I have 2 monitors connected to a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660:

  • Left is 1920x1080 via DVI (Samsung SyncMaster 2443BW)
  • Right is 2560x1440 via DisplayPort and is set to Primary (Samsung SyncMaster SA850)

I often leave my computer running overnight (working on long render job, doing backups, etc) so I only power off my monitors manually. However, if I power off the primary monitor, it is disabled completely as if it were unplugged from the graphics card (i.e. icons are moved, open apps are moved and resized to fit on the new primary monitor). If I switch from DP to a DVI cable, this does not occur. It seems to be an issue when using DisplayPort.

Is there a way to disable the monitor from being disabled completely in Windows when I power it off physically?

I have found no relevant settings in either Windows Display settings, nor the NVIDIA control panel software.

Edit #1: I'm using an Oehlbach Transdata DP 510 cable.

Edit #2: Here is a screenshot of my NVIDIA Control Panel v7.2.710.0: enter image description here

Edit #3: Here are screenshots of my Monitor configuration:

enter image description here

Clicking on Advanced settings reveals a Generic PnP monitor running at 59 Hz? 60 Hz is the only other option available.

enter image description here

Here is my secondary monitor which is connected via DVI:

enter image description here

Edit #4: If I open the "Screen Resolution" configuration panel and power the monitor off (via the power switch), this is what is shown:

enter image description here

It looks like I disconnected the monitor from the video card.

  • 7
    This isn't an NVIDIA-only thing. It's a monitor hardware thing. Displayport, I believe, has a HPD pin ("hot plug detect"). I believe that what happens is that when the monitor turns off, it brings that pin low, which then causes Windows to detect the display as disconnected, and then disables it. I don't know why this doesn't occur with DVI (or maybe it can). I experience the same thing on Windows 8, AMD Radeon HD graphics, with Samsung SyncMaster950D displays, but only when connected via Displayport. Aug 14, 2013 at 18:04
  • 1
    Not sure, but it seems that Microsoft fixed this issue Windows 8.1.
    – mtm
    Sep 24, 2013 at 9:06
  • 21
    Definitely not fixed in 10 May 6, 2016 at 4:49
  • 4
    This is very annoying. I have three monitors connected to my computer. One of them is a big wall-mounted LCD TV, which I use (among other things) to watch films. When I do this at night, I turn off my other two ("normal") monitors. This used to work until today, when I replaced a DVI-connected ("normal") monitor with a DP-connected one. Now all my windows are moved from that monitor, and I have to restore all of them (almost 10) manually when I turn it back on... Aug 20, 2016 at 1:00
  • 7
    Heh. My HP Z24i monitor actually has a setting in the "Input Controls" section of its menus for "DP Hot-Plug Detection", with the ability to select either "Always Active" or "Low Power". Looks like at least some hardware manufacturers have started to clue in to the fact that this is annoying, and provided a solution.
    – FeRD
    Jan 18, 2018 at 12:12

15 Answers 15


I've run into this issue as well and I've decided to write a little utility to restore the position and sizes of the windows on each of the screens. I unfortunately have an AMD card so the Nvidia solutions don't work for me.


  • Works great but seems to have a bug with restoring some programs e.g. Winamp when turning DP monitor back on. Still a much better solution than putting the screen in sleep mode, which is easily interrupted if I accidentally bump the mouse (or table or someone walks too hard, which has happened quite often since using harrymc's solution over the last year).
    – glenneroo
    Oct 19, 2014 at 15:04
  • Cool, I'll probably add logging to the next version and would love if you could send me over the trace so I can figure out what's going on and get it to work perfectly. Really glad it's helping you out.
    – Min
    Oct 20, 2014 at 13:35
  • If you open source it on e.g. SourceForge I would gladly help contribute, assuming it's not written in some obscure language ;) Also I tried to contact you but there's no contact info on your webpage :(
    – glenneroo
    Oct 20, 2014 at 19:35
  • 1
    This works some of the time for me. Some of the time it just doesn't work. It also doesn't solve the problem of the default audio device changing to the monitor audio any time a displayport monitor is detected again. Oct 25, 2016 at 5:17
  • 1
    New versions here: github.com/kangyu-california/PersistentWindows
    – Reynaldo
    Nov 16, 2023 at 4:11

DisplayPort acts as a PNP device, so turning off the monitor disconnects it from the computer as if it was removed and windows are moved out because Windows forgets this device, until it is turned on again and is "discovered".

