Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Icons not always moving to "main display" in WIndows 8.1

  1. #1

    Posts : 1
    WIndows 8.1

    Icons not always moving to "main display" in WIndows 8.1

    I think I have a problem, but it's also possible that I don't understand how things are *supposed to work*.

    Let me start out with a question. What is the effect of setting a display as "Main display"?

    My expectation is that in a multiple monitor setting, the upper most left hand corner of your "desktop" should be shown by windows on the display marked as "main". Is that wrong?

    My problem scenario is that I dock and undock my Surface Pro 3 regularly (I assume this is a WIndows 8.1 question and is not specific to the Surface) and my desktop icons are not always going where I expect them to go.

    Sometimes when I dock, my icons are shown on the 2nd monitor (which I have designated as my 'main display'), which is what I expect. But other times when I dock, they are shown on the Surface screen instead, which is a pain..

    Sometimes when I undock, the icons are shown on the Surface screen and sometimes there are no icons shown at all on the Surface.. but if I play around with the options to "extend" a monitor or a projector (even though I don't have one hooked up) I can get the icons to appear on the Surface, although they are not lined up like I left them and I have to re-arrange them.

    So are my expectations off, or is there a bug at play here?

    I worked a bit with tech support but that their solution was to restart the device and make sure I have the most recent updates. This did not help.

    It almost seems to me that the o/s is sometimes not honoring the "main display", or its getting confused. Another small case in point is that, right now, I'm docked and my desktop icons are being shown on the surface, although my 2nd monitor is designated as "main". If I go into the settings and make the surface pro the "main" display, the icons get moved over to the 2nd monitor!

    So confused.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2

    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit

    I run 3 monitors on my desktop. My main display is my center 1080P 22" widescreen. I have 2 other 19 " monitors on either side. 19 < 22 > 19

    Click image for larger version
    The one shown above marked 3 is the far left side of my desktop and the one marked 2 is the far right side of my desktop. No 1 is my main screen. If the numbers don't match the physical location my mouse will hit a brick wall going from screen to screen. Clicking the identify button will show you what monitor is what number. I don't put any Icons on my desktop so I can't help you there. I do switch from multi to single when I game though. I use a shortcut to switch to "PC Only" when I game. When I do that only the center monitor is on, as its set as the main display. When I'm finished gaming I click my shortcut for "Extend", to go back to multi display. I do this because I don't unplug the monitors from my video card. My short cuts do the equivalent or pressing the Windows key and the P key and selecting PC Only or Extend. I just find it quicker and easier to click the shortcut on my taskbar. I think your issue is your external monitor is set as Main and your unplugging it. The icons getting shuffled is due to the two different screen sizes. Are you doing an Extend (dual displays) or Second Screen Only, just the external monitor?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3

    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit

    Forgot to mention: When I'm on multiple displays, and I switch to single, any running programs or Apps on the other two screens will move to the one main screen automatically. I'm not sure what would happen if I just unplugged one. Also, when I am running on all three, programs I open remember what monitor they were last used on. If I open Outlook and move it to monitor 2, close it , and open it again it opens on monitor 2.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Icons not always moving to "main display" in WIndows 8.1
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