Bring Window off screen Back to Your Mac

I mostly run into the issue of having an application open however, it being completely off your screen all together after you disconnect from an external monitor? The application is running actually, my doc shows it to open, but, it is nowhere on my screen actually. Well, if I hit the F3 button so that it shows me all my open applications, sure enough, it is there? However, once again it’s not on my screen and therefore I can’t access it as well. Anyway, does anyone know how to fix this? We are going to discuss Bring Window off screen Back to Your Mac.

Bring Window off screen Back to Your Mac

Have you guys ever lost a window partially off-screen in Mac OS X, where window title bars and also close, minimize or maximize buttons are no longer accessible?

There are many possible causes and even random situations for windows in order to move off-screen that way. However, it mostly happens with multi-monitor situations where one monitor is disconnected. That leave a large window where the title bar cannot be accessed outside of the screen actually. Next time you guys are in a situation like this, you should try these two tricks to move a window back to the Mac screen. And then access the title bar again and buttons again as well.

Window Zoom

Well, the Window Zoom trick has been around for a really long time and it mostly works. However, it is not perfect. Nonetheless, it is really easy it’s always worth trying for something different actually:

  • Well, from the application where the window of the screen is pasted, just pull down the “Window” menu and then select “Zoom”

window off screen

But, not all apps have the Window Zoom capability, and in some rare cases. The zoom feature is still not effective in order to bring back a Windows title bar to the usable area on the screen actually. In that case, use the following trick in order to forcibly resize all windows.


If zooming is unsuccessful, then you guys can forcibly resize the windows. So that they all realign and resize in order to fit the screen through pulling the title bars and buttons back to the usable display area actually. This happens because of the change in the screen resolution, let’s see what to do:

  • You have to close any running apps that you do not want to resize windows actually
  • Just choose the Apple menu, then select “System Preferences…” > “Displays“ actually.
  • Now select the ‘Display’ tab and check the ‘Scaled’ box next to ‘Resolution’ in order to see all screen resolutions available for the Mac monitors
  • Choose a smaller resolution and also confirm that you guys want to switch to the scaled resolution

window off screen

  • The screen resolution basically changes and all of the active windows are resized in order to fit the smaller resolution, and also retracted on the screen in order to show the window’s title bars
  • Now you have to go back to Display> Resolution> Scaled> and select the normal resolution for the screen (or optionally select the option ‘Best for built-in display’)
  • Exit the System Preferences and also access your windows again

Well, the resolution trick always works, however, since it resizes all active app windows. It can actually be a bit frustrating if you have a carefully designed window layout actually.


Note: This option is not available on all of the configurations actually.

  • Choose the Apple menu, then select “System Preferences…” > “Displays“.
  • You have to change “Rotation” to “90°“, and then switch back to “Standard“.

Mirror Mode

Try to toggle the mirror settings through holding “Command” and tapping “F1“. Some MacBooks may want you to tap on “Command” + “Fn” + “F1

Force Quit

Try to select the “Apple” menu, and then “Force Quit…“. From there, you have to choose the application, and then “Force Quit“. This should allow you to start the application now, and also hopefully where it’s back on the screen as well.

Fix off-screen apps

There are many different fixes that you guys can try for this. Some of them are really simple, the others are app-specific, and there’s also a third-party app solution that’s worth a shot as well.

Drag by the title bar

You guys can drag many macOS apps via the title bar but this works only if the app is partially visible rather than completely off-screen. If it is partially visible, try to drag it from the title bar back to the middle of the screen actually.

Use Spectacle

The spectacle is actually a free window management app for macOS. It basically does lots of things with regards to moving windows on your screen or on to a secondary display as well. It can also center apps that make it a really great tool to fix off-screen apps.

You have to download and install it. Make sure the app that is open off-screen is the one that’s currently active. If you are having trouble bringing it to the front, quit or force quit it, and then open it from Spotlight or the Applications folder as well.

Tap on Spectacle’s icon in the menu bar and then choose the ‘Center’ option. Or just use the Option+Command+C keyboard shortcut in order to center it actually.

window off screen

Well, one of these three solutions should do the trick actually. The app should no longer open off-screen when it’s been forced back to the center as well. If it still continues to open off-screen, then you should try to disconnect and reconnect any secondary that displays you have. If you guys experience this problem on a single display, then try to change the resolution on your Mac to something else as well, and then back to what it originally was actually. Also, it might be an app-specific bug so look into that as well.

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