SOLVED: Program Appears On The Task Bar But Not On The Screen

If you have a program that appears in the Task Bar but not on any of your screens you likely have one of two problems.  Fortunately both are easy to fix.

PROGRAM IS RESTORED TO A POSITION ON A SCREEN YOU CANNOT SEE

I have seen this occur in two instances:program-on-taskbar-not-on-screen

  1. When the program is on a non-existent screen which can happen when a screen is removed or if you drag a program window off the screen (which SHOULD not be possible)
  2. When the program has been moved under the Task Bar

The fix is to use the old keyboard commands to relocate the program to a part of the screen you can see.

  1. Put your mouse over (do NOT click) the program in the Task Bar until the preview appears directly above it
  2. Right Click on the preview and select MOVE
  3. Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to relocate to a part of the screen you can see
  4. Press the ENTER key on your keyboard when it is moved
  5. You can then use the mouse to move and resize the window as you see fit

 

PROGRAM HAS BEEN RESIZED TO A SINGLE PIXEL

I have see this only twice in 20+ years but it does happen.  The fix is to use old keyboard commands to resize the program window:

  1. Put your mouse over (do NOT click) the program in the Task Bar until the preview appears directly above it
  2. Right Click on the preview and select SIZE or MOVE
  3. Press the Down or Right arrow key on the keyboard have it resize to what should be its minimum size
  4. Press the ENTER key on your keyboard when it is moved
  5. You can then use the mouse to resize the window as you see fit

 

If none of these options work:

  1. Put your mouse over (do NOT click) the program in the Task Bar until the preview appears directly above it
  2. Right Click on the preview and select MAXIMIZE

If the program appears full screen, then it is running but is just not visible to you.  Click RESTORE and try both of the options above again.

 

You may find other sites like THIS ONE useful too.

Comments

  1. Avatar
    Laundry Room August 16, 2019 at 7:47 am

    thank you so much for this article! This saved my life, I have a program that would open and run but not display, this trick worked like a charm. Question, do you know why or how this happens? I think this is the first time I have ever encountered this issue.

    • Ian Matthews
      Ian Matthews August 19, 2019 at 12:05 pm

      It should not be possible, but the seems to occur most often (in my experience) when screens are changed. Specifically, when a user RDP’s to a PC, the remote protocal moves active windows to a visible location (i.e. you may have 2 monitors at home but 3 in the office, so apps need to be relocated).

  2. Avatar
    William C. Arndt August 16, 2019 at 6:17 am

    I have Mouse Recorder Premium. It is off the screen. The only options I have is Minimize and Close. Restore is grayed out. There is no Maximize, Move, or Size. Now what do I do?

    • Ian Matthews
      Ian Matthews August 19, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      That would be unusual. You could uninstall the app, reboot, run a registy cleaner (like CCleaner free) to remove any orphaned settings like window location) and then reinstall.

      I hope that helps.

  3. Avatar
    Mingo August 7, 2019 at 12:36 am

    Hi, I don’t se option “move” only minimize and close. Window of this program can not be resized so I thin there is an issue why I there is not “move” option. Have you any sugestion? Thanks

    • Ian Matthews
      Ian Matthews August 7, 2019 at 6:05 pm

      That is odd Mingo. Do you see the RESTORE MOVE SIZE MINIMIZE MAXIMIZE options list but have MOVE greyed out?

  4. Avatar
    Brenda July 30, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    Thank you so much! I couldn’t figure it out. Other excel files worked, I could convert the file to a pdf, but I couldn’t view it. Much appreciated!!!

  5. Avatar
    Carlos Fernando Gallardo Ibarra July 24, 2019 at 10:10 am

    Thanks, works like a charm!

  6. Avatar
    JESSE June 25, 2019 at 4:52 pm

    You saved the world one more day… THANKS!”!!!

  7. Avatar
    Celtics33 June 24, 2019 at 6:24 am

    Thanks so much!!!!

  8. Avatar
    alex morrison June 21, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks much!!

  9. Avatar
    7lowa April 16, 2019 at 12:08 am

    thank you!!

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