App starting on 2nd screen even though screen now inactive


RFS

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I have a setup with 2 screens. I use the second screen as and when needed and not permanently. For example, I will sometimes watch a sports program on the second screen in the evening when doing something else on the main screen. Having used the second screen, I always use Windows + P to deactivate before switching off.

The problem I have is that if I move an app to the second screen, it will then in future always expect to start on that screen. But this happens even though the second screen is inactive at the time. The app starts and its icon shows this on the taskbar. I have to switch on the second screen, activate it with Windows + P, and if required move the app back.

If I have only one screen active, how do I ensure it always start on this screen regardless?
 

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RFS

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A partial solution. If I hover over the icon on the task bar to display the preview, I can then right clock on it and select "maximise". The screen now jumps to the main window. But if I minimize it again, it jumps back to the inactive screen which is on my left, and there's a thin blue line down the edge of the screen.

Seems this app is determined to use the second screen regardless.....
 

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    Windows 11 Home
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    PC/Desktop
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    Self-build
    CPU
    Intel I3-10100
    Motherboard
    MSI H410M-PRO
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    16 GB
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    Nvidia GT 1030
    Sound Card
    Motherboard default
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    Philips 27 inch
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    Samsung EVO 970 NVMe SSD 256 Gb
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    Intel i3-8100
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    Gigabyte Z370 D3
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    16 Gb
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DigitalGoat

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I can replicate this easily with two screens plugged in, one not even on at boot time.
If I turn the 'main' display off at any time (second display not having been turned on at all at this point, but plugged in) then turn the 'main' screen back on later (without a restart in between) then most apps such as Afterburner, Windows Mail, notepad and even the Settings page will open on the not in use screen 80%+ of the time.
This is despite the 'main' monitor being set as the default in both Windows display settings and Nvidia's driver. It seems it might be to do with the monitor connection type as Windows tends to prioritise HDMI over DP (my setup), not tested by me yet though.
If the errant app starts on the second inactive screen just hover over it's taskbar entry until a preview window pops up then right click it and choose restore (if needed, to un maximise a window) or just move, hold down the right or left cursor key depending on monitor layout to move the app back onto the active screen and press enter.
 

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Ghot

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A partial solution. If I hover over the icon on the task bar to display the preview, I can then right clock on it and select "maximise". The screen now jumps to the main window. But if I minimize it again, it jumps back to the inactive screen which is on my left, and there's a thin blue line down the edge of the screen.

Seems this app is determined to use the second screen regardless.....

I can replicate this easily with two screens plugged in, one not even on at boot time.
If I turn the 'main' display off at any time (second display not having been turned on at all at this point, but plugged in) then turn the 'main' screen back on later (without a restart in between) then most apps such as Afterburner, Windows Mail, notepad and even the Settings page will open on the not in use screen 80%+ of the time.
This is despite the 'main' monitor being set as the default in both Windows display settings and Nvidia's driver. It seems it might be to do with the monitor connection type as Windows tends to prioritise HDMI over DP (my setup), not tested by me yet though.
If the errant app starts on the second inactive screen just hover over it's taskbar entry until a preview window pops up then right click it and choose restore (if needed, to un maximise a window) or just move, hold down the right or left cursor key depending on monitor layout to move the app back onto the active screen and press enter.




I had a similar problem. If I plugged the DELL into any DP connector but the one marked with the GREEN dot, I would get the BIOS splash screen on the TV and the Windows logon screen on the DELL.

Didn't matter if the TV was on or not.
Happened on W10 and W11


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As for apps with multiple screens... whatever screen the app was on when you "closed" the app, is the screen that it will appear on when you next open the app.
This is normal.
 
Last edited:

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ThrashZone

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Hi,
Yeah green dot is the main display port.
Other two are for second/ third monitors.
 

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RFS

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Thanks for your tips.

Still not got a real solution. I have two graphics cards in my PC: Nvidia GT1030 for the main display, and the on-board Intel 630 for the secondary display. Tried just now disabling the Intel, then uninstalling it and rebooting, but still the darn app tries to start on the inactive screen.

Even if I maximise the screen to bring it back to main display and then close it from there, it still starts next time on the wrong screen.

Guess I will have to live with for now - at least I have a workaround.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Self-build
    CPU
    Intel I3-10100
    Motherboard
    MSI H410M-PRO
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia GT 1030
    Sound Card
    Motherboard default
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 27 inch
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    1920x1080
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    Samsung EVO 970 NVMe SSD 256 Gb
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  • Operating System
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    Manufacturer/Model
    Self-build
    CPU
    Intel i3-8100
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Z370 D3
    Memory
    16 Gb
    Graphics card(s)
    Nvidia GT 720
    Sound Card
    Motherboard default
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Philips 27-inch
    Screen Resolution
    1920x1080
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    Samsung 960 NVMe SSD 256 Gb
    Seagate 2 Tb HDD
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    ATX 450W
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DigitalGoat

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Yep, as with OP, the apps refuse to obey the rules.
I have never opened Notepad on the second (HDMI) screen, never right-clicked a .ini or .cfg file to open it on second screen, yet occasionally Notepad will open on the second screen, even if it hasn't been switched on for several days and over several cold starts, restarts etc.
Other apps do the same, except for any games, Libre Office, GIMP and blender, they have always opened on the main (DP) screen as long as they were last opened there and not dragged to second screen for whatever reason and closed there.
Supposedly holding CTRL when clicking the close button should make the window/ app remember it's last opened position, size etc, I have never found it to work though.
With three screens it becomes more of a lottery as to where an app will appear, 1 screen on HDMI & 1 on DP on GPU and 3rd on iGPU, apps can appear on any screen, regardless of physical or settings layout, again though the apps that do behave also do so in a three display setup.
Also my BIOS and login screens always display on the DP (main) monitor, regardless of whether the other screens are on or not at boot/ restart.
 

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  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2, build: 22621.521
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    Scan 3XS Custom 1700
    CPU
    Intel i7-12700K 3.6GHz Base (5.0GHz Turbo)
    Motherboard
    Asus ProArt Creator B660 D4
    Memory
    64GB DDR 3600Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus Tuff RTX 3080 10GB OC
    Sound Card
    Onboard Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Gigabyte G32QC 32inch 16:9 curved @2560 x 1440p 165Hz Freesync Premium Pro/ Dell SE2422H 24inch 16:9 1920 x 1080p 75Hz Freesync
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440p & 1920 x 1080p
    Hard Drives
    WD SN570 1TB NVME (Boot), Samsung 870QVO 1TB (SSD), SanDisk 3D Ultra 500Gb (SSD) x2, Seagate 3Tb Expansion Desk (Ext HDD), 2x Toshiba 1Tb P300 (Ext HDD)
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    Corsair RM1000X Modular
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    Microsoft Ergonomic
    Mouse
    Logitech G402
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    800Mbs
    Browser
    Edge Chromium
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    Defender, Malwarebytes

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