IE8 Developer Tools Debugger Stuck Off-Screen

As a frequent user of the built-in Internet Explorer 8 debugger, I was particularly annoyed when it suddenly started to appear off-screen. As you’ll see below, the debugger window itself was nowhere to be seen, whereas the actual “JScript Debugger” balloon tip remained visible.

JScript Debugger window has disappeared from sight. Balloon tip shows text: "Breaking on JScript runtime error".

Amusingly enough, the balloon was pointing up, suggesting that my missing window was in that direction. I hoped it would stop happening after a reboot, but unfortunately, this was not the case.  To make matters worse, trying to killing the process wasn’t easy, as it often took a good two minutes for the kill command to take effect. I believe this was because the process was in a debug state, rather than running as normal.


After dealing with this problem for a few weeks, I eventually showed the behavior to a co-worker, François. Upon seeing it, he suggested I try moving the window through the Windows context options, and sure enough, that worked.

Below are the necessary steps:

  1. Right-click the “Developer Tools” window in the taskbar.
  2. Select the “Move” option.
  3. Press the one of the arrow keys. (This should make the Developer Tools window appear directly under your mouse cursor.)
  4. Move the mouse until you can see the “Developer Tools” window completely.
  5. Left-click to stop the “Move” operation.

After following those steps, my Developer Tools window returned to the real world.

Thanks to François