How To Stop Game From Minimizing When Using Second Screen

Many modern gamers rate their gaming experience based on total immersion, and a second monitor is a powerful tool. However, many find that their game window minimizes when they try to interact with the second screen, ruining the immersion experience.

How To Stop The Minimizing Problem

If you run the game on your first monitor and interact with an element of the second to change some music, for example, it will pull the game out of full-screen mode.

While it may visually appear as two separate windows, being two individual monitors, the program won’t make that distinction without your assistance. 

1. Use the Game Window Settings

The game window settings are a good place to start troubleshooting if your game continues to minimize while using a secondary monitor. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the game window’s Settings
  2. Locate the Functions tab. 
  3. Select Prevent Window Deactivation from the “Window Management” portion of the menu. 
  4. Choose a key combination
  5. Save the changes. 
  6. Use the key combination to transfer freely between monitors. 

2. Use Borderless Windows

One way to solve this problem is by altering the type of window the game is displayed in. A borderless window is somewhat of a halfway point between fullscreen and minimized.

By changing to the borderless window setting, gamers can keep the window up while interacting with the second screen. 

  1. In the Settings, turn on the game’s Borderless Window function. 
  2. Check the aspect ratio. If it was changed when you enabled the borderless window, change it back to what it was before. If the aspect ratio is off, the game will appear with incorrect proportions on the monitor. 
  3. Once you’ve changed the borderless window and aspect ratio settings, perform a couple of clicks on the second monitor. The game window won’t be minimized when using the second monitor. 
  4. Now that you can use the mouse on the second monitor, bring the mouse back to the first monitor or use Alt+Tab to switch back and forth between your primary and secondary monitors. 

Is Full-Screen Gaming Better Than Borderless Windows?

A game running in windowed mode on Windows 10 desktop.

Full-screen gaming is generally better than borderless windows, as most games run at peak performance in full-screen mode. But if the quality of play isn’t too greatly reduced by running it in a borderless window, it lets players access other tools and applications while still in the game. 

Most PC games offer three options for window settings: full-screen, windowed, and borderless window. 

  • Fullscreen. Fullscreen mode is the best option if you’re only using one monitor or have no need to interact with the elements displayed on the second monitor during the course of the game. 
  • Windowed. Windowed mode reduces the size and, therefore, performance. It’s usually used when there’s only one monitor available, and the player needs to interact with applications running in the background. 
  • Borderless windows. A hybrid between full-screen and windowed, borderless windows may reduce gameplay quality. However, most gamers say the difference is almost unnoticeable. The pros of using a second monitor without minimizing the game compensate for any minor lagging or reduction in graphic quality. 

3. Use the Taskbar Settings

How to turn on Show taskbar on multiple displays.

One solution for game minimization on multiple monitors is to alter the taskbar settings. This is a simple solution but reportedly a pretty successful troubleshooting starting point. 

  1. Right-click on the Taskbar to open settings.
  2. Locate the Show Taskbar On All Displays toggle switch—which should be near the bottom of the pop-up menu—and switch it on. 
  3. You can close the Taskbar settings and restart the game using both monitors when it’s on. 

4. Utilize Display Extension Settings

Here’s the step-by-step process to fixing the game window minimizing problem using Display Extension settings. 

  1. Shut down the game if it’s running.
  2. Under Settings, locate System.
  3. Under System, choose Display.
  4. Locate the Multiple Displays option. 
  5. Allow your device to identify both monitors. 
  6. In the drop-down menu, select the option to Extend These Displays
  7. Save the setting changes. 
  8. Start or restart the game. 

If the problem is caused by something unrelated to the game, such as a system update, the symptoms will continue despite your attempts. 

5. Adjust the CPU Priority 

How to adjust the CPU priority to high.

You can also adjust the CPU priority in the settings to prevent the device from prioritizing the processing power away from the game. This overrides the computer’s standard prioritization pattern and allows the game to continue processing at the same rate. 

To adjust the CPU priority, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the game program. 
  2. Minimize the window using Alt+Tab or Ctrl+Alt+Delete
  3. Open the Task Manager and locate Details in the menu. 
  4. Right-click on the game program to open the options menu. 
  5. Select Set priority, which should be located near the top of the menu. 
  6. In the pop-out menu, change the priority from Normal to High
  7. Save your changes and return to the game. 

However, this may cause applications in the background to close as the computer routes priority to the game’s program.

Ensure you’ve saved your work and closed whatever is necessary before altering the CPU priority.