DisplayFusion Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


If you have any questions about any of these guides, please feel free to contact us.
Monitor Configuration
Mouse Management
Screen Saver
Window Management

How do I install the Free version of DisplayFusion?

DisplayFusion uses the same installer for both the Free and the Pro version. If you don't enter a license key during the installation, you'll get an automatic 30-day trial of the Pro features.

After the 30-day trial is up, DisplayFusion will automatically revert to the Free version. If you'd prefer to revert DisplayFusion to the Free version before the end of the trial, please follow these steps:

  • Open the DisplayFusion Settings window
  • Click the License Key tab
  • Click the "Change to Free Version"
  • Click Apply

After performing the steps above, DisplayFusion will revert to the Free version, with the Pro features disabled. After reverting to the Free version, you'll no longer receive message box prompts to upgrade to the Pro version.

Can I transfer my license to a different computer?

A DisplayFusion Pro license key can certainly be transferred to a different computer! The license key can be installed on a different computer if you have done any of the following on the old computer first:

  • Cleared the license key from the DisplayFusion Settings > License Key tab and applied the settings (reverts DisplayFusion to the Free version)
  • Completely uninstalled DisplayFusion
  • Wiped or scrap the old computer

Basically, as long as DisplayFusion is no longer in use on the old computer, you're good to use your existing key on a new computer.

How many monitors does DisplayFusion Support?

The short answer is, as many monitors as your video card will allow you to enable. If you'd like more detailed info, please see the following article: How Many Monitors Does DisplayFusion Support?

DisplayFusion 7.0 and higher is showing a 'Referral returned from server' error on Windows Vista

DisplayFusion 7.0 and higher are signed with a SHA-256 certificate, so you'll need to install hotfix 2763674 in Windows Vista.

Why do my windows change size when the DisplayFusion taskbar reloads on Windows 11?

Windows 11 has a feature that remembers window positions and sizes, and it saves them based on the desktop "work area." When the DisplayFusion taskbars are removed or added, the work area changes, causing Windows to load its saved positions as they were previously with that work area. This isn't something that we can fix, as the taskbar needs to be an "appbar" style window, which reserves space so that application windows don't maximize behind the taskbar. There are a couple of workarounds (either one should work) if you find you're running into this issue frequently:

  • In Windows Settings > System > Display, disable "Remember window locations based on monitor connection." Note that disabling this option can cause application windows to be shuffled around when the computer sleeps, or you undock and re-dock a laptop.
  • Disable the DisplayFusion multi-monitor taskbars, and enable the Windows multi-monitor taskbars instead. Note that the DisplayFusion taskbars have more features (e.g. system tray icons, ability to customize the taskbar position, etc), so you may lose some functionality when using this workaround.

How do I schedule DisplayFusion settings backups?

DisplayFusion only does automated settings backups during manual installations and automatic updates. If you'd like to schedule settings backups at a regular interval, follow the instructions in this KB article: Scheduling DisplayFusion Settings Backups

Why can't I find my images in the Flickr search?

This can be caused by a Flickr security setting. To change this, go into your account settings, under the Privacy & Permissions tab and make sure "Hide your profile from public searches" is disabled. When this setting is turned on you won't be able to see your images using DisplayFusion.

Screen Savers that have Known Issues with DisplayFusion

"Bubbles" by Microsoft
This screen saver will run, but the background is black and the bubbles are very tiny.

"Photos" by Microsoft (included with Windows Vista and Windows 7), and "Windows Live Photo Gallery" by Microsoft
This screen saver will not run while the DisplayFusion screen saver is active, which means you can never use this screen saver with DisplayFusion. We would recommend using the built-in DisplayFusion Photos Screen Saver (v4.0+), or trying one of the following third-party photo screen savers:

Mouse Management options and compatibility with other programs

After enabling the options in DisplayFusion Settings > Window Management > Mouse Management, certain functionality in other programs could stop working. This issue has shown up with some applications that also use mouse hooks. We contacted Microsoft about it, and it turns out that because our hooks run at high integrity, Windows won't pass the hook messages to the program with lower integrity hooks after we're done with them, for security reasons. There are a few workarounds:

  • Make sure the other program starts up after DisplayFusion. It works this way, because the hook chain is Last In, First Out, and lower integrity hooks can pass the messages to higher integrity ones. So, if the other program is started after DisplayFusion, it will get the mouse hook messages first, then pass them to DisplayFusion. Startup Delayer is an excellent program for controlling the order of startup items.
  • Disable the Mouse Management options on the DisplayFusion Settings > Window Management tab.
  • Disable UAC (Not recommended from a computer security standpoint).

