Window off screen in SOLIDWORKS? Get it back!

Article by John Lee, CSWE updated July 27, 2018

How to move a window that is off screen

How to move a window that is off screen

Ever find yourself asking,

“Hey!  Where did my window go?” or, “Why is my window off the edge of the screen?”

Frustratingly, some SOLIDWORKS window or dialog box has been inconveniently located out of reach.  It’s either partly or completely off the screen.  Work grinds to a halt as you try to get that window back into view.  Or maybe it’s just not maximizing correctly.  The root cause of the issue can vary, and sometimes it is Windows that is misbehaving.

How to Move a Window that is Off Screen

Here are some fixes and workarounds, roughly in order of simple to more extreme, so that you are armed to the teeth to combat this unwelcome behavior!

  • Windows+arrow keys.  Try them all (left, right, up and down) and try repeats (i.e. Windows+right or left, three times in a row)…this moves the active window around on any monitor, and also back and forth between monitors.  To locate the Windows key, it is usually on the left of the keyboard between Ctrl and Alt, and has the Windows symbol on it.

    The Windows key

    The Windows key

  • F11 key.  This toggles fullscreen mode on the main SOLIDWORKS window.
  • Change screen resolution.  On desktop, right-click and choose Display Settings.
  • Nvidia control for monitors, if using Nvidia graphics card.  This application can be launched by right-clicking in the desktop and choosing NVIDIA Control Panel.
  • Disconnect external monitor (if laptop).  This forces all windows to appear on the laptop screen.
  • Disconnect some of the monitors (if workstation).  This can force off-screen dialogue boxes (such as the one for Save) back onto remaining display(s).
  • Windows + P, and select PC screen only (if laptop).
  • If it is a general windows issue:
  • The Move Windows tool for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8:
  • SOLIDWORKS User Interface registry key (from  Those registry settings control location and size settings for the various SOLIDWORKS windows.  They take effect the next time SOLIDWORKS launches, and are automatically overwritten to each time SOLIDWORKS is properly closed (crashes usually do not count).
    1. Close down SOLIDWORKS.
    2. Start > type “regedit” and select it or run as admin > HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Solidworks\SOLIDWORKS 20XX (select the year version)\User Interface\Dialogs
    3. Right-click this folder and rename it
    4. Launch SOLIDWORKS and re-test the behavior.  This last step should re-create the original folder with location and size settings that hopefully work better.
  • SOLIDWORKS registry reset.  This can sometimes fix misbehavior in SOLIDWORKS by resetting the SOLIDWORKS part of the Windows registry, which is where all of the SOLIDWORKS settings reside.  This resets all SOLIDWORKS settings, not just the User Interface discussed earlier in this article.
  • A new Windows user account.
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John Lee, CSWE

John Lee is inherently lazy in that he prefers to work smarter - not harder. A CSWE with fifteen years of experience using SOLIDWORKS and a background in mechanical design, John has used SOLIDWORKS in various industries requiring design for injection molding, sheet metal, weldments and structural steel.