Restore window positions

Is there a way to save and restore window positions (layers, properties, toolbars, etc) ?
I have an issue every time I turn off my monitor if Rhino is running, everything gets squished over into the left corner on top of everything and I have to put it back. I know this is because windows doesn’t think it has a screen anymore so it makes a tiny desktop… but when I turn the monitor back on, everything is still squished over there even though my desktop is the correct size again.

If I close Rhino and Open it again, it saved all those positions so that doesn’t help

I thought if there wasn’t a way to save and restore the positions from inside Rhino, or at least reset all windows to previous positions, then at least maybe there is a file somewhere that saves the window positions that I could copy to a backup, then restore that file to get my positions back.

Any ideas?

Hi James - I do not have a good idea for V7 and previous - V8/WIP provides a tool that should help with this - you can save a window layout for your small screen and a different one for the two screen and switch between them as needed,


I don’t need to switch back and forth, this is something that is happening because I shut off my monitor.

Is there a way to lock window positions? or prevent the window positions from being saved when I close Rhino?

Hi James -

There is a Lock Docked Windows option when you click on the gear icon on the top or right-hand toolbars - but I’m not holding my breath. When I turn off my monitor and then turn it on again, Rhino hasn’t changed at all. So, something else must be going on on your machine…

That seems to only lock things that are docked to the bar… not the floating windows… but I actually could actually use that, sometimes I move those around accidentally, so thanks for the suggestion!

It’s not just Rhino that does this, all of my programs that are not full screen get squished like that… but just on this one computer, on the other computers Windows does not change the desktop size when I turn off the monitor, but this one does… it’s the same thing that happens if you unplug the signal cord from the monitor. It’s a multiPC monitor and I do have another PC plugged into another port, so that probably has something to do with it.

since I always use Rhino full screen, when I turn on the monitor, it’s again full screen and it’s fine, it’s just my floating windows that stay all piled up on the side.

Right but -if I undrstand you - when you switch off the monitor and it all goes wrong, you would be able to restore the layiut that works on the single/small monitor if needed, and/or restore the layout that works on the second screen whan that comes back on and looks funny.


Not exactly, I just want to turn off my big monitor at night, that makes my floating windows get messed up, then turn on the big monitor in the morning and see the relocated windows… then restore their positions somehow. I never need to work on anything in the small screen layout… it’s really ridiculous.

I don’t have a physical smaller monitor, windows just defaults to some small screen size when I turn off the big monitor… it’s the same as what happens if you unplug the monitor signal cord… windows just goes… “well I don’t have a monitor now, so I guess the screen is 800x600”.

I would rather the floating windows just be completely off the screen when this happens so they are where they belong when I turn the monitor back on… but Windows is moving them all to stay on the screen by itself.

I have no way to see this small desktop configuration, and I haven’t been able to figure out how to tell windows I want the default desktop to be 4K… so I never need to work on anything in the small desktop state, since I can’t ever actually see that.

Hi James - in V8 it should work like this:

Arrange things as you like them on the big monitor. Save this configuration as a named window layout.
Turn off the big monitor.

Now arrange things as you like them for the small set up. Save this configuration.

Either of these can be restored as needed - shouldn’t that help?


yes it would solve the problem to save a named window layout before I turn off my monitor then restore it when I turn it back on… but nothing needs to happen in the middle… so I’m hoping there is a solution for V7… unless V8 will be here soon, but I’m guessing it would still be a while.

I don’t have a small monitor…

It’s what windows does when it thinks you have no monitor…

I can’t see it in the small configuration and never need to save it that way… it’s so small it’s completely unusable…

I just want to go back to previous window positions.

So it’s get everything the way I want on the big monitor, save it somehow…
turn it off
turn it on
restore all my window positions

there is nothing between turning it off and back on again… the small configuration is a stupid way that windows is handling me shutting off my monitor… it’s pretending I have a tiny screen because my monitor signal went away

If there was a ‘restore previous window locations’ that would work too… I just don’t ever need to work on it in the tiny configuration… I just want to un-do what windows screwed up for me

I think it would help in this case. But only in 8. Which you can get now, as a ‘WIP’.


Wow, I did not know I could get the Work in Progress version now. Thanks for letting me know, I will try it and let you know how it works for this!!

Well, I’m not sure you will really be able to fix what Windows 11 has well and truly broken. In my case this does not apply just to Rhino and not just to deliberately disconnecting a monitor.

When my machine goes to sleep - I have 2 identical model 4K monitors connected - when it does so, one of the monitors may shut off a fraction of a second before the other and so Windows 11 sees that as a “disconnect”. When it wakes up, same thing, one monitor may wake up a half second before the other and that is another “disconnect/reconnect”.

Result is 2 times out of three, I come back to find what might have been a relatively large window covering most of a monitor (but not maximized) before sleep will be sized down to about 1/4 of the screen - and often on the wrong monitor.

I got the Rhino 8 WIP version and saving and restoring the window positions with the WindowLayout command works great!! I’ll probably have a lot of use for that.

As for this particular issue… well… I don’t need WindowLayout, because I am happy to report it’s not an issue in Rhino 8! Since Windows is still fouling up my screen, the Rhino developers must have put something in to detect the windows all moved… or detect the windows desktop size changed, and they are restoring my floating windows automatically for me! Nice!

It looks like the brilliant programmers at McNeel have indeed fixed what Windows has broken.

Well it is true that V8 uses a different system to store the positions - proportional rather than absloute - I had forgotten that bit…


That is a great idea! I also use Rhino on a laptop… that also has a docking station that is connected to a different resolution monitor… So with a proportional method, I should be able to work docked, or un-docked and the window positions should be similar. of course if they were off, I could use the new WindowLayout feature to fix it.

I discovered something by accident… If I have a command waiting for a response in Rhino 7, and I shut off my monitor, when I turn it back on, it’s still waiting for a response… but my window positions are exactly as I left them… they do not get squished into the smaller area… So not ideal, because I need to remember to start some command, but it is a workaround until I’m ready to commit to Rhino 8 with my largest projects.

I started using my laptop on a docking station with a second monitor on the docking station, and this same issue happens on that when the laptop sleeps and then I wake up it up, all my windows positions are messed up. I’m still on Rhino 7 for my production stuff to be safe, but I did figure something out that I thought I would share…

To get my original positions back I just open a new instance of Rhino, and it will have all my original positions, then save and close the other instance with the messed up positions, then open it in the new instance… and window positions are back to normal. it’s a little bit of a pain on large files that take a long time to save and load, but it’s a workaround for V7, and a lot easier than putting everything back the way I had it one at a time. The window positions are saved every time Rhino exits, so as long as the one with the messed up positions is not the last one closed the original positions can be recovered.