Laptop - External Monitor

I currently am using a Dell XPS laptop connected to an external monitor. I have changed power settings so when I close the laptop lid I can continue using the laptop via the external display. I have also changed the monitor to be the default display.

Here’s my issue. Sometimes when I open a new window it will open off screen. I have to open my laptop and drag the window over to the monitor.

I would like it to behave like a single monitor rig when I’m docked.

If anyone could help I would really appreciate it!


Hint: Windows Key + P, Duplicate

If you use the built-in Win7/8/10 Project utility it will move everything to the selected screen. It also makes sure everything you open later opens on the selected screen.

Press Win+P on the keyboard to open it.

FYI it was originally meant to make using a projector for presentations easier hence the name.

The following webpage shows the Windows 10 version of the utility.

Thanks everyone the simple fix. I thought there would be a way to make it act like there is just a single monitor. Because there are other issues due the same problem. Such as snapping windows. I can’t snap a window to that side, it will throw it all the way over to the other monitor.

I just want to to act like a single monitor rig. Maybe that’s not possible.

I was able to find a solution, just in case someone else has the same question. I right clicked on the desktop and went to “Intel Graphics Settings” then “Monitors” then “Multiple Displays” and then I clicked “Single Display” and below from the drop down menu I made sure my external monitor was selected. This actually turned off my laptop display even when it was open. Then when I disconnected from the dock the laptop display turned back on and I was able to use it as normal.

Some applications still react funny when they are moved from one display to another, especially if the other display has a different resolution - poorly written applications don’t check to see if the last position is actually visible on the new display (E.g. you went from a 4K monitor to FullHD and the window was bottom right on the big display).

If an application windows doesn’t show up, even though the application has started, it is possible that the position is “off screen”, positive or negative. You can’t pull the window back on screen with the mouse, because it has no visible title bar to drag.

To get around this, use the following trick:

  • click once on the icon in the task bar
  • Press Alt + Space (opens the window’s control menu
  • Press cursor down once and press Enter (alternatively press “M” for move - in German it is V for Verschieben, I think it should be “M” in English, but double check on a visible window)
  • (If you move the mouse, nothing happens, don’t worry)
  • Press an arrow key, it doesn’t matter which. The mouse pointer jumps to the part of the screen where the window is hidden (left, right, top, bottom).
  • Move the mouse until the window appears on the screen
  • Place the window somewhere visible and click the left mouse button.

Et voilà, the window is visible and usable again.

Edit: You can test this by dragging a window down behind the task bar and leaving it there, then going through the process above.

Project didn’t work on your system?

I use it all the time and it makes my dual screen systems work as perfect single screen systems on either screen. I find it especially handy when using Chrome Remote Desktop where I never want more than one active screen on the remote PC.

Yes it worked in fact after playing with it I prefer your method. Thanks!