Increased productivity or neck injury?
May 13, 2009 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Dual monitor annoyance: How do I make sure that dialog boxes/windows open in the same monitor?

I have a dual monitor set up at work. When I click on a folder in the left monitor, it opens on the right (or the other way around). This also happens with application dialog boxes. For example, If Firefox is running in the second monitor, addons appear in the first monitor. Same with Thunderbird, iTunes and all other apps.
Is there a freeware program/trick to keeping each program (and associated dialogs/events) restricted to the same monitor?
posted by special-k to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It should remember what monitor on which you last used that window. So opening Firefox on the right monitor, then closing it, then reopening it should send it to the right screen. Drag the windows where you want them, then close and re-open them to see if this works in your configuration.

Dialog boxes may work somewhat differently since they're not necessarily opened by you, and are not always exactly the same.
posted by JuiceBoxHero at 10:18 AM on May 13, 2009

Response by poster: Yeah, it definitely remembers which monitor I last opened a window in. Firefox, for example, always opens on monitor 2 because I dragged it there the first time.

But it gets the wrong monitor with almost every dialog.
posted by special-k at 10:33 AM on May 13, 2009

If you have an ATI card, use Hydravision.

If you have a nVidia card, they used to have a similar utility, but I can't find it on their site. I guess it's part of the nVidia driver set, but I don't have that installed to say for sure.

There are some third party applications that will do this, but I can't recall them offhand.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:21 AM on May 13, 2009

The NVIDIA driver set with the Control Panel, which includes the multiple display setups, is available here.
posted by MikeMc at 11:50 AM on May 13, 2009

Here is a generic 3rd party tool call UltraMon

UltraMon is a utility for multi-monitor systems, designed to increase productivity and unlock the full potential of multiple monitors.

* efficiently move windows and maximize windows across the desktop
* manage more applications with the Smart Taskbar
* control application positioning with UltraMon Shortcuts
* multi-monitor support for desktop wallpapers and screen savers
* mirror your main monitor to secondary monitors for a presentation
posted by weink at 12:20 PM on May 13, 2009

If you have a nVidia card, they used to have a similar utility, but I can't find it on their site.

Install the drivers from the nVidia website and you get 'nView desktop manager' as well; go to the 'Windows' tab of the configuration screen, and choose what you want under 'Dialog box repositioning' - presumably 'move to application display'.
posted by Mike1024 at 1:06 PM on May 13, 2009

I think the trick to making it remember how to open your windows is to

1) open the window and move it to where you want it

2) make sure it is NOT maximized

3) close it

When you reopen the window, it should open right where you closed it. from there you can maximize it if you want and it will always open in that spot. if you open it and re-move it while it isn't maximized again, that will be the new spot where the window opens.

btw, you don't need any special software or hardware to make this work.
posted by Apo11o at 3:19 PM on May 13, 2009

For firefox here is a solution that fixed the same situation I was having:

Reduce firefox from full screen,move it to the monitor you want it to appear on. Close firefox. Don't make it full screen before closing. Then open and make fullscreen and your away.
posted by Dr.Jeckyl at 3:19 PM on May 13, 2009

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