So I thought I would share with you a little snag I ran into with Lightroom in the hopes that it can save you some embarrassment in the future.

Here is the scenario…

I am in Lightroom going through my grid of images and I need to update a couple of images so I right click on the little Exclamation Icon in the upper right. I happen to notice in the drop down menu one of the options is “Lock to Second Monitor.” Well, since I had my Macbook hooked up to my Wacom Cintiq, I thought “sure, let’s see what happens.”

Curiosity can be dangerous. :D

Curiosity can be dangerous. 😀

It did just about what I thought it would… throw the image over on the other monitor… and it didn’t even stump me that the image was locked. I had paid enough attention to the menu item… so I noticed the options in the upper right hand of the window. This did however, lead me to chase the white rabbit and start playing with the Normal, Live and Locked options for a bit of time before I remembered why I was here.

Try out the three options to see what you like. I like to use Live just so I can say that I am not Normal. :D

Try out the three options to see what you like. I like Live just so I can say that I am not Normal. 😀

The ability to use a second monitor is great, the problem arose when I realized that I was not sure how to get rid of that window.

It was quite simple to play around and switch the views so that the grid is on the small screen and the full-sized preview on the larger monitor. The problem was how do I stop having that set up when I need to do something else?

So here is the deal, I am a Photoshop guy and write for a Lightroom blog, and yet I could not figure out how in the heck to turn that option off. I clicked everything, I tried the Views drop down menu and just about everything you could think of. I am trusting that you have all been there before, you know that there is a simple answer, but it is eluding you like a white whale and your name is Ahab. Pride is telling you to just restart you computer and tell no one… but that would be admitting defeat, and just ahead of my own pride is the stubbornness that a piece of software is not going to get the better of me. I go down to RC’s office and say in a laid back voice as possible… “Hey, when you get a minute, will you come down and take a look at something… no rush… just whenever.” (You know you have to play it cool and mellow… sort of like when you trip on the sidewalk, the most important thing is to try to act cool, even if you have dislocated your shoulder. )

So RC comes down a few minutes later and I am explain my situation. In just a few moments, we are both scratching our heads and saying… I know there is a way, I have seen it before. RC becomes convinced that it was changed in the last version and that we will have to figure out a work around. I suggest that Scott has come in and hacked my software and removed it… 😀 Finally, RC tells me to pull up the Filmstrip window and there in the  left hand corner is the icons for two monitors. Now not only can I turn the monitors on and off, but I can easily access the drop down menu for different views. We proceed to do the happy dance in a very masculine, non-weird way!

There is the sneaky set of icons over on the left of the Filmstrip panel.

There is the sneaky set of icons over on the left of the Filmstrip panel.

different view options for the screens

Right click on the icons for different view options for the screens

That is sometimes the hardest part about learning… we think we know it, but then something doesn’t line up exactly how you remember it. When that happens… take a step back, regroup and maybe ask for help. So often we feel the need to pretend that we have all the answers and that we can only let the world see that we have it all together. The funny thing is, that not only will I remember where that icon is, but I also got to share an experience with my buddy… which may or may not have included a happy dance. Life and Learning go better when we ask for help because it reminds us to stop being so isolated.

So this tip is for two things… One: remember to use two monitors if you can and where the icons are. Two: if you run into trouble give RC a holler his phone number is 555-867-5309.




  1. Victor 16 June, 2021 at 23:38 Reply

    What really irritates me is that when I plug in my second monitor, Lightroom automatically moves to that monitor. HOW DO I DISABLE THAT? Supposedly, you can move it back to the other monitor using the Window, Move to Built-In Retina display, but I shouldn’t have to do that (plus it’s not working). I was going to use that second monitor to watch Netflix while I cull my photos on the primary display. Looks like I’ll have to close LR and start it up again. What a pain. If anyone knows how to prevent it from happening, let me know. I NEVER want Lightroom on the second monitor. I may want it as a second monitor but not the main or only monitor.

  2. Natalile 21 July, 2018 at 09:45 Reply

    Thank you! I was so annoyed! I’m not sure why it got locked on my non calibrated screen but it did and was making me crazy! Thank you for your post!!!

  3. Hadas 30 April, 2017 at 16:16 Reply

    Is there a way for lightroom to remember my last viewing option or change the default?

    I want the second screen to show loupe-live but it keeps on returning to Normal

  4. Rumple 24 April, 2016 at 11:23 Reply

    I’m on a PC with 3 monitors, Lr will not let me turn off the compare mode, no matter how hard I try, in either the Window pull down on the 2 icon right click at the bottom. Curse you Adobe!

  5. Emma 5 August, 2015 at 20:12 Reply

    Thanks for that! I swear I was going around doing the same thing of clicking almost every option to get rid of that view. The answer is always simple once you know it 😉

  6. JAndrews 26 June, 2015 at 10:35 Reply

    Now figure out how to use three monitors with LR in the center and the right monitor as the “second”. I’ve found LR will always use the left (lowest numbered) monitor if it’s not in use.

  7. Renee Peoples 21 June, 2015 at 10:43 Reply

    Pete – Thanks for the tip. Adding this to my notebook of tips & tricks.
    I am often baffled by what should be straightforward selection. Ready to tackle a new conundrum? Before Lightroom CC, in published collections you could see what had been published, what was pending to be published and what was marked to re-publish. This seems to have vanished – either a bug or some new feature? I can’t seem to find options for this anywhere for any of my published folders. Google has failed me here.

  8. Craig 17 June, 2015 at 18:47 Reply

    So, smart guy, how do you get out of Full mode, when the F key does not respond? Google has no answer for this.

  9. Jacki 17 June, 2015 at 14:00 Reply

    I love using 2 monitors. A shortcut is shift-E to open or close loupe view on the second screen or shift-N for survey or shift-G for grid.
    One snag of using two monitors I’ve come across is if I want to rate or flag images in survey mode, they must be on the primary monitor or else all the images in survey get the flag or rating. (Regardless if auto- sync is on or off)

  10. Pointy Bits 17 June, 2015 at 11:11 Reply

    All you had to do was click on “Window” on the main monitor and scroll to “Secondary Display” then “Show” to toggle On/Off the secondary display. 🙂

  11. F-stop 17 June, 2015 at 08:26 Reply

    All seriousness aside, I’ve found that if you Google your problem more than likely a BUNCH of people have suffered the same thing. Your problem… first hit out of 54,800 hits and there was the same problem with answer. That way you don’t have to “admit defeat” and try to “act cool” around a coworker. 🙂

    Google – makes anyone look like a genius.

    • Trevor Johnston 26 June, 2015 at 09:15 Reply

      F-Stop, I guess I’m with you on the Google thing. I see this blog post going something like, “…for the life of me I could not figure out how to turn off the secondary window. So I Googled the problem and fixed it faster than I could have walked down to RC’s office. The end.” 🙂

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