There is a new commit for Chrome OS that will make life a lot easier for Chromebook users who connect their devices to external monitors. The commit, which has its flag live now in the Chrome OS Dev Channel (Chrome 66), will preserve app window locations when you disconnect a monitor and reconnect it.
The flag, for those running a device in the Dev Channel, is chrome://flags/#ash-enable-persistent-window-bounds so you can test it out now. Given it is essentially in the Alpha build of Chrome 66, it may still be buggy so bare that in mind as you test it.
To clarify how this works, consider that you have your Chromebook connected to an external monitor. On the monitor you have Hangouts open while on the display of your Chromebook, you have a window open for Contacts. When you disconnect the external monitor, both windows get moved to your Chromebook’s display. That’s how it is supposed to work of course. But, if you reconnect the monitor, both windows will remain on the Chromebook’s display. You have to move the Hangouts window for this example back to the external monitor. That’s is what this new commit fixes. When enabled, when you reconnect the monitor, the Hangouts window would be moved back to the monitor as it was prior to disconnecting.
The use case for this is pretty straightforward. If you are using an external monitor at work, then disconnect to take your Chromebook into a meeting for example, when you come back to you workstation, you don’t have to spend any time reconfiguring your windows as you had them before across the monitor and your Chromebook’s display.
Since the new flag for this commit is already in the Dev Channel, it is highly likely that the feature will make it into the Stable Channel when it is released. That currently is slated for April 24th according to the Chromium release calendar.