Are your application windows resetting to the primary monitor after waking your monitors from sleep on your Windows 10 PC? At least you know that you are not alone with this annoying issue.
The issue is that Windows is trying to “help you” by automatically detecting which monitors are on and available. Because the response time differs, for one reason or another, on your monitors Windows moves your open application windows to the available monitor. They are basically trying to ensure that you don’t end up with a blank screen with all your open windows on a turned off monitor.
In this article I will cover a few possible solutions that you can try to help resolve this from occurring so you won’t have to reorder your windows after waking your monitors up from sleep.
In both Windows 7 and Windows 10, there is a way to disable the monitor auto detection feature by changing the registry. Specifically, the Transient Multimon Manager (TMM).
TMM is only supported on mobile computers, not desktops. Skip to the other solutions section of this post. Updating the registry on a desktop PC as suggested below will do nothing because TMM does not run on desktop PCs. See reference. (provided by Tom K., thank you Tom!)
For this fix, we’ll need to update the Windows Registry (be sure to backup first). Click on “Start” then type “regedit” and press the enter key on your keyboard. Within the Registry, copy and paste the follow path into the address bar at the top of the Registry:
We should now be on the “Microsoft” folder. Expand this folder and look for a sub-folder named “TMM“.
- If the TMM folder exists, double click on it and look for an entry labeled “UseIViewHelper“. Set value to 0.
- If UseIViewHelper does not exist, right click on the TMM folder and create a new DWORD (32-bit Value) with the name “UseIViewHelper“. Set the Value data to 0 with a Hexadecimal base.
- If the TMM folder does not exist under the Microsoft folder we need to create it. To create this folder/key go to the parent “Microsoft” folder and right click on it. From the context menu select “New” then “Key” and insert “TMM” without the quotes.
- Right click on the newly created TMM sub-folder and create a new DWORD (32-bit Value) with the name “UseIViewHelper“. Set its value to 0 with a Hexadecimal base.
Did you change your mind or have other, more annoying, issues popup after disabling Monitor Auto Detection above? To re-enable the Windows 10 Automatic Monitor Detection feature, or Transient Multimon Manager (TMM), one would simply need to go back to the TMM folder mentioned above and set the value of “UseIViewHelper” to 1 with a Hexadecimal base.
- The issue might simply be related to one of the physical video cables you are using to connect your monitors. Try using new cables or switching the connection type (for example DVI to HDMI).
- Some users have reported that they resolved this issue by removing a left over display driver. You can try this by accessing the Windows “Device Manager” app. Click “View” from the top menu and select “Show hidden devices“. From there you can remove any Monitors that are grayed out. BE CAREFUL! If you are not sure what you’re doing better have a system restore point and backup created.
- Visitor Provided Solution: (brought my attention by a visitor named Jed) would be to install a small program, called PersistentWindows by Kangyu-california, which will recall your window positions and sizes when your monitor connection is restored from sleep. Installation and use instructions available from the GitHub application page. This solution was contributed by a visitor named Jed. Many thanks!
I hope this article has helped you resolve the issue of your open application windows resetting after your monitors resume from sleep. I welcome your thoughts, questions or suggestions regarding this article.
Let me know if you found any errors within my article or if I may further assist you by answering any additional questions you may have.
- This article was first published on December 11th, 2018 and was revised on February 24th, 2020 to include how to re-enable monitor auto detection.
- Revised on June 10th, 2020 to include information provided by Tom K. that TMM was only available on mobile computers and not desktop PCs. Thank you Tom!
- Revised on July 2nd, 2020 to include another potential solution to this issue provided by Jed. Thanks!