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In Windows, the default behavior for opening a window is to position it in the place where it was last closed.

Is there a way to have them open on the display from which the launching taskbar resides?

For example, in a two monitor setup, if I had closed Explorer on monitor two and then using the Taskbar on monitor one, could I have Explorer launch on monitor one?

  • This behaviour should be built into Windows without the need of third party software. Windows default behaviour is very cumbersome when you're operating on 3+ monitors. Clicking on the taskbar to open a window that isn't in your peripheral vision can be very confusing, leading the user to think the UI is being unresponsive. Playing a game of "hunt the window" is also not very fun. – Reinstate Monica Jul 23 '18 at 10:38
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It seems that DisplayFusion has a similar function. Technically, it doesn't care the "taskbar" as it follows your mouse cursor, but the result will be almost the same.

(Reference)

Just wanted to let you know that you can now do this in DisplayFusion 4.1 Beta 13.

Doing the following will force all new windows to open on the screen that the mouse cursor is on:

  • Create a new Window Location rule
  • Set the application to: * . *
  • Select the "Use Current Monitor" option
  • Click OK

But, I personally use WIN+SHIFT+LEFT or RIGHT. Although it's not intelligent to follow my cursor or taskbar, it is still useful for me because it's the quickest way to move an application window over multi-monitors. This keyboard shorcut works without any 3rd party application.

  • 1
    Thanks, I prefer a tweak as opposed to a complex software with a wide range of features, so I'll wait a bit to see if one comes along. But this looks like it will work. – Louis Mar 4 '14 at 21:53
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Use Nirsoft's Multi Monitor Tool from a batch file to launch your application and move it to the monitor of your choice.

To test it, open Task Manager (your choice on how to do this) then move it to the secondary monitor. Close it. Open it again. Task Manager should open on monitor 2. Open a command prompt window, go to the folder where Multi Monitor Tool is located, and type in:

multimonitortool.exe /movewindow 1 title "Windows Task Manager"

This will cause the utility to move the window with title "Windows Task Manager" to monitor #1. You could configure a batch script to open your favorite application and then have Multi Monitor Tool move it to your preferred monitor, in case it's not there already.

  • Thanks, but the behavior I want shouldn't be pre-programmed. – Louis Mar 4 '14 at 21:54
  • How is this pre-programmed? You tell it to move it to Monitor 1 (the one with the taskbar) and the program will. If you decide that your current monitor 2 becomes monitor 1, the program will still move it to the correct monitor. Maybe I misunderstood your question... – JSanchez Mar 4 '14 at 21:58
  • I want it to open in whichever monitor I'm looking at (am clicking on). – Louis Mar 4 '14 at 22:15
  • Then I would reword your question. As it stands, the question is "how can I make the program open on the monitor that has the taskbar." It should be "how can I make a program open on the monitor where my mouse pointer is currently located?" In that case, maybe something like this would help: dualmonitortool.sourceforge.net/swapscreen.html – JSanchez Mar 4 '14 at 22:24
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I got this working using Display Fusion, but how to set it up has changed since Scott's answer was written. Starting from DisplayFusion 8.0, Window location rules have been replaced by Triggers.

Open the Display fusion settings and select the "Triggers" tab.

Click "Add".

Select the appropriate window event (they have split this down into several window events to give you finer control over the behaviour).

Under "Match Conditions" tick "Process Filename", and select All applications .

Click OK, and then click Apply.

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