One solution is to just let the screen go into sleep instead of turning it off. There are ways of programmatically forcing that, for example by using the monoff command in the free Wizmo utility to turn off all monitors.

Another solution for NVIDIA Quadro cards (but not GeForce cards) is detailed in DisplayPort Blanking / Screen Autodetect Problems by setting the monitor to use EDID information from a file instead of from the monitor, so auto-detect is not required.

This is done in NVIDIA Control Panel -> Workstation -> View system topology -> EDID source (for the monitor) -> Monitor... -> Export EDID.

Repeat this for each monitor. The topology should list the display as either EDID 'forced' or 'file'. See the linked article for more detail.

  • 2
    I have the latest NVIDIA drivers but I don't have the Workstation option nor System Topology anywhere in my settings.
    – glenneroo
    Aug 14, 2013 at 11:23
  • Please post a screenshot of your NVIDIA Control Panel, after checking in NVIDIA Driver Downloads if the "Automatically find drivers for my NVIDIA products" does find the same download file that you currently have installed.
    – harrymc
    Aug 14, 2013 at 12:49
  • Done and done and apparently I already had the latest version.
    – glenneroo
    Aug 14, 2013 at 17:50
  • 15
    That workstation tab is probably limited to the Quadro series of cards, which is likely why you're not seeing it. Not sure if there's a workaround for the GeForce consumer series.
    – ernie
    Aug 14, 2013 at 17:55
  • 4
    The problem with the Wizmo solution is that if you try to turn off your display because you don't want your co-workers to see what you are doing while working remotely via TeamViewer, this solution is ineffective as logging in via TeamViewer wakes up the monitors.
    – bers
    Mar 27, 2018 at 7:20

Disable the "DisplayData Channel Command Interface" (DDC/CI) in your monitor settings.
As a result Windows will not recognize if you turn off your monitor and your desktop icons stay as they should. I successfully tested this on a Dell monitor!

Wikipedia descripes DDC/CI as follows. I'll just leave it at that. There isn't much about it on the net.

[...] DDC/CI specifies a means for a computer to send commands to the monitor, as well as receive sensor data from the monitor, over a bidirectional link. [...] Some tilting DDC/CI monitors support an auto-pivot function, where a rotation sensor in the monitor enables the operating system to keep the display upright as the monitor is moved between its portrait and landscape positions.

Most DDC/CI monitors support only a small subset of MCCS commands and some have undocumented commands. Many manufacturers did not pay attention to DDC/CI in the past, but now almost all monitors support such general MCCS commands as brightness and contrast management.


enter image description here


Switch from DisplayPort to HDMI and block pin #19 with electrical tape.
Unfortunately this is only possible if monitor and graphics card have additional HDMI ports.

Female end (monitor)                 Male end (Cable)

enter image description hereenter image description here

  • Pin 19: Hot Plug detect (all versions) and HEC Data+ (optional, HDMI 1.4+ with Ethernet)

DisplayPort also has a Hot Plug pin (pin #18), but I doubt someone is able to tape this specific pin since DP connectors are just too small.

  • 1
    Great answer. However, what are the detection implications with covering up pin 19? I.e., with pin 19 covered, what does Windows "see" as happened to the monitor (I'm guessing pin 19 isn't a signal pulled high while connected)? More importantly, what will happen when the system reboots, if pin 19 is still covered? Will Windows not see the monitor? Oct 3, 2013 at 5:15
  • 6
    I disabled DDC/CI but the monitor still goes undetected when switched off. Looks like loss of DisplayPort signal from a switched off monitor is the same as cable disconnect.
    – icelava
    Dec 30, 2013 at 14:08
  • 7
    Note that switching from DisplayPort to HDMI is not an option for 4K resolution monitors running at 60 Hz, since the current HDMI standard doesn't have enough bandwidth to run at that resolution/refresh rate. There is also as far as I can tell no way to turn off DDC/CI on my Samsung 4K monitor. Dec 9, 2014 at 13:00
  • 3
    I disabled DCC/CI .. but it still acts as a PNP for the display ports. I have a accessories.dell.com/sna/… and it only keeps the hdmi screens active after I power down. The DP and mDP all are removed from windows after I turn off the monitor. I'm not liking some of the sleep solutions and the other ones don't seem to be working - sad.
    – Blake
    Sep 3, 2016 at 4:17
  • 2
    DCC/CI didn't work for me. I didn't restart though. and it seems necessary for benq crappy software auto pivot to be able to auto rotate monitor. I guess I have to live with this mess for now Apr 18, 2017 at 6:21

