Using Windows Media Center on a Dual Screen Setup with Windows 7 x64

If your PC came with Windows 7, chances are you already have Windows Media Center installed. Some PCs come with a built in TV tuner, or you can get an external TV tuner at a reasonable price at your favorite store. One of the neat things about having a TV tuner on your machine is is having the ability to watch live or recorded TV right on your machine via Windows Media Center. Of course, when you’re working on something else, you’re going to have to cover the TV image. Of course, when you have a multi monitor setup, you can have your favorite application running full screen on one monitor and all your work applications on another monitor. However, I have noticed an annoying issue on Windows 7 x64.
It seems that running Windows Media Center on full screen mode also freezes the mouse on the same monitor. Meaning, after you maximize, you cannot move the mouse off of the monitor running Windows Media Center. Not ideal, if you want to work on other things on your primary monitor. I searched around the web to see if there is a patch or hotfix for the issue. I didn’t really find anything, except for a work around from Microsoft.
The work around is pretty simple:

  1. Open Windows Media Center on your secondary monitor
  2. Maximize Windows Center
    1. The mouse is now stuck on the secondary monitor
  3. Hit the Windows key on your keyboard
  4. Move the mouse freely again!

Perhaps the next Windows 7 service pack will have something for this issue.


Rudy Rodarte is a SQL Server Database professional based in Austin, TX. Over his career, Rudy has worked with SSRS, SSIS, performance tuning troubleshooting. When away from Keyboard, Rudy goes to Spurs and Baylor Bear sporting events.

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