I have two external displays attached to my laptop.

I usually keep my lid closed as I only need two monitors.

Sometimes, when I want to watch a video in the background I'll open the laptop and play it on there.

Here's what it usually is (star in primary display)

Case A
-------- ----------
|   1  | |   2    |
|   *  | |        |
|      | |        |  closed laptop
-------- ---------- ==============

When I open the laptop I get this

Case B
-------- ---------- -----------
|   2  | |   3    | |   1     |
|   *  | |        | |         |
|      | |        | |(laptop) |
-------- ---------- -----------

Now the problem is if I go from A to B everything in A1 goes to B1
If I go from B to A, everything from B1 goes to A1, however, they don't show up in the taskbar.

Is there

  1. When I go from A to B, get things to stay on 2*
  2. When I go from B to A get the windows to show on the taskbar

1 Answer 1


Your laptop monitor is most likely set as the primary display. So when you open and close the lid, the default desktop gets moved.

Odds are, there is manufacturer provided display software on your laptop. You should be able to use that to change the default display.

Alternatively, you can set your laptop not to shut the display off on the laptop when the lid is closed in the power settings of your Windows Control Panel.

  • I changed the main display to use B2 already, I did it from the screen resolution wizard screen from the OS. I also already have it set to do nothing when I close the laptop lid
    – MosheK
    May 27, 2014 at 19:36
  • I just opened up the NVIDIA control panel (I'm on a thinkpad) and saved with same settigns as I did from the windows screen, and It did exactly what I wanted. Thanks
    – MosheK
    May 27, 2014 at 19:40

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