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Cursor issues with Windows Media Center in dual-monitor setup

    Question

  • I have my PC hooked up to my HDTV in a dual-monitor setup (main screen is LCD panel, second screen is HDTV). When I have Windows Media Center maximized on either screen, I am unable to move my mouse cursor onto the other screen until I either restore down or close Windows Media Center.

    Is there a way to allow the cursor to move to other screen while Windows Media Center is maximized? As far as I am aware, this is the only program that locks the cursor onto the current screen while maximized (legacy video games may have this same effect if they don't use the Windows cursor).

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Friday, January 30, 2009 5:28 PM

Answers

  • I Have a similar issue but mine revolves mainly around my Kids wanting to use Media center on my secondary display on my Dual monitor config, while I want to use other applications on the main display.

    I find it very annoying having to constantly use the Windows key in order to switch control of the mouse from Media Center to my Primary display when Media center is in full screen mode. At times I use Windowed mode to be able to move the mouse freely. This is fine if i'm the only person using the PC but if my kids want to use media center, then I find some of the remote functions can interfere with whatever application i'm using on the Primary display.

    The implementation of a Dual mouse control like with Apple Macs (as suggested in my previous post http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproui/thread/f9f48389-a68c-4b60-9f77-5d64faf76bec/ ) would be a great solution "imho" but I'm open to further suggestions.
    Monday, February 02, 2009 8:54 AM
  • You can switch back to your primary display using the start button, then clicking on the app you wish to use. There is the caveat that if you do not have an app focused in the primary display, ie you minimize or close the app in your primary display, focus returns to the second display and you must use the start button again to get back to the primary display.

    I get around this by starting an explorer window or other low impact app, and moving it mostly off the screen while I go about using other apps on the primary display. This keeps the focus locked on the primary display.

    Another note about this is the use of the windows remote becomes somewhat flakey. Pause, skip forward or back, and volume continue to work but most of the other buttons do not.

    cheers
    JJ
    Monday, February 09, 2009 6:47 PM
  • Yea the Start or Win-key things are a way out but that's not the way and I hope MS fixes that. It really ticks me off.

    I don't have the remote, was gonna get one hoping not to have to use the mouse, but if what you're saying is true, man that is a major letdown. In light of that, something tells me MS deliberately steals focus so that the remote works. And if so that doubly sux, 1 cause it does and 2 cause they didn't bother to figure out how to do it properly.
    Tuesday, February 10, 2009 4:12 AM

All replies

  • I'm fairly certain that there is no option to disabled this "feature". I'm not sure whether Microsoft chose to do it or was it just the way it worked out and will be eventually addressed.

     

    If they chose to do this it is pretty ignorant on their part. I have an HTPC connected to a small 17" LCD for control and a PJ for actual stuff to watch, mostly Full-Screen MP. I don't currently use WMC but with 7 I might, but the cursor thing might be a deal-breaker. Maybe Microsoft got so broke after Vista that they can only afford a single display per developer and the though has never entered into their minds ;)
    Friday, January 30, 2009 11:06 PM
  • It seems that WMC does not behave like other windows. For example, I can press Winlogo + Up to maximize a windowed WMC, but I can't use Winlogo + Down to restore it down to a window. However, Winlogo + Down does correctly minimize WMC but only when in windowed mode.

     

    Additionally, when in full-screen mode, it is nearly impossible to give another application focus with Winlogo + Tab or Alt + Tab. If I Winlogo + Tab to another application, WMC steals the focus back after a few moments, which also steals the mouse cursor (refer to my first post about the mouse cursor when in full-screen mode).

     

    I would really like to be able to use my second display to have WMC in full-screen mode while I continue to work on my primary display, and it seems I cannot do that unless WMC is in windowed mode.

    Sunday, February 01, 2009 6:52 PM
  • I Have a similar issue but mine revolves mainly around my Kids wanting to use Media center on my secondary display on my Dual monitor config, while I want to use other applications on the main display.

