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Visual Studio Web Publish Lockup? Check for invisible Window

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Today, while sitting through the MVP 2013 sessions and watching Scott Gu's Azure demos I decided to finally try quickly setting up a free Azure Web site and publish it. The process is super easy. Create the site online using the Azure portal and then use the management portal to download the publish settings. Then on the local machine create a new site, set up a simple sample page, and then use Web Publish to push it up to Azure.

Or so it should be. But I ran into an ugly snag: When I click "Publish" on my Web project - unceremoniously nothing happens. I see the publish window flash, but after that Visual Studio is locked up solid. Not the experience I hoped for.

Turns out the the problem is that while I've been travelling I'm running on a single monitor. Last time I published though, I published my project with multi-monitors, and the publish dialog showed on the second monitor. Web Publish apparently rememembers its screen position and so this modal dialog is off screen invisibly. You get the idea: Modal child dialog in Visual Studio and you basically have an IDE that looks like it's locked up. Menus and Window controls don't work - the IDE is just dead.

Thanks to rescue line tweet from Sayed Hashimi who pointed me in the right direction I was able to recover my hidden window by:

  • Pressing Alt-Spacebar to bring up the child window menu
  • Pressing the Size option to drag the window corner out onto the first monitor
  • Then pulling the window in and properly resizing it

Voila my Web Publish window is back.

Note that the window menu also has a Move option on it - for the desktop window menu you can usually just use the arrow keys or the mouse to force the window into the first monitor, but that didn't seem to work for me. Only Size worked, but it's worth trying that first anyway - it seems that that should work.

Anyway, that's a nasty little bugger when it bites you, because it seems like a Visual Studio lockup. According to Sayed this is supposed to be fixed in Visual Studio Update 2 (which released just last week), but I'm running that and I still ran into it.

Posted in Visual Studio  ASP.NET  

The Voices of Reason


February 27, 2013

# re: Visual Studio Web Publish Lockup? Check for invisible Window

Are you sure you are running Visual Studio Update 2? It was the ASP.NET and Web Tools 2012.2 Update that was released last week. The VS update 2 is still in CTP 3.

Doug Hennig
February 28, 2013

# re: Visual Studio Web Publish Lockup? Check for invisible Window

It's hard to believe that it's 2013 and apps still behave this way. It's dead simple to deal with opening a form on a monitor that doesn't currently exist. Yet I run into this almost every time I'm away from my second monitor.

Jacob Nielsen
March 02, 2013

# re: Visual Studio Web Publish Lockup? Check for invisible Window

Another option is:

1. Alt-Tab to bring focus to the offending window
2. Windows key + shift + left/right arrow to move the window to the other monitor

Richard Moss
March 05, 2013

# re: Visual Studio Web Publish Lockup? Check for invisible Window

I tend to use the Move option - you start by pressing the arrow keys, then move your mouse. If you press the arrow keys first to initialise a move operation, the window then "sticks" to your mouse cursor without needing to click and drag. Quite handy when switching from a triple monitor system to single monitor remote desktop session!

Scott Kowalczyk
March 06, 2017

# re: Visual Studio Web Publish Lockup? Check for invisible Window

I'm running into a hidden 'Publish Database' window on Window 10 that doesn't let me move the window with Alt+[Space]. You can activate it if you bring up Task Manager, expand Microsoft Visual Studio 2013, right click on 'Publish Database', and select 'Switch to'.

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