I have a MacBookPro9,2 and an external monitor at my desk. Sometimes I unplug everything from the MacBook and carry it somewhere else awake with the lid open. I'll come back to my desk and plug it back in later.

On High Sierra, it worked like this:

  1. I have windows the external monitor.
  2. I unplug the external monitor. The windows move to the internal one.
  3. I plug in the external monitor. The windows move back to the external one.

Now I've upgraded to Mojave. When I plug the monitor back in, the windows stay on the internal monitor, instead of moving back where I had them before. I have to manually move them back to the external monitor for all of my Spaces.

Is this a setting? I haven't found one. Is there a way to get back to the behavior I had in High Sierra?

After several days, I've also realized that new windows sometimes open on my internal display, which has no menu bar. I expect them to open on the external one which has a menu bar.

  • I have never known your behaviour 2. to happen. Once you remove the 2nd monitor, windows have always permanently moved back to the primary. Check whether you have [or had] System Prefs>Mission Control>Displays have separate Spaces on or off. My suspicion is it used to be on, now it's off.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 18, 2018 at 15:56
  • I just turned on "Displays have separate Spaces" to see what it did. That puts a menu bar on my internal display, and prevents me from putting a window part way across both monitors. That's not how it was before. Also, I think you mean behavior 3, not 2. Behavior 2 will always happen as the windows have to be visible somewhere.
    – aswine
    Oct 18, 2018 at 16:08
  • @Tetsujin I can confirm behaviors 1-3 on High Sierra with "Displays have Separate Spaces" turned ON.
    – samh
    Oct 18, 2018 at 16:32
  • Oops, sorry, yes, behaviour 3. I've never ever known them to move back. My 'separate spaces' was a bit of a guess, as I don't use that. I can't test with separate spaces as I've fallen for that before & spent the afternoon putting all my windows back where I want them ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 18, 2018 at 17:35
  • 1
    As the day goes on, it seems to be acting like I want occasionally. I haven't found a pattern.
    – aswine
    Oct 18, 2018 at 18:32


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