Bitdefender causes DisplayFusion to leak memory

The Bitdefender Active Virus Control heuristic scanner hooks DisplayFusion and causes it to leak handles. Unfortunately it's not something we can fix from our end, but you can resolve the issue by adding DisplayFusion.exe to the Excluded Processes list on the Antivirus Settings > Exclusions tab. Please make sure to reboot your machine after adding DisplayFusion.exe to the Excluded Processes list in Bitdefender. The video below shows how to add the exceptions in Bitdefender 2018.

Known Font Scaling Issues

Your current Font Scaling (DPI) settings in Windows may cause issues with DisplayFusion, and other applications. If you are using a scaling value of 125% or lower it is highly recommended that you use "Windows XP scaling mode" as well. For more information on changing your Font Scaling (DPI) settings in Windows, please use these references:
Font Scaling (DPI) in Windows 7
Font Scaling (DPI) in Windows Vista

I'm a sysadmin, how can I set/disable settings for my users?

Starting with DisplayFusion 4.0, administrators can control certain DisplayFusion settings using Active Directory ADMX Group Policy templates, or by deploying custom registry settings. Detailed information on the settings that can be forced via policy, along with a download link for the ADMX templates can be found in the Administrative Settings knowledge base article.

What does 'Some settings are managed by your administrator' mean?

If you're running DisplayFusion on a company computer, it's likely that your company IT department has deployed some policies to control the DisplayFusion license key and/or settings. For clarification on which settings are being controlled, please contact your IT department.

How Do I Close DisplayFusion Programatically?

Sometimes it is necessary to close DisplayFusion without requiring any user interaction. For example, maybe you are deploying a new version or want to force-close all DisplayFusion instances. If you are using the EXE installer (version 3.2.1+) in /SILENT mode, it will automatically close all instances before installing to avoid the need to reboot. You can easily close all DisplayFusion instances with 1 line of code in C++:

PostMessage(HWND_BROADCAST, RegisterWindowMessage("BFS_DISPLAYFUSION_CLOSE"), 0, 0);

How to enable 'Show window contents while dragging' in Windows

  • Open the Control Panel
  • Click "System"
  • Click "Advanced System Settings"
  • In the "System Properties" window, on the "Advanced" tab, click the "Settings" button in the "Performance section"
  • Make sure "Show window contents while dragging" is checked
  • Click "OK" to save this setting

How do I perform a Silent Installation?

Starting with DisplayFusion 4.0, we've added a bunch of useful options to the silent installer. Please click one of the links below to view the details for that installer type.

Important Note: When deploying the MSI Installer via Group Policy Software Installation, you absolutely must use the included MST (transform) file on the Modifications tab, otherwise the installation will never complete.

Since the MSI Installer has changed between DisplayFusion 3.4.1 and 4.0, it is recommended that you choose the "Uninstall the existing package, then install the upgrade package" option if you'll be using Group Policy to upgrade from DisplayFusion 3.4.1 to 4.0 or higher.

Error: 'Failed to load the MouseHook/ShellHook'

This can be caused by the DisplayFusion hook DLL not being updated, usually because a required reboot didn't take place after an upgrade. Just reboot your computer and DisplayFusion should work correctly.

'Access Denied' error when applying the Windows Logon Background

This error usually occurs when there are already images in the C:\Windows\system32\oobe\info\backgrounds\ folder that may have been placed there by the computer's manufacturer. To resolve this issue, move all of the files out of the C:\Windows\system32\oobe\info\backgrounds\ folder, and then try setting the Windows Logon Background using DisplayFusion again.

Why do I get a UAC prompt every time my wallpaper changes?

The "Use the current Desktop Wallpaper image for the Windows Logon Background" option on the Windows Logon tab will cause this to happen. Since the settings for the Windows Logon Background are in a protected area of the operating system, a UAC prompt is required when setting it. If you have the previously mentioned option enabled, the Windows Logon Background will change every time the Desktop Wallpaper changes, causing the UAC prompt to be shown each time.