This doesn't apply to all Samsung monitors but on my SyncMaster BX2031, I found that if I go to the monitor's built-in menu, go to Setup & Reset and set Magic Return to OFF, I don't have the issue. I think this is Samsung's attempt at saving on system performance by disabling an unused screen. However, I'm not entirely sure if this is the only function of the feature so be safe about it.

To clarify, on Samsung monitors go to [Menu -> Setup & Reset -> Magic Return -> off]

  • 1
    I had pretty much the same problem with my HP Monitor and turning off the "Power Saver" features solved it for me. Jul 28, 2014 at 16:59
  • 2
    Unfortunately my Samsung 28" 4K monitor (U28D590D) does not have a Magic Return option. Dec 9, 2014 at 13:01
  • Unfortunately also not available on my Samsung SyncMaster 27" SA850 (1440p) but will surely help others.
    – glenneroo
    Feb 9, 2016 at 21:39
  • 2
    I found a similar setting on my HP EliteDisplay E231, go to [Menu->Input control...->DP Hot-Plug Detection] and set it to "Always Active".
    – sclarke81
    Oct 5, 2016 at 6:46
  • None of my 3 new monitors (Dell 1440p, LG 4K, HP 1440p) have any of these options either.
    – glenneroo
    Apr 2, 2020 at 16:17

Guys - This was my entire solution. I had to do all 3 of these things to get it to work.

  1. Update your Nvidia Drivers to the latest version and restart your computer
  2. Go into each monitor and turn off the DDC/CI ability (DISABLE IT)
  3. Follow these instructions: https://sites.google.com/site/ebobster/stuff/displayportblanking

This will work for you. I had to hack at this a while to figure this out. It's a combination of all of these things to get it to work properly. You might have to reload your EDI files more than once to get it to work but you can succeed. :)

There is no reason to disable pin 19 to get this to work if you follow my instructions.

  • 3
    How do you do step 2? What is DDC/CI ability? Where do I disable it? BIOS? Control panel? More detail needed. Also in the instructions for step 3 which you linked, on that page on step 2, the "Workstation" tab isn't listed in my control panel. I am guessing it's only available on NVIDIA Quadro cards.
    – glenneroo
    Jun 23, 2014 at 20:34
  • 3
    @glenneroo: DDC/CI apparently is a feature of the monitor (as opposed to the OS/video card). I was able to access the DDC/CI setting via my Asus monitors menu going into "OSD Setup"
    – User
    Jul 26, 2015 at 3:28
  • 1
    Tried out setting DDC/CI to off on my Asus PA328Q, didn't do the trick. Just abandoned DisplayPort...again...and used HDMI instead. I'll try again in 10 years on DisplayPort 1.4 and maybe they'll have fixed this by then.
    – bwerks
    Aug 7, 2016 at 19:34
  • 4
    Step 3 isn't possible on NVIDIA GeForce cards because "View system topology" isn't available for the GeForce card line for some reason.
    – Keavon
    Jul 14, 2019 at 9:50
  • 4
    "This will work for you." - No it will not guy. See above comments.
    – Ash
    Jul 18, 2019 at 10:20

A "simple" registry change, taken from here. It works for me mostly. Programs snapped to the lower right corner are moved ~300px closer to the center on my 4k screen, but I can deal with it, especially since it means I won't have to install a 3rd party app:

Using Sysinternals ProcessMonitor I found that Windows was accessing the following Registry path:


My system had three entries:


Under each is a tree called "00", two of the keys are PrimSurfSize.cx PrimSurfSize.cy

Under "00" was another branch also called "00", two of the keys are ActiveSize.cx ActiveSize.cy

The first two of the configs (ie DELF00... & QHD3...) the above keys were 1440x900, so they were not involved.