    I find it very annoying having to constantly use the Windows key in order to switch control of the mouse from Media Center to my Primary display when Media center is in full screen mode. At times I use Windowed mode to be able to move the mouse freely. This is fine if i'm the only person using the PC but if my kids want to use media center, then I find some of the remote functions can interfere with whatever application i'm using on the Primary display.

    The implementation of a Dual mouse control like with Apple Macs (as suggested in my previous post http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/w7itproui/thread/f9f48389-a68c-4b60-9f77-5d64faf76bec/ ) would be a great solution "imho" but I'm open to further suggestions.
    Monday, February 02, 2009 8:54 AM
  • I have the same Problem no matter what I try to do.
    Tuesday, February 03, 2009 1:23 PM
  • You can switch back to your primary display using the start button, then clicking on the app you wish to use. There is the caveat that if you do not have an app focused in the primary display, ie you minimize or close the app in your primary display, focus returns to the second display and you must use the start button again to get back to the primary display.

    I get around this by starting an explorer window or other low impact app, and moving it mostly off the screen while I go about using other apps on the primary display. This keeps the focus locked on the primary display.

    Another note about this is the use of the windows remote becomes somewhat flakey. Pause, skip forward or back, and volume continue to work but most of the other buttons do not.

    cheers
    JJ
    Monday, February 09, 2009 6:47 PM
  • Yea the Start or Win-key things are a way out but that's not the way and I hope MS fixes that. It really ticks me off.

    I don't have the remote, was gonna get one hoping not to have to use the mouse, but if what you're saying is true, man that is a major letdown. In light of that, something tells me MS deliberately steals focus so that the remote works. And if so that doubly sux, 1 cause it does and 2 cause they didn't bother to figure out how to do it properly.
    Tuesday, February 10, 2009 4:12 AM
  •  
    Although I appreciate that my reply on this thread has been marked as an answer but personally i don't not consider any of the replies adequate answers to the problem, merely work arounds.
     
    I Propose that the implementation of dual mouse controls would be a true answer to this problem.  We have dual monitors then why not dual mouse controls? This would allow the user to leave a mouse locked to the media center screen thus also allowing for full remote control functionality. It is now a possibility with dual & quad core processors etc... 
     
    I discovered that multiple mouse cursors control has been in developedment for educational purposes since at least 2006 via Microsoft Multipoint http://www.microsoft.com/unlimitedpotential/programs/multipoint.mspx and a SDK is currently available for download, so why is this not implemented in Windows 7?
     
    I've been informed that this functionality is already available on Osx & Linux operating systems, I for one would add this to my wish list in the final release of Windows 7.
    Friday, February 13, 2009 7:16 AM
  • Hi Guys,

     

    It is a known issue in Windows Vista, and not corrected in Windows 7 beta.

     

    In a multiple-monitor setup, you cannot move the mouse pointer away from the monitor that displays Windows Media Center on a computer that is running Windows Vista

     

    We will submit this thread and our developers will notice this behavior.

     

    Thanks for your responses.


    Arthur Xie - MSFT
    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 2:08 AM
    Moderator
  • It's like you are in a game. If you are running dual monitors (and I am) and playing a game, you can only move your mouse within the main screen, for obvious reasons. The same seems to apply to Windows Media Center, though I don't know why; it's not like in a game where if you click outside the main screen of the game the game will tab out, and you won't get the kill... The max that will happen is that Media Center will tab out, but that is just dumb, this should be changed.
    Wednesday, February 18, 2009 8:05 AM
  • Just checking in to see if this problem has been fixed in WIN7 RTM.

    Thanks
    Saturday, September 19, 2009 1:01 PM
  • The same problem in w7 rtm.. :/ Just I want for example work at primary lcd (pc) and play multimedia at secondary lcd - tv (fullscreen mode). It's a fundamental problem but when it will be fixed !?
    Monday, September 28, 2009 6:56 PM
  • I'm having the same problem too.

