Rescuing a Window that’s Stuck Off-Screen

Last week, during the MSDN Roadshow stop in Reston, VA, I helped my fellow presenter Dani Diaz get a wayward Fiddler window back on-screen, after it appeared off-screen when he opened the app during a demo.

Folks on hand wanted to know what keyboard shortcut I used, and I just realized that I misspoke at the time as to what the shortcut was…I had said it was alt+shift, when in fact, the keyboard shortcut I used was alt+space. alt+space brings up the window menu for the currently selected window, even if that window is currently off-screen, and the menu will appear on-screen regardless.

So if you run into a situation where you open an application, and the window does not appear on-screen, use alt+tab to switch to that application, then alt+space to open the window menu. Once that menu is open, one of the options should be Move. Select move, and then use the arrow keys to start moving the window…it should immediately pop into view, and once you’ve started the move with the arrow keys you can then move it where you want it with the mouse.

Apologies to the folks who attended the event and who may have been misled by my earlier statement.

One more thing…I mentioned during my talk on Windows 7 for developers that there are a ton of new keyboard shortcuts in Windows 7 that you might be interested in…here’s one list:

If you’d like to see more lists you can, of course, Bing it.

Comments (4)

  1. Eric Harlan says:

    What i always do is.

    Find the window in your task bar.

    Right click and select "Move"

    Then hit a button on one of your arrow keys. doesnt matter which just tap it once.

    Then use the mouse to drag the window back to the viewing area.

    By tapping one of the arrow keys Windows things you want to move it with the keys. So it locks the window to your mouse. You can try to move it with the keys still but it takes too long. So since it already locked to the mouse can you just drag the window around with out holding down any mouse buttons.


  2. Tobin Titus says:

    I’ve had to do this quite often. This happens a lot if you doc to a monitor that you use as a secondary monitor instead of simply mirroring what’s on the laptop screen. Good tip and thanks for the keyboard shortcut resource!

  3. C. Woody butler says:

    darn, you’re giving away one of my favorite secrets!

    (actually I tell whoever needs it 😉 )


  4. DEvHammer says:

    @Eric Good tip on the right-click, but I still prefer my method, and here’s why: using the keyboard shortcut, I can get the window moving in 5 or so keystrokes, without having to move my hand off the keyboard, and then simply use the mouse for the last bit.

    If I start the process with the mouse, I have to take my hand off the keyboard, move the mouse to the right taskbar button, right-click, select Move, then move my hand over to the keyboard, hit the arrow key, then move my hand back to the mouse to move the window to its resting place. OK, but less efficient IMO.

    And yes, it does have a hyphen. (if you don’t get that last, don’t worry about it…)

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