My computer’s primary monitor is plugged into the spot on my graphics card that’s labeled “DVI.” My second monitor is plugged into the spot on my graphics card labeled “HDMI.” I set my primary monitor as the default monitor in Windows. So why is Windows opening programs on the second monitor, instead of on my primary monitor? I set both monitors to look for the mouse first on the primary monitor and if it’s not there, look on the secondary monitor. That’s what I want. Not what I’m getting.
If you have multiple monitors hooked up to your PC and a program opens on the wrong screen, you’ll know just how frustrating it can be. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to fix this problem if you don’t want to manually move your windows all the time. The program that manages your monitor settings is called the monitor control panel. Opening this can vary from PC to PC, but you can find it by hitting Windows Key + P.
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If you open an app or program for Windows 10 and it opens on a different or incorrect monitor in a multi-monitor setup, this article will help you fix the problem. You can use the same instructions to open the program on a specific monitor if you have two or more monitors.
By installing a dual monitor, you can use different programs at the same time and improve your communication and collaboration capabilities. After all, what could be better than browsing help files on one screen and video chatting with teammates on the other?
Some users have recently reported that Windows opens some programs on the second monitor instead of the main monitor. If you are facing such a problem, you have come to the right place.
If you’re having trouble setting up multiple displays, these tips can help you avoid Windows 10 opening apps on the wrong monitor and open them on a specific monitor.
Why Windows opens applications on the secondary monitor instead of the main monitor
If you have not set the main monitor as the computer’s primary display, this may be the cause of the problem. Some Windows programs and applications open only on the main monitor. To use it on the main monitor, you must change the basic display settings.
Sometimes Windows cannot open applications on the target monitor because it does not have advanced multi-monitor capabilities. A simple solution to this problem is to use third-party applications with powerful features such as customizable keyboard shortcuts and multi-monitor task bars.
To fix the problem that Windows programs are opened on the secondary monitor instead of the main monitor
April 2021 Update:
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Close the window in the desired monitor mode
Windows normally opens applications on the monitor they were closed on.
Try the following steps, but they may not work for full-screen games (try setting the game to windowless or borderless mode) or in applications like word processors (if you open another document, it may start up on the wrong monitor).
- Start the problematic application and let it boot up completely.
- Now put the application in window mode (neither expanded nor collapsed) by clicking the Restore button (the square button next to the Close Window button) and dragging the application to the desired monitor.
- Then close the application without maximizing or minimizing it, and check the system tray for application background activity. Also check that no processes related to the problematic application are running in the system task manager.
- Now check if the monitor problem is solved. If this is the case, you can use the application in extended window mode the next time you launch it.
- If not, repeat steps 1 through 3, but hold down the Ctrl key when you close the application to see if the problem is resolved.
Switching the main screen to another monitor
Many applications prefer to run on the home screen of the system. In this case, you can solve the problem by setting the desired monitor as the main monitor.
- Close the application completely and force the closure of the associated processes using your system task manager.
- Then press the Windows key and select Settings. Now open System and scroll down on the Screen tab to the Multiscreen option.
- Then select the screen you want and choose Make this the home screen (or if it is already the home screen, choose another screen as the home screen and then change the settings to the screen you want).
- Now check that the application opens on the desired monitor.
Using the preview screen
The multiple monitor configuration problem can be solved by moving the application to the desired monitor using the taskbar preview screen.
- Open the problematic application and hover over it in the system tray. A thumbnail view of the application is displayed.
- Then right-click on the preview screen and select Restore.
- Move the mouse pointer over the application again and right-click on the preview screen.
- Now select Move and use the key combination Shift + Window + Arrow (right or left) to move the application to the desired monitor.
- Then put the application in window mode by clicking the Restore button and close the application.
- Now restart the program and check if it works on the desired monitor.
Changing application parameters and using command line arguments.
Many applications, especially games, offer game settings that allow the user to specify on which monitor the game should be displayed. Using this setting may solve the problem by running the application on the correct monitor.
