  • 27 May 2016 at 00:04
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    method 3rd +1! You are the man! Thanks!

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  • 22 June 2016 at 03:38
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    Just highlight the program and press alt-space and maximize. Easiest method.

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  • 18 July 2016 at 08:20
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    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

    Reply
  • 1 October 2016 at 07:18
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    thanks man….the Method worked at once…I was literally stuck in this for last few days and I got the solution..Thanks again…

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  • 1 October 2016 at 07:19
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    Method 1 and 2 worked…

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  • 19 October 2016 at 11:10
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    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!!

    Dick

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  • 28 October 2016 at 00:06
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    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.

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  • 14 December 2016 at 15:35
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    fuck all 3 methods, method 4 only works.

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  • 1 January 2017 at 21:04
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    Hello,

    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 )

    Reply
  • 12 January 2017 at 21:12
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    @Ken Natco
    You can do the same thing from the Task Manager by right-clicking on the app and selecting Maximized.

    Reply
  • 17 January 2017 at 23:09
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    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

    Reply

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