I am using KDE (with Kwin) on two screens. Often when I run a new application the new window shows on the second screen eventhough the mouse as well as the active window is on the main screen. How can I instruct KDE to always open new windows on the main screen?

8 Answers 8


System Settings -> Window Behavior -> Window Behavior -> Active screen follows mouse:

enter image description here

  • 2
    Working perfectly for plasma 5.12.5. Thanks!
    – Yash
    May 21, 2018 at 12:12
  • Works as described also in plasma 5.18. Just keep in mind, you need to actually have multiple monitors connected and enabled for these settings to show up.
    – lamka02sk
    Jul 17, 2020 at 22:30

In the "windows behaviour" settings, you have to enable "Active screen follows mouse pointer". (approximate translation from French but I'm sure you'll find it).

This way, by default, windows will open on the current screen. (except some rare specific apps like VLC which use the last used screen).


Try System Settings - Display and Monitor - Multiple Monitors.

The setting Show Unmanaged Windows on allows you to select a display or use the display the mouse pointer is on.

I had this problem but only when I first started a session, anything I ran would always initially open on the second screen (which is a TV and usually turned off)

If you're having the same issue as me, I only got around it by creating a rule for the browser to save its position (Right click on title bar, advanced - special window settings - size & position, Check "Position", select "Remember")

Now when I log in if I open the browser first, it still opens on the second screen but the rule overrides whichever insane hidden setting is taking effect and forces it back to the first desktop, subsequent windows then open on the first desktop as well.

  • 2
    There is no such thing as "multiple monitors" in Kubuntu 12.10. This drives me crazy as applications pop on the monitor with the mouse focus and is completely unpredictable. Any ideas?
    – VitoshKa
    Nov 21, 2012 at 12:18
  • @VitoshKa: yes in 12.10 they seem to have merged Multiple Monitors into Size & Orientation, I can't see the Show Unmanaged Windows on option anymore. There is a Primary output drop list, unfortunately the Kubuntu 12.10 machine I have here doesn't have a second monitor at the moment so I can't test it.
    – Ozone
    Nov 27, 2012 at 3:03
  • Kubuntu 20.04 does not have Size & Orientation anymore.
    – dotancohen
    Feb 24, 2022 at 13:31

All of the existing answers don't (universally) work (setting "Active screen follows mouse" does not solve the problem on my setup) or merely suggest workarounds. The following KWin extensions do precisely what is asked in the question:


On KDE Plasma 5.19.4: System Settings > Window Management > Window Behaviour > Focus > Active screen follows mouse (check this option)


None of the above worked for me on Kubuntu 18.04, but there is a workaround: new windows seem to always open on the most left monitor. So, make your main monitor the most left in "Display and Monitor" and new windows will open on it. At least, for me it worked.

  • I'm experimenting the same behavior in KDE Neon. The settings mentioned here don't seem to have any effect at all. Even after restarting. Everything goes to the top left corner
    – badc0de
    Apr 17, 2021 at 15:20
  • That letting the window rules win. Where would you draw the line? Oct 4, 2021 at 22:16

In System Settings -> Windows Management -> Window Rules you can add a new rule for your window position. Click to New..., open Size & Position tab, click to Screen checkbox and select Force for the monitor number which you want to be the default. Enter your rule name and save.


You can also access these settings in the application Window: Right Click on the Title bar -> More actions -> Application Specific Settings -> check screen , choose force , and choose the screen number that you prefer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .