I'm using Loki (though this might apply to all versions). I have a laptop whose screen is my primary monitor. Additionally, I have two external monitors, one to the left and one to the right of my laptop screen. This is how they're virtually positioned in my Displays settings, too.

The middle monitor is starred as my primary. However, almost all windows open in the left monitor anyway and have to be dragged over to my main monitor.

This happens when new applications open, when existing applications open new windows, and even for things such as the login screen (though I think that might be a separate bug, the cause may still be related).

Is there some way I can force the default monitor for things to happen to be my main screen, rather than the first screen?

  • There still seems to be no good answer to this question. Basically, Elementary OS attempts to maintain window state, so if your application supports Elementary OS directly, then it'll likely re-open in the same position. But many other apps that aren't specifically made for Elementary OS don't do this.
    – Ben
    Nov 29, 2017 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


I think you should close those apps on the monitor you want them to open.

About the login screen. Yes that seems like a separate bug, it should show on all displays the same until you login. At least it does so for me on every linux distro.

  • Closing on the correct device doesn't fix the issue for me. Next time my computer starts, Chrome, Slack, Discord, Wavebox, and several other apps all open on my first monitor again. The issue is likely that I switch between using one monitor and 3 monitors depending whether I'm at the office or at home, and each time I get to the office and plug in all my other monitors, my windows default to the left-most external monitor instead of my main one.
    – Ben
    Aug 25, 2017 at 6:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.