Help! My Application Window Disappeared! Come back!!!

Ok – so I know this has happened to almost every Windows user at some point in time, but what’s the easy way to resolve this problem without having to bother your IT team for support?

The Problem

You are in the middle of using an applications, MS Word perhaps, and in your frantic typing and mouse usage you suddenly realize the MS Word Window has completely disappeared from site, but the application is still running.  You cna’t ALT-TAB to it, but you see it at the bottom of your screen in the toolbar as being active.  You can right click the toolbar icon and close Word, re-open it, but it cannot be seen anywhere.  Where did it go?

This scenario mostly plagues multiple monitor users.  Suddenly monitor become unavailable and the application is sitting in thin air; or perhaps a wild key combination and a mouse flick has moved the Window off of the active screen real estate, making it impossible to grab and drop back in the right position.

The Solution:  So how do I get things back where they belong?

The solution has been around in every version of Windows that I can remember, but most users do not know the how to use this feature, or are even aware the feature exists.  We are so used to using our mice, that we forget the keyboard can do more than just type text.

The place to start is right clicking the toolbar icon for the application, in this case MS Word.  You will have a menu pop up that gives you a ‘MOVE’ option.  Select this to begin the magic!

The first thing you see is a 4-way arrow on the screen, and the first mistake we often make is that we grab the mouse and click the arrows in hopes that the missing window  will suddenly appear.  What you quickly find out is that is not the case.  The arrows disappear too and you’re stuck!

Enter the keyboard – and no, do not press enter  🙂   just yet anyway.  The 4-way arrows are actually representing the 4 arrows on your keyboard.  If you use those arrows, you can move the window back onto the screen.  When it is positioned in a way that you can easily use the mouse again to move it, you can NOW hit the enter key.

Like magic – the window is now visible once again.

I hope this helps.  It’s one of those very common IT support items that never seems to go away – and with your help, we can champion finding our missing windows together!

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