The third (SIMULATED...) were set to 1024x768.

I changed these to 1600x900 and the problem was solved.

Further I changed resolution (via control panel) to 1920x1080, the moving/resize issue returned, but the lower right corner was set to 1600x900, i.e. the SIMULATED... settings." Use MichealAtOz's advice but within all the folders that are labeled "00" or "01", (etc, I had 00 and 01) look for any settings that contain 1024, 768, or I 4096 in the data values at the end in parenthesis. Change the 1024 to the x resolution of your desktop (the first number in resolutions) and the 768 to the y resolution of your desktop. Change the 4096 number of "Stride" to whatever number there already is in a "00" or similar titled folder that already has (without you changing them) the desired desktop resolution numbers in primsurfsize.cx and ...y. Right click the name and choose modify, then select binary as the base to enter correct resolution values.


I have the option to disable DisplayPort 1.2 on my Monitor's OSD. This resolved the issue for me.


For me, I am on Windows 8 and my monitor (connected by DisplayPort) was automatically turning off every time I locked my PC, after a 60 second delay, which produced the issue described in this question. The other suggestions in this Q&A weren't workable for my monitor (Samsung 4K UHD 28” Monitor U28D590D). I was able to successfully work around it by following the instructions here to disable this behavior:

Microsoft Support: KB 2835052: Monitor powers off after 1 minute when PC is locked

In short, I ran this at the command line:

powercfg.exe /setacvalueindex SCHEME_CURRENT SUB_VIDEO VIDEOCONLOCK 3600
powercfg.exe /setactive SCHEME_CURRENT

This sets it to only turn off after one hour (3600 seconds), so now I can lock my PC when I walk away from it for just a few minutes without my windows getting jumbled. This does not directly address the question's original scenario (which involved manually turning off the monitor) but I thought others may find it helpful.

  • Thanks for your answer, but this question pertains explicitly to powering off the screen manually on Windows 7. There is a linked question (check the right sidebar) for Windows 8 which still has no accepted answer, you might want to post this over there.
    – glenneroo
    Dec 9, 2014 at 19:14
  • I understand that it's not a direct response, but although this question mentions Windows 7 in tags, the exact same issue exists on Windows 8, simply because the behavior was inherited from Windows 7. The other question is essentially a duplicate and I believe any responses to it should be consolidated here. Dec 9, 2014 at 23:31
  • 1
    "This sets it to only turn off after one hour" - this is not really a solution. It arguably merely delays the inevitable
    – Deleted
    Aug 19, 2015 at 14:19

Not a fix, but a workaround. I noticed that if you minimize windows before the display is powered off and do not restore them until the display has returned, then the windows are not rearranged.

I leverage that fact to provide a 'seamless' experience for myself as I have documented here: http://thelamprechts.blogspot.com/2014/09/a-windows-workaround-to-maintain-window.html

  • Instead of writing the same answer on two questions, you should probably use the [flag] button to suggest that one question is a duplicate of another. Sep 28, 2014 at 5:34
  • 1
    "I noticed that if you minimize windows before the display is powered off and do not restore them until the display has returned, then the windows are not rearranged." - So we need to run to the computer seconds before scheduled monitor power-off just to "minimise windows"? That's not really feasible.
    – Deleted
    Aug 19, 2015 at 14:23

For those using DisplayPort and has DVI input on monitor there is a hardware solution:
DP to DVI Akasa AK-CBDP15-20BK active adapter

I'm using two of them with my two Dell U2713HM 2560x1440 60Hz and AMD RX 480.

...still I can't believe I'm using new hardware to solve a software issue... shame on you Microsoft/nVidia/AMD!!!

