Windows 7 applications open minimized and will not allow you to maximize or expand

Had a client call us today with a peculiar issue… On their Windows 7 Professional notebook, some applications (but not all) would open, but appear minimized in the task bar.

The client tried everything, from rebooting, to trying safe mode. We connected remotely to view their desktop and observed the same behavior.

After scouring the internet and discussing this between us for several minutes, we were unable to determine the exact cause and were thinking one of the many updates applied overnight may have been the culprit. We didn’t want to waste any more of the client’s time, so we asked them if we could directly remote to the notebook so they could go to lunch while we continued the quest to fix the issue.

When we connected via Microsoft RDP (Remote Desktop) to the notebook in question, all applications opened normally!

Then it hit us….  The client has a notebook, and an additional monitor. Applications were opening correctly, they were just opening to the wrong monitor. When we asked them to verify, they told us the notebook had been closed, meaning, all applications had been opening as they should, but to the notebook’s display, where they could not see it, and our remote tool only displays one screen, so we were unable to determine this ourselves initially.

So, the lesson learned is: If applications are not opening correctly and you have multiple displays, could it be that the apps are opening outside of your view?   We’ll be asking that question ourselves if we encounter this problem again.

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