Can I prevent Windows 10 from resizing open windows when temporarily running a lower than native resolution?

by BMWurm   Last Updated May 07, 2019 21:01 PM

Some old games only run in specific resolutions. Sometimes there are ways to force them to use resolutions that weren't even thought about at the time the games were developed through manipulation of an .ini file or something similar.

Others simply can only be run in one resolution (VGA is the most likely candidate, but 800x600 for games from the XP era are also common). Since running them in a window even at only a 1080p native resolution makes it incredibly difficult to click anything the only sensible solution is to play in full screen.

That works well enough, the game starts, the resolution changes, you play and Windows automatically changes back to the standard resolution when you finish the game and even when you ALT+TAB out. What Windows doesn't do however is return open windows to how they were before. On the contrary, it resizes them, so they fit the smaller resolution - while they DO NOT have the focus and are in fact not even currently visible.

I realize that that is helpful if for example the graphics driver cannot be loaded and a VGA resolution is the last resort for troubleshooting and the OS is shrinking and/or moving open windows around so they are visible within the new resolution. It is however annoying if I have to manually resize and move my windows around again to their preferred positions every time I have a resolution change.

So is there a way - probably via a registry entry - to prevent Windows 10 from resizing and moving open windows around when changing the resolution?

PS: I am aware that closing all other programs before changing the resolution would prevent the problem, but isn't a very feasible solution.

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