  • As specified in my answer, it is not a software issue but rather a hardware issue. Monitor manufacturers are trying to be "green" by saving power, thus making the display disappear. I bet there are a certain percentage of people who therefore always have the display powered on, and disable the auto-sleep. Even a small percentage of such people would negate electricity saving gains. Monitor settings should have an option to keep the monitor connected. At least my Z24i monitor settings do have the setting.
    – juhist
    Jan 20, 2019 at 20:03
  • 2
    @juhist It is definitely a software issue - Windows software implements display hot-plug very, very poorly for lots of users.
    – NetMage
    Mar 19, 2021 at 22:05
  • 1
    I bought a USB-C to DisplayPort cable and this resolved the issue for me! I have 1 screen with DP directly to the NVIDIA and the other screen via USB-C
    – lvmeijer
    Aug 2, 2021 at 12:01
  • It's not a Windows issue either… Jan 1, 2023 at 17:29

Try to set D-port monitor as main display both in BIOS and Windows Display Settings.

Source: This article

  • Good try, it's already set to primary in Windows and I have no such BIOS option because I'm not using on-board graphics. To quote from the article, "If you are using the onboard integrated graphics card of the M58p and M58, and want to use two external monitors. You should set the primary display to displayport and secondary display to vga in both the windows and bios environment."
    – glenneroo
    Aug 14, 2013 at 17:54

Check the solution in the following post (Friday, September 16, 2011 8:28 PM): http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/8a9b5aa7-fe33-4e6d-b39b-8ac80a21fdc2/disable-monitor-off-detection-how#c6e69e04-c0a5-44e1-a87e-7d83efb38efd

This is a very long thread - if the above way does not work for you, maybe the following solutions there can help you?!

  • 5
    I think the option to work with custom EDID information is only available on Quadro cards.
    – glenneroo
    Aug 14, 2013 at 20:25

Same problem bothered me after I switched to DP monitors. I found a solution that works for me: instead of turning off the monitors by pressing the button on monitor, I turn off screen from windows. I'm using a lenovo PC and its Power Manager software has a feature to put a 'power off monitor' option if i rightclick desktop. I believe for other pc you can download a tool like NirCmd or Monitor Off to do that. When I turn off monitor in this way, my monitors would go to sleep mode but stay connected; And when I wake them up all the windows stay where they were.


I had exactly the same problem with my HP Z24i displays connected to the USB-C dock of my HP ProBook 430 G5. The displays disappeared when turned off. Not only that, but the displays also disappeared whenever I locked the computer and waited for 60 seconds. Also, sometimes the displays went to a permanent "amber" power state where not even pressing the power button of the monitor did anything and I had to manually remove the power cord, wait for 5 seconds for the capacitors to discharge and reconnect the power cord.

The solution is to adjust the settings of the monitor.

  1. Press the "Menu" button on the display twice to open the menu.
  2. Select Input Control...
  3. Select DP Hot-Plug Detection...
  4. Change from Low Power to Always Active
  5. Select Save and Return
  6. Select Save and Return
  7. Select Exit

I assume most displays have a similar setting.

Then, after doing these adjustments on all displays, I changed the Windows power plan to never turn off the displays. Whenever I walk away from the computer, I lock the computer and turn off all displays manually from the power button.

This is a hardware issue, not a software issue.

  • 3
    FYI, most monitors do not have a similar setting.
    – NetMage
    Mar 19, 2021 at 22:04
  • I did the following and it works 1. Disable the "DisplayData Channel Command Interface" (DDC/CI) in your monitor settings. 2. Change the Windows power plan to never turn off the displays. 3. Turn off the display from the power button. I can still access the desktop (by teamviewer) as the profile is still there.
    – WLiu
    Nov 5, 2021 at 7:15

Try this:

  1. Go to Control Panel> Power Options.
  2. Edit the plan you use by clicking Change Plan Settings.
  3. Once here click Change Advanced Power Settings.
  4. Once there, go to USB Settings, open the menu by clicking the +, and open the next menu named USB Selective Suspend Setting. Disable it.
  5. Once this is disabled, Windows 7 will no longer adjust your display setup when a display is turned off.

I just tested it, and it works for my double screen setup (HP ZDisplay Z23i 23" SCreens) with Win 7 and GeForce GT630.

  • USB Selective Suspend Setting was already disabled on my system.
    – glenneroo
    Nov 23, 2014 at 23:04

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