    I also wish Windows Media Center allowed you to set a preferred audio port (instead of the system default). I'd like my system sounds to play through my audio card and my Windows Media Center to play through my ATI HDMI audio device. Instead I have to use the control panel applet to switch the default output device before I start WMC. Such a pain!!
    Sunday, November 08, 2009 3:42 AM
  • For such a great product like Windows 7 Media Center this is a bug that is totally unacceptable. While you can get around it by setting MC to a window instead of full screen, you still have to resize it every time to where you don't see the window borders anymore, but even worse, the video motion looks bad in windowed mode, very stuttery, when it's perfectly normal in full screen mode. That makes it not possible to use your computer for doing some work while some other member of the family wants to watch a recorded show on the TV set connected to the second port. This bug should be taken care of immediately.
    • Proposed as answer by Spannerz Monday, November 16, 2009 8:02 PM
    Sunday, November 08, 2009 6:34 AM
  • Hi guys

    You can fix this by installing a program called 'The Maxifier'  I'd post the link but not sure thats allowed (google is your friend)

    I was having the exact same problem as everybody here & happened upon this excellent little program whilst researching a fix.

    I'm using WIndows 7 with the beta version of The Maxifier & it works flawlessly, you can even program hotkeys to open/close wmc etc

    Hope this helps
    Monday, November 16, 2009 8:17 PM
  • This also drove me crazy, but the Start button work-around worked great (I maximized WMC on the TV, then hit the Windows logo button, then slid the mouse to the left, and it came back to the primary display, and from there I could move it back and forth with no problems).  One issue I do have when I do this is that my live TV feed starts to stutter badly, but maybe that's an unrelated issue (though if I restore/re-maximize WMC, it seems to resolve that).  I'll go check out this Maxifier--I wonder if using that will resolve my stutter problem.
    Wednesday, January 06, 2010 2:59 AM
  • The only thing I know to do with this problem is this....

    http://www.mediachance.com/free/multimon.htm

     

    there is a free version that has a generic toolbar (gray and ugly) or you can purchase multimon that will give you a nice Aero look to it. the only problem is with the free version, you're stuck looking at the tool bar as it will not auto-hide.

    Monday, June 28, 2010 6:49 PM
  • This annoys the hell out of me as well other two media center apps I use xbmc and media portal both use a fullscreen window instead of true fullscreen dont know why microsoft cant simply add a checkbox to run media center in fullscreen window instead of true fullscreen as well!! Maxifier works but I have found it to be flakey. Find myself using media center less and less these days and once xbmc gets thier pvr running right I will completley  switch over to xbmc. To many basic things missing from media center like a music video library and video playlists to be a full time media center. I found the only thing missing from xbmc is pvr client which is being worked on.Cheers
    Sunday, February 27, 2011 11:33 PM
  • The only thing I know to do with this problem is this....

    http://www.mediachance.com/free/multimon.htm

     

    there is a free version that has a generic toolbar (gray and ugly) or you can purchase multimon that will give you a nice Aero look to it. the only problem is with the free version, you're stuck looking at the tool bar as it will not auto-hide.

    What good is adding another toolbar going to do? We want media center to run fullscreen without trapping the mouse. Not asking for another taskbar.
    Sunday, February 27, 2011 11:36 PM
  • I have the same problem.  The difficulty is changing focus from Media Center when in full screen mode because the mouse is trapped.  By pushing the Windows Key on the newer keyboards the focus is moved to the main window and the mouse can then be moved to the other screen.  What I have noticed is once I do this Media Center video becomes choppy.  It's like there are some interrupts effecting the video playback.  Microsoft should really look at using dual monitor setups for Media Center.
    Nick
    • Proposed as answer by Aragorne17 Thursday, May 26, 2011 4:06 PM
    Sunday, March 06, 2011 7:26 PM
  • http://www.libellules.ch/dotclear/index.php?post/2010/05/25/The-Maxifier in french (switserland) but the soft is finded if you surch the maxifier.
    Thursday, May 26, 2011 4:08 PM
  • I found a really easy fix for this.  Just hit the "Windows" key and it allows the cursor to move between monitors. 
    Saturday, August 20, 2011 2:23 PM
  • When using Media Center, I shouldn't need to hold onto my keyboard in addition to my mouse or remote.  This problem of needing to use the windows key to move the mouse back to the primary monitor is very annoying.  It got more annoying for me a couple months ago, when the mouse pointer keeps disappearing while being used on media center on the 2nd monitor in full-screen-mode.  Every media center action now requires hitting the windows button to recover the mouse pointer.