- Run the application/game causing the problem and check that the settings allow it to run on a specific monitor. If this is the case, activate this option and see if the problem is solved.
- If not, launch the Steam client (install it if it’s not already installed) and activate Big Picture mode. You can also run games without a command through the Steam client.
- Now in the display settings, set the monitor you want to play the game on and see if that solves the problem.
- If this is not the case, try modifying the game’s configuration file to solve the problem (for example, you can set the MonitorIndex property to 1 or 2 to select your preferred monitor in Neverwinter’s GamPrefs file, found at
- X : GamenameLiveLocaldata, where X is the installation disk of the game).
- If not, see if using command line arguments to select the desired monitor solves the problem (for example, many Unity games support the -show-screen-selector or -adapter N arguments, where N is the monitor you want to display the application on).
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frequently asked questions
To do this, open an application, drag it to the screen where you want to open it, minimize it by half (the square number in the upper right corner is next to the X to close the application or document), and then close it without bringing it all the way down. From now on it will be open on this screen.
Sometimes the computer does not recognize the switch from one monitor to another (very rare case). If this is the case, the applications will always open on the same screen. To solve this problem, open the application on your computer and resize the window. Make sure it is not maximized or minimized.
While holding down the Windows key on your keyboard, press the left or right arrow. Moves the target window to the left or right side of the screen. By the way: If you have multiple monitors, you can also hold down the Shift key to move the window focus from one monitor to another.
- Open the application.
- Change the size of the window so that it does not get bigger or smaller.
- Move the window to the monitor where you want it to open by default.
- Close the application.
- Open the application. It should open and close on the monitor you just moved it to.
- Maximize the window.
This source has been very much helpful in doing our research. Read more about windows 10: open program on monitor from which it was launched and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I stop programs from opening on my second monitor?
Taskbar is the menu bar of Windows 10 that runs across the bottom of your screen. This bar has shortcuts to programs, folders, as well as options like search and Start menu. The Taskbar is present on both the primary and secondary monitors in Windows 10. However, the Taskbar on secondary monitors shows only the pinned programs that are open on that specific monitor. If you are working on your secondary monitor and want to open a program that is open on your primary monitor, you need to drag the program window back to the primary monitor before you can access the program. It’s easy to get comfortable with windows 10. You’ve customized your desktops to suit your needs, but there’s one thing that bugs you: when you try to open a program on your second monitor, it doesn’t always open there. Sometimes it opens on your primary monitor instead, and sometimes it opens on both. While you can set each program to open on a specific monitor, it’s a pain to do if you have a lot of programs. Fortunately, you can make windows 10 ignore your second monitor so programs will always open on your primary monitor.
How do I make applications open on the correct monitor when using multiple monitors?
The Windows 10 operating system can be configured to open certain applications on a specific monitor. There are two methods to accomplish this: using the application’s built-in functions, or using the Windows 10 Settings app. While it’s possible to force applications to open on specific monitors, these instructions should only be used as a last resort—and even then, you should make a copy of your Windows 10 system files and save them offline just in case anything goes wrong. We still recommend using the simpler solution of dragging and dropping applications between monitors if you’re not sure which monitor an application opens on. The first step is to right-click on your desktop and select “Display Settings” from the menu. (You can also open the Display Settings by right-clicking the Desktop Background and selecting “Display Settings” from the sub-menu.) Once you’re in the Display Settings dialog, click the link that reads “Multiple
How do I force a program to open on the primary monitor?
Windows 10 makes it easy enough to change the target monitor for any given window, but what if you want to make sure a particular application always opens on the same monitor? Today we’ll show you how to force programs to open on a specific monitor, regardless of how you set the default monitor for the application in question. You’re not the only one wondering if it’s possible to force a program to open on a specific monitor. In fact, we’ve been asked this question several times since publishing our guide on how to open Windows programs on specific monitors. Thanks to the flexibility of Windows 10’s Snap view, you can snap a program to open on a specific monitor, but what if you want to force a specific program to always open on a particular monitor?
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