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I have Windows 7 installed on my laptop, which is a Dell studio XPS 16. I recently set up a second monitor for it.

I've noticed that when I open up full screen applications, like a game or media center on one monitor, I can't seem to do anything with the other monitor.

With the game, I can see the other monitor, I can play a movie on it even, but if I click the mouse button on it, it'll stop the game and Alt+Tab away.

In Media Center, I can't even cross my mouse over the other monitor.

So my question is: in Windows 7, is it possible to run programs like this that are designed to be run in one maximized window and still be able to do things on the other window?

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This depends on the specific application; depending on how they're rendering their full-screen content, they may not deal well with losing focus. Unfortunately, most games do this. Some of them have workarounds, some of them don't...I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all solution. (Note that this is not a Windows 7 specific problem.) – Shinrai Feb 9 '11 at 23:54
It's because both programs use directx, just run media center in windowed mode. It seems there are only work arounds for this issue no fixes:… – Not Kyle stop stalking me Feb 10 '11 at 0:06
You should modify the title of this question, change maximized to full-screen they are very different window states as far as Windows is concerned. – Slomojo Feb 10 '11 at 0:56
@slomojo : thanks done! – RoboShop Feb 10 '11 at 7:28

I have found in most cases, it depends on the software. I've been able to run two different Office functions -- Word and Excel -- on separate monitors. I think it's just a matter of playing with your resolution settings.

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It's not a matter of playing with your resolution settings. Second a maxamized window is completely different from a fullscreened application. A maxamized window will still be rendered as a window which has an [x] in the top right so you can close it. WIth fullscreen apps there is no universal close button so they usually minimize or close when you do something else since they are (usually) single task programs. – Daisetsu Feb 10 '11 at 0:34

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