One of the primary frustrations I have with Chrome OS as a desktop with multiple displays is that it doesn’t truly feel optimized as such. Instead, it’s felt for a long time like this ‘desktop mode’ – extending your experience by docking a Chromebook – has been tacked on. I have many gripes with Chrome OS on the big screen, though I must admit it’s beautiful and truly the more full way of experiencing the operating system. One of those gripes is that whenever I open a new app or window, it opens on the primary display. I’ve found myself constantly dragging and dropping windows over to the opposite display, and I have to admit, that’s very annoying.
A new flag for Chrome OS may now finally solve this problem. On Chrome OS Canary 91, I was able to toggle the ‘Windows open on the display with the cursor’ flag, as seen below, and just as its name states, any apps or windows I opened on my Chromebook properly launched on the display where my cursor was sitting as opposed to simply appearing on the display listed as the ‘primary’. I can confirm that this also works on the Beta channel.
Windows open on the display with the cursor
When there are multiple displays, windows open on the display where cursor is located. – Chrome OS
While there’s no word on when this should arrive on the Stable channel for everyone to enjoy, I know that this will be appreciated for Chromebook, Chromebox, and Chromebase users alike. I admit that this may not be something most users will actively consider or even be aware of, but once you use Chrome OS in desktop mode for long enough, it becomes obvious rather quickly. There’s nothing worse than docking your device, launching apps, and having to constantly move them between windows to get the best experience. The addition of being able to move windows to different displays and desks by right-clicking their status bar is great, but it’s still annoying to have to worry about it at all.
Once this becomes fully available, users will just need to get accustomed to placing their mouse cursor on the display where they want things to launch. This may be easier than it sounds though because if you have two monitors, for example, you’re probably going to open your launcher on the display where you want that window to appear, so your cursor will already be there anyway. What other desktop improvements would you like to see come to your Chrome OS device? Let’s continue this conversation in the comments section!