    Using a 2nd monitor for media center seems to deserve more testing by Microsoft.


    - Michael Faklis
    Wednesday, November 09, 2011 6:22 PM
  • this has been an issue for a long time, I will send it in to some folks at MSFT
    again. doubt it will get fixed for Windows 7. Maybe for Windows 8 (but we have
    no idea what form, if any, Media Center will take in W8)
     
    On Wed, 9 Nov 2011 18:22:30 +0000, Michael Faklis wrote:
     
    >
    >
    >When using Media Center, I shouldn't need to hold onto my keyboard in addition to my mouse or remote.  This problem of needing to use the windows key to move the mouse back to the primary monitor is very annoying.  It got more annoying for me a couple months ago, when the mouse pointer keeps disappearing while being used on media center on the 2nd monitor in full-screen-mode.  Every media center action now requires hitting the windows button to recover the mouse pointer.
    >
    >Using a 2nd monitor for media center seems to deserve more testing by Microsoft.
    >- Michael Faklis
     

    Barb Bowman

    http://www.digitalmediaphile.com

    Thursday, November 10, 2011 9:44 AM
  • Here's how I did it (using my TV as another monitor)

    Fire up Windows Media Center and fit the window to the screen manually using the title bar and some clever dragging/moving. I was able to get it to fill the screen without seeing the title bar (mostly)

    Close WMC in that position

    Copy the shortcut to Windows Media Center

    Change the target to: %windir%\ehome\ehshell.exe /nochrome

    Start WMC with the shortcut, you will notice it has no borders and fills the screen. I am able to keep my TV on and move to it to make changes as well as alt tab to desktop/programs without the issues of full screen.

    Help from here: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/11614/startup-customizations-for-media-center-in-windows-7/

    From the article:

    It’s got a cool appearance if you don’t mind not being able to either move the window around with your mouse, or easily exit out of Media Center. To escape this mode once you’ve entered it, double-click on the green Media Center logo at the top left to pop it into Full Screen mode, then click the ”X” at the top right to exit.




    • Edited by Nnyone Thursday, May 10, 2012 7:07 AM
    Thursday, May 10, 2012 7:06 AM
  • Well it's a year later and I came across this thread where I don't see an obvious answer.  My scenario is WMC 7 on 2nd monitor.  If the mouse is "locked" into that monitor hit the Windows button and immediately move the mouse to monitor 1.  You can move back and forth until you click on monitor 2.  Then you are locked in again.  Mine blanks monitor 2 when I hit the Windows button but just for a second or so.
    Tuesday, June 18, 2013 7:42 PM
  • Microsoft has stopped development on WMC. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior
    is what it is and is not going to change. MS did not include WMC in W8 and users
    have to pay extra for it. I doubt it will even be present in V.Next.
     
    On Tue, 18 Jun 2013 19:42:36 +0000, M509272 wrote:
     
    >Well it's a year later and I came across this thread where I don't see an obvious answer.  My scenario is WMC 7 on 2nd monitor.  If the mouse is "locked" into that monitor hit the Windows button and immediately move the mouse to monitor 1.  You can move back and forth until you click on monitor 2.  Then you are locked in again.  Mine blanks monitor 2 when I hit the Windows button but just for a second or so.
     

    Barb Bowman

    http://www.digitalmediaphile.com

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013 9:21 AM