Update: macOS Big Sur version 11.1 appears (at least for me) to fix the issue where windows' locations were forgotten upon reconnecting external displays. I have, because of that, re-introduced CurrentKey Stats to the App Store. This has been a lesson in expectations. One day, Apple will inevitably break CurrentKey Stats. For now, you can get it here.
Here's a short video I made demoing the bug on Big Sur that ends with showing how things used to work on Catalina:
Recap: If you unplug an external display and then plug it back in, none of your apps' windows (which were on the external display’s Space beforehand) are visible or where they used to be. Usually for me, the external monitor’s Space appears completely empty.
As the video shows, my Big Sur install is the latest public version 11.0.1 and is not enrolled in a beta program.
Here are what other users are saying (from the links provided above):
I have a similar issue also. It's infuriating. My macbook is connected to an external 4k monitor, which is the main monitor. If I switch to a full screen app and stay there a while, then go back to the desktop, all open windows will be off screen, in the far right. I have to go to mission control, drag the windows to away from the external monitor and to the macbook desktop, and then move them back again to the main monitor. I hope they get a fix soon.
Is there a fix for this yet?
4 months later?? Really wish i didnt up grade.
Use 2 Benq monitors for editing through a wavlink hub.
working perfect, upgraded to Big Sur.. and now nothing
Same. I regret upgrading.
I'm facing the same situation on both my work and home monitor set up. This is incredibly frustrating and I've told all of the members of my engineering group to not update to Big Sur until this is fixed.
i had the same problem with my monitor external, plss apple help us
I am having the same issue, wish I never updated this early. It seems like most people are having issues with HDMI, my display cord is a usb-c to usb-c and its still not working. It seems now the only solution is downgrading to catalina…
same issue. Extended monitors no longer work….. will think twice before updating so early. pls pls pls FIX
Same here after updating to Big Sur. As soon as I connect the external monitor, all my apps are somewhere off-screen. I have to use Mission Control to drag my apps to the laptop screen to access them again. This is quite a nuisance.
Yeah, I'm having the same issue as others who are here in November 2020 (the day after the release). Definitely regretting updating entirely now because trying to teach all from one small monitor (when both me and my students are used to me having two monitors) is ruining my lessons. Is there any fix out there or any possibility of this being fixed before the weekend is over and classes resume on Monday? The is extremely frustrating because one would think this kind of issue would be caught in their "extensive" beta process.
I'm on the 11.0.1 public release and I just experienced this. I had multiple apps open on my external monitor. My macbook pro went to sleep, when I woke it back up, I coudln't access the windows for those apps no matter what I did. I could see them if I used "expose" , but had literally no way to pull them back up on my external monitor. Ended up having to close all the apps and re-open them on my external monitor, only thing I could figure out to do.
There are several more pages with comments like these ^.
This also breaks Current Key Stats for users of multiple displays, which is exceedingly frustrating.
I want Current Key Stats to get back in the App Store. I hope Apple fixes Big Sur soon. I started writing this blog post immediately after replying to three emails from people who wanted to download and use Current Key Stats but can't. The app has thousands of current users who are going to be affected by this Big Sur bug when they upgrade if it isn't fixed. To borrow from the last email I wrote on this "I can't afford to have something on the store that will lead to a customer service support nightmare and frustrating experiences for users."
I have been putting off writing this blog post, because I'd always prefer to be writing software instead. Speaking of which, I have an altogether-new project I've been working on, and you can sign up here to get notified when it's available.