I usually have my laptop hooked up to 2 monitors, so when I wake it without those monitors, there is a good chance some windows will be off-screen.

I can usually do the

  1. Select the program in taskbar
  2. [Alt]+[Space]
  3. [m] (I believe, for 'Move')
  4. arrow keys

trick to move the window, but just now this would not work.

I believe it might have something to do with the "MicroSoft Office Activation Wizard" window that pops over the main window.

How can I deal with this situation?

OK, actually, just before posting this I wanted to investigate it some more. I found an answer, and am posting it below. ...no need to upvote. I am just placing this here in case anyone else runs into this problem.

Edit: I am accepting Scott's answer, since I want to give him credit for an answer that could apply given a problem as described in my question, but please also read my answer, as it could also apply (and in my case it did apply.)

(tl;dr: If you have this problem, try both Scott's answer and my answer.)


Another reason why Alt+Space, M might not work is that the window might be maximized.  Try Alt+Space, R to restore (un-maximize) it, and then move.

  • +1 Yes, yet another situation that's good to cover here. – A.M. Jun 18 '13 at 23:25
  • Accepting this answer as the maximized-window problem seems more likely for future readers than the window-has-pop-up-window-with-no-taskbar-icon problem. Of course, my answer applied in my case (pop-up window due to MS Office Activation Wizard). – A.M. Jul 27 '13 at 18:39

The "MicroSoft Office Activation Wizard" window was indeed the problem.


  • takes over focus from the main Excel (or Word or PowerPoint etc.) window after a second or two, and
  • does not have its own place on the taskbar, instead taking over the icon on the taskbar, making it impossible to select the main window

The solution was to add pressing [c], for a 'close' button on that window, before the [Alt]+[Space] step in the normal process for moving off-screen windows.

So if you find you can't move an off-screen MS Office Window (and your windows usually have a red top bar):

  1. Select the program in taskbar
  2. [c]
  3. [Alt]+[Space]
  4. [m]
  5. arrow keys to move the window

My universal method for a misbehaving window is using the Windows + UP-ARROW to maximize on the current display (or left or right arrow, if that's your style) and then pulling it down by its title bar, thus, switching to windowed mode again, then moving it to the desired spot.

  • This would work for some windows, but I tried it in the case of the MS program with the nagging pop-up dialog box, and unfortunately it did not work. I can't say your way would not work for some other situation where Alt+Space is not working, though, so thanks for answering, and...+1 – A.M. Jul 18 '13 at 17:12

There is a bug in Microsoft Excel that sometimes leaves a window displayed off screen where you cannot reach the top of the window to move it back into view. This can often be fixed by going to the "View" menu in Excel, click on "Arrange All" then switch the way that the windows are arranged. If it is in "Tiled" try "Horizontal" or switch it to a different mode. It doesn't seem to matter what it was or what you change it to, but this act of changing how the windows are arranged usually will clear up the mess and bring the window back into full view.

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