Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Using Desktop and Win 8 Apps at the same time - 2 Monitors

  1. #1

    Using Desktop and Win 8 Apps at the same time - 2 Monitors


    "Using" not "Running" as Win 8 Apps will continue to run even if they are not visible because the Desktop is showing. I'm using the extended desktop mode with the toolbar only showing on the left monitor.

    What I believe is normal operation:
    The Start Screen is on the left monitor
    Win 8 Apps appear on that monitor
    If you click on a window in the right monitor the desktop reappears on the left monitor.
    It doesn't happen if you just click on the desktop area of the right monitor
    However, you can't utilize a program on the right monitor without losing the display
    and capability of operating the Win 8 App on the left monitor

    What I discovered:
    Go to the lower left corner of the right monitor to access the link to the Start Screen
    The Start Screen appears on the right monitor.
    Start a Win 8 App which then appears on the right monitor
    Then click on the desktop OR a program window in the left monitor, the Win 8 App is still visible
    Now you can operate the desktop program and the Win 8 App at your convenience

    Is this something that everyone already knows or did I discover something?
    I am running Classic Start so that could have something to do with this nice dual program operation.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 446
    Win 8 64-bit


    I'm not really sure what you mean, although admittedly I rarely use store apps, so maybe I'm missing the point? I can open a store app in either monitor and continue doing other things in the other monitor.

    Store app in left monitor, IE active in right monitor:

    Click image for larger version


    Store app in right monitor, IE active in left monitor:

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Very interesting. I guess I didn't discover anything about Win 8 in general, just my installation.

    In the top example if I were to click on a window (not just the desktop) on the right monitor then the display on the left monitor would return to Desktop. In the bottom example that wouldn't happen.

    Is your taskbar set so it only shows on the left monitor?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 446
    Win 8 64-bit


    No it was set to show taskbar on all displays. However, I just disabled showing the taskbar on other displays, but there was no change. So I'm not sure what's causing it (I'm using Nvidia graphics drivers if it makes a difference).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Interesting... I'm using Nvidia too. Who ever said computers were supposed to make sense?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    San Jose - California
    Posts : 2,847
    8.1x64PWMC Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64


    @Calbear, I think it got something to do with the fact that you have Classic Start that changes the behavior of the native Windows 8, I am also using NVIDIA and my system is running the same as Arc1020. And come to think of it, The desktop where you have the Start Menu is behaving like another Windows App, which you can move the mouse to the top of the screen until you see a hand cursor, drag it to the bottom of the screen then you can close the desktop and that's the same as we do to close a Windows App, So if you have another Windows App running, then it should stay visible whether you click on the desktop or click on the windows of a desktop application on the other screen, and under the the Star Menu, the "Desktop App" is run when you press the WIN key or click on the Desktop tile.
    Am I making any sense ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Its all very confusing. After rebooting the computer, activating the Start Screen is in the left monitor (win key) then Win 8 programs are visible or not in the manner I call "normal operation". Once I have opened the start screen in the right monitor one time I can continue to view Win 8 programs in either monitor and use desktop programs in the other monitor. I don't know what's really normal but I'm happy with my "discovery".
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Using Desktop and Win 8 Apps at the same time - 2 Monitors
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