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When I have a giant Thunderbolt monitor plugged into my MacBook, I want windows arranged a certain way. No full-screen apps, some apps are shown on my small laptop screen, other apps are shown on my Thunderbolt display. When I unplug the Thunderbolt display, I would like programs arranged differently, e.g., the browser is a full-screen app. Is there any program that will let me "save" my window state when I have an external monitor plugged in, and save another layout when I don't have any external display, and automatically switch between the two when it detects that external display has been plugged in or unplugged? I'm on Mountain Lion on a MacBook Pro.

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4 Answers

Moom

by Matt Gemmell

http://manytricks.com

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Welcome to Ask Different! Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone. Please take a look at the FAQs for more info. –  gentmatt Oct 3 '12 at 14:24
    
Moom doesn't seem to be able to save window locations across spaces - it only does the current one, so it doesn't solve the problem. –  Conan Mar 4 at 11:37
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We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

Stay

by Cordless Dog. It saves window state for each display configuration you might have.

enter image description here

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love it, will save me a lot of time faffing about –  Steve Green Aug 14 '13 at 9:54
    
Stay is a great app, the functionality it offers solves exactly this problem,and it will fire automatically, causing your spaces to jump around when you unlock - it's a bit crazy, but fun and better than having to trigger it yourself every time. The problem is that it doesn't always work (I'm running Mavericks) - some apps aren't supported, and I often find that some windows just don't resize. If it was free I'd recommend it, but as a paid-for app I'd expect reliable performance. –  Conan Mar 4 at 14:07
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Slate allows giving windows different default positions depending on the connected displays. See the developer's configuration file for some examples.

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I would also like this!

I have a limited amount of space on my 13" screen, so I can arrange 6 or 7 windows in a way that I can toggle quickly between them. this takes a minute to set up and I would like to have this done automatically, if I choose.

Right now I use BetterSnapTool, from the app store. this positions whichever window I choose to either pre-arranged positions or to ones I create. this saves a lot of time. But I have to manually "snap" the position of each screen.

I would like a program that sets up multiple window states, from multiple programs, simultaneously, in prearranged positions. This could optimize the space on my 13" screen or a 27" inscreen

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