Application window behavior, external monitor, Ventura 13.3.1

Recently migrated to new MacBook Air M2, 2002. Previous to this (MBP 2012 OS 10) when I plugged in an external monitor, ALL open windows would show up on the external display, leaving the laptop with a clean screen unless and until I moved a window down to that screen.
Now I find that upon plugging in the second monitor, all windows remain on the laptop screen and I have to manually move them one by one to the larger screen in order to work.

Another issue: If I have (for instance) two Chrome windows open, one in each monitor and then switch from Chrome window #1 in the ext. monitor to another application (cmnd-tab), when I cmnd-tab back to Chrome it goes to window #2 rather than the previous location. As you can imagine, this plays havoc with workflow involving multiple apps.

Is there some preferences setting I need to look at to address this?



Which screen is the menu bar assigned to? If it’s the internal screen I would expect all windows to stay there. Can’t look it up right now on my system because I’m on the road.

Hi Simon,

Thanks for the response, sorry for the delay in answering (somehow I’m not getting email notifications of TidBits activity…)
Looking for where that menu bar assignment happens; checked in Sys Prefs > Appearance and Displays, didn’t see anything.


System Settings > Displays > Arrange.

Thanks for that. I moved the menubar to the external monitor. And after moving all active windows one by one to the external monitor my customary workflow is again possible.

Interestingly, a greyed out menubar remains on the built in display. The behavior of this second menu bar is a little puzzling. It does not necessarily belong to the app that is in the foreground (e.g. Chrome is the foreground app, the greyed out menubar might be Finder.) But the greyed out menubar seems to be fully functional. If I use the greyed out Finder>Window to choose a window that is open on the ext monitor, it switches to that window on the ext monitor.

Comparing this experience with my pre-Ventura life (OS 10) (when all windows of all open apps would relocate to the ext monitor as soon as it was plugged in, and I don’t recall there being a any menubar remaining on the built in screen) I can’t help but wonder if I’m missing something; whether there was a good reason for this design change and it’s actually a byproduct of some wonderful new features that I’m just not aware of.

thanks again,