I'm running OS X Lion on a MacBook Air 11", and when I unplug my secondary display, some windows (e.g., Finder) are overflowing at the edge of the screen.
This usually happens on the right-hand side of the [work]space, so I have access to their title bar to drag them back.

But this time, the MS Word 2011 window is overflowing out of visible workspace range in a way that makes it unreachable: it's like having a big negative offset on the vertical axis.

  1. I can see the window in Exposé, tried moving it to another [work]space (and back), but the window position stays the same.
  2. The three finger drag is enabled, but I cannot reach the window's title bar.

Researching through other questions, I saw that Afloat counts among it's features the ability to

Move windows from anywhere, not just the title bar.

just like other window management apps.

But I'm primarily interested if there's any built-in solution within OS X Lion for this specific issue.

Is there a key combination to move a window from any active area?

Or how can this be solved w/o re-attaching the secondary display?

  • 3
    Can you go to System Prefs>Display> and "Gather Windows"?
    – daviesgeek
    Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 20:59
  • 1
    I'm also a fan of Moom for your window-management needs (such as this one), but I realize that doesn't answer the question. :)
    – Dan J
    Commented Dec 29, 2011 at 21:09
  • 2
    @daviesgeek I could not find the Gather Windows button. Searching, I figured why: it exist only when your MacBook has a monitor plugged in. Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 22:50
  • Oh...that's right...too bad...I can't think of anything else.
    – daviesgeek
    Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 23:53
  • Gather Windows only applies to the System Preferences windows you have open. Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 18:08

11 Answers 11


I was puzzled and annoyed by this problem too in Mac Snow Leopard. The application (MS Word) has a solution. Open file that is not visible. Go to menu Window-->Zoom Window, which then brings that file up front and center.


The easiest solution is to change the resolution of the screen, because this resets all window positions.


I have the same problem when using some--not all--external monitors with my 2011 Macbook Pro running Snow Leopard. The only "solution" I've found is the following:

  1. Select the file that's off screen (from the Window menu in Word), so that the focus is on that file.
  2. Press cmd+S to make sure the file is saved.
  3. Press cmd+W to close the file.
  4. Reopen the file.

The file reopens on my laptop screen and all is well again. It's not pretty, but it gets your file back where it belongs reasonably quickly.


I experienced the same challenge:

  1. An external monitor
  2. The external monitor is the desktop
  3. MS Word
  4. Only the bottom 1/2 inch of Word was exposed


  1. Unplug the monitor
  2. Word was properly positioned on the laptop screen
  3. Move Word slightly
  4. Plug the monitor back in
  5. Problem solved

I found a workaround. Spotlight --> Displays --> Scaled --> "More Space". I was able to move the application and then restored to my original display.


Had this exact Problem in After Effects. Just found a solution on youtube that solved it for me. just option+doubleclick on the bottom corner (to resize). I dont know though if that is a system function, that works everywhere or if it is an after effects function.

  • It is a system-wide function, but it's quite new. Not sure when it started but maybe Sierra or later. Doesn't work on El Capitan, does by High Sierra & again on Mojave.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 12:22

Windows can also be moved by dragging them from the edges. For example dragging a window horizontally from the bottom edge usually moves it.

You could also try selecting the Zoom action from the Window menu.

  • > window is overflowing out of visible workspace range in a way that makes it unreachable Commented Aug 8, 2012 at 16:22
  • It's pretty rare that a window would be bigger than the screen so that all edges would be outside it. Window > Zoom might work in even that case.
    – Lri
    Commented Aug 8, 2012 at 16:48

None of these worked, then I read about a trick to delete the plist file. That deleted everything including my registration for the app I was trying to gather the main window, which was open, when I last closed it.

Then I tried the following and succeeded: I changed the key MainWindowFrame to s.th. below my screen resolution, in my case:




That finally did the trick!!!


I fixed it by going to the menu Window-->Minimize, which then brings that file back to the screen.

I saw other solutions like Window-->Zoom or Window-->Arrange all. I guess the issue can be fixed by other window-related submenus under the Window menu :-)


I had the same problem and literally, just, clicked two times in the icon for the app/program I wanted to use and it brought it right to the center of my screen.


The solution I found is Window → Arrange all.

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