altdrag menu.png

One of the annoyances that has been in Windows for awhile is the after-affects that can occur after you disconnect a second monitor. Many times the windows that are off-screen will become “unreachable,” and moving them back to the primary monitor can be difficult. Most apps even try to remember their last-used position, which means restarting the program doesn’t even fix the problem.

How do you get around this? Well, there are a few different ways. One way that I’ve used for a long time is to just right-click on the Windows Taskbar, and choose the Cascade windows option. I’ve found that this will, for the most part, gather up all the windows and place them on the primary screen.

There’s also another workaround, and it’s a free program called Altdrag. With this running you can simply hold down the Alt key + left mouse button, and drag the mouse around to move the window. As you can imagine something like this is useful for more than bringing off-screen windows back to your primary monitor. Once I got used to Altdrag it became my primary way to move windows around the screen.

That’s not all it is capable of either. If you hold down the Alt key + right mouse button you’ll be able to resize the window that is currently selected. Dragging the mouse down or to the left will reduce the height/width of the window, and dragging up or to the right will increase the height/width of the windowy. Moving the mouse diagonally will increase/decrease both the height and width at the same time.

In terms of options almost everything, with the exception of having Altdrag automatically start with Windows, has to be configured through a text file. Other things, such as changing the keys used, goes a little beyond what the average user will want to mess with.

How taxing will it be on your system? On my Windows 7 machine it uses a mere 1.5MB of memory. Well worth the minimal resources it consumes.

Altdrag Homepage (Windows only; 32/64-bit; Freeware)