How do I schedule wallpaper changes?

You can schedule wallpaper changes using Wallpaper Profiles, DisplayFusionCommand.exe, and the Windows Task Scheduler. For further instructions, please see the Scheduling Wallpaper Changes article.

Does DisplayFusion work on Windows 7 Starter Edition?

While DisplayFusion will run on Windows 7 Starter Edition, there are some limitations in Windows 7 Starter Edition that DisplayFusion cannot work around. Most notably, you cannot change the desktop wallpaper, and there's no support for multiple monitors in Extended Desktop mode. For more information on the limitations of Windows 7 Starter Edition, please see the following Wikipedia article: Windows 7 Editions

Mouse Management Features Not Working

If you're running Windows 7 x64, and the mouse scrolling and wrapping options (Settings > Window Management tab) aren't working, you'll need the following hotfix from Microsoft: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2752274. After installing the hotfix and rebooting, the mouse scrolling/wrapping options should work correctly.

Troubleshooting info shows '*** WARNING: Process and System bitness are DIFFERENT ***'

If you're running a 64-bit version of Windows, and you see "*** WARNING: Process and System bitness are DIFFERENT ***" at the top of the info on the DisplayFusion Settings > Troubleshooting tab, you may run into weird issues. These issues include the taskbar tray icons being incorrect, and Desktop Icon Profiles not saving or loading correctly. To fix it up, follow the steps below:

  • Open regedit and navigate to the following key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\.NETFramework.
  • In the right pane of regedit, look for a value called "Enbale64Bit."
  • If it's set to 0, change it to 1.
  • Close regedit and reboot your computer.
  • After rebooting, check the Settings > Troubleshooting tab to ensure that the warning no longer shows up.

Can't set orientation with Intel HD graphics card

If you're running Windows 7 or higher, and have an Intel HD graphics card, the Orientation setting (to set Landscape/Portrait) may be unavailable in the Windows Screen Resolution, and DisplayFusion Monitor Configuration windows. To fix this up, you need to modify a registry value.

  • Open regedit and navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4d36e968-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}\0000.
  • In the right pane of regedit, look for a value called "Display1_RotationCaps."
  • Set Display1_RotationCaps to 7.
  • Close regedit and reboot your computer.

Which websites are supported in the DisplayFusion Desktop Wallpaper feature?

No Account Required:

  • 500px
  • NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day
  • Bing Desktop
  • deviantART
  • Digital Blasphemy
  • Flickr
  • Imgur
  • InterfaceLIFT
  • Pixabay
  • Reddit
  • Tumblr
  • Unsplash
  • Vladstudio
  • Wallpaper Abyss
  • WallpaperFusion
  • Zenfolio

Account Required:

  • Dropbox
  • Facebook
  • Google Photos
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • SmugMug

Text Queries

Simple Searching

A string without quotes, brackets, or mustaches ({ and }) will be treated as a "Match Any Word" search if multiple words are specified. To search for an exact string, you can wrap the string in quotes and use the equality operator (see below).

Note: If you'd like to search for text that contains invalid characters (such as brackets or special characters), you'll need to wrap the string in quotes. For example, if you'd like to find part of a function in your source code files, enter the following (including the quotes) in the Query box:

Advanced Searching

You can use the +, OR and - operators to create more advanced search queries. Operators are not case-sensitive, but capitalizing them can improve the readability of your search query.

Operator: +

The + operator will only match if the text contains both of the query terms. Here are some examples:

Match anything that has both cats and dogs:
   cats +dogs

Match anything that has all 4 animals (cats, dogs, horses, cows):
   cats +dogs +horses +cows

Operator: OR

The OR operator is represented as a space between string matches. It will match anything that has at least one of your query terms:

Match anything that has either cats or dogs:
   cats dogs

Match anything that has any of the 4 animals:
   cats dogs horses cows

Operator: -

Using the - operator will match anything that doesn't have the query term in it. Here are some examples:

Match anything without the word dogs:

Match anything that doesn't contain dogs or cats:
   -(dogs cats)
   -dogs -cats

Using Multiple Operators

You can use multiple operators together, to form more complex queries. Here are some examples:

Match anything that doesn't contain cats, but does contain dogs, or contains fish:
