I've not found an answer to this question yet since it seems to be the inverse of what most people are after.

I currently have one external monitor connected to my windows laptop but I also like to use it for my mac.

Whenever I disconect the external monitor from my laptop to my mac ofcourse it moves all my windows from the external to the primary monitor and resizes them.

In this instance I would like them to stay on the external monitor, is there any way I can make this happen?

Thanks :)

  • That's normal, if it keep remains on the second monitor how can you access it? So Windows is moving back all the Windows to your primary monitor. About the resize, this is because your primary monitor resolution is smaller than your second monitor so in order to display all the windows, it had to be resized. – Bilo Jun 25 '15 at 7:49
  • Thanks for your answer Bilo. Actually, I don't really need to move these windows from the external monitor, they could just stay there. The main thing is that the windows get resized when I disconnect and then I have to drag them to the external monitor and resize them again. It seems like there might be a solution to that below, of course the other solution would be to get another monitor :). – MLB_27 Jun 25 '15 at 14:52

As mentioned in the comments, this is the expected and correct behaviour.

Most people wanting to use 2 devices with a single monitor either use the separate interfaces on the monitor or use a switch box. Either way, you are not actually disconnecting the monitor so Windows will stay where they are put.

Incidentally, I wouldn't anticipate that the Mac would work any differently?

  • Thanks for your comment yes that seems like that would be another alternative. – MLB_27 Jun 25 '15 at 14:53
  • No the same thing happens on my mac but it's not as much of an issue there, I need to react quickly to what's on the screen on my windows pc so resizing all the windows every time takes up time :) – MLB_27 Jun 25 '15 at 14:54

Another question (Windows keep changing position when disconnect and reconnect monitors) has a couple of suggestions:

WinSize2 should do what you want. Others have mentioned AutoHotKey scripts and AutoIT as well.

Comments on that answer indicate issues with configuration, but they appear to be solvable.

This answer mentions AutoResizer, which is a huge step forward in helping me maintain sanity: Windows utility to save/restore window size & position history?

The second linked also question mentions WiLMA, as created by Stefan Didak1.

We delve deeper into the rabbit hole here with a link to another SU question. There are probably other solutions, but these two may get you started.

1: Didak is the guy with the (internet-) famously complex monitor/input/computer/network arrangement in his office, which is interesting reading in and of itself.

  • Thank you for your comment bertieb I wil have a look into these the main issue is that the windows are getting resized. – MLB_27 Jun 25 '15 at 14:53
  • Hi @bertieb , just wanted to say thanks for offering these solutions, I finally got round to having a go with Win Size 2 and I've at least now got to the point where if I unplug my monitor and the windows move to my primary laptop screen, when I plug the othe monitor in again I can just click on the windows and they shoot back to the other monitor, much quicker than having to manually resize them all the time! Thanks a lot! :) – MLB_27 Jun 30 '15 at 19:40
  • @MLB_27 Excellent, glad to hear you got it all working :) You can vote up answers by clicking the up arrows above scores; and/or accept an answer by clicking the grey tick; no pressure though- you can accept your own! (the tour is worth a look) – bertieb Jun 30 '15 at 20:21

For anyone that's interested, the basic functions of Win Size 2 were a good solution to this issue. At least temporarily. I can now unplug the monitor and then replug it in and click on the windows and have them move back to the second monitor. I will then have to go into Win Size to unlock them if I want to move them around, but this is still a lot quicker than resizing them every time. Thanks everyone!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.