AutoCAD Dialogs Opening Off-Screen (seems like lock-up)

In today’s modern dual-screen environment it is possible to get into trouble with AutoCAD if a monitor goes down or if you use a laptop and have a dual-screen setup at work when docked, but not at home when you are doing some extra work (where you especially don’t have time for foolishness like this).

The symptoms of AutoCAD opening a dialog off-screen mimics a lock-up when it should be displaying a dialog; like the OSNAP dialog.  To see if  this is the issue you are having press the escape key (ESC) after AutoCAD seems to lock-up.  If everything goes back to normal then really everything is fine the entire time – AutoCAD didn’t lock up – but the dialog is just opening in a location where you can’t see it (on a “phantom screen”).  A solution is to simply delete the registry key “Dialogs” in the Windows registry.  By deleting this key all AutoCAD dialog boxes will be re-set to their default position and size.   The key can be found at:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Autodesk \ AutoCAD \ RXX.X \ ACAD-XXXX:XXX \ Profiles \ <cad profile name> \ “Dialogs”

(parts in green vary; red is the key to delete)

You don’t even need to close cad.  If the issue arises simply browse to this location in the registry, delete the folder, and re-enact the command that opens the dialog.

See below for an example of where the folder is located on my system.  Of course, BE CAREFUL WHILE MESSING AROUND IN THE WINDOWS REGISTRY and use this tip AT YOUR OWN RISK.



  1. Nathan says:

    GREAT under-the-hood tip Mark.

    Or if you are a fraidy-cat and don’t even want to go NEAR the registry, press Alt+space, then M. Use your arrow keys to move it back onto the live screen.

    Obviously this is on a window-by-window basis, and not one foul swoop exercise. =)