Quick Tip – Making Windows on 2nd Monitor Visible

I’m a big believer in using two (or even three) monitors on my main development machine.  I have two monitors on my home development machine (24″ Dell and 22″ off-brand) and having the extra real estate of that second monitor is invaluable.  I use it often, putting different applications over on the 2nd monitor and then dragging-dropping work/files between the monitors.

But I have a slight problem when I remote into my home machine from work.  Windows 7 supports mapping multiple monitors on the remote machine to multiple monitors on the local machine.  But at work, I just use a single monitor.  So I only see the windows that are being shown on the main monitor of my home machine.

The problem arises when I click on an icon in the taskbar to see a window and it doesn’t show up–because it exists on my second monitor.  Because I’m only seeing my main monitor, I don’t see the application’s window and can’t click on it.

The fix is simple.  Do the following:

  • Left-click on the application’s icon in the taskbar, to make it active
  • Right-click on the icon in the taskbar and select Move
  • Click one of the arrow keys once (it doesn’t matter which)
  • Now move your mouse–you’ll see an outline of the application appear on the screen and you can place it where you like

This works on both Windows XP and Windows Vista.  Windows placement in Windows 7 works a bit differently, so I’m not exactly sure the best way to do this in 7.

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