I have a dual-monitor setup, with an application on each monitor. One of the monitors is connected via a hardware switch, to switch its input between the Windows PC and another input (say, a CCTV camera).

When I switch that monitor to the CCTV camera, Windows 10 detects the loss of that monitor and moves the application window from that monitor to the other. I can see how that is helpful in most use cases, but in my case it is not what I want. I want everything to stay where it is, even if it means one of the applications is not visible.

Is there a way to stop Windows from rearranging everything?


This happens because when you disconnect your monitor, Windows detects a change of desktop size. Having an application outside desktop would mean you cannot access it by mouse, so Windows tries to always keep at least part of it visible on the desktop. This is initiated by plug and play subsystem as a response to low-level hardware connect/disconnect events.

Unless you do some tricky stuff with video drivers, I don't think you can change this behaviour. Perhaps you could use a video connector that only uses outputs, i.e. it provides no way for a computer to detect whether a monitor is connected or not, such as VGA. Your best other option would be an active adapter or a converter that would keep the signal alive for computer regardless of whether the monitor is actually connected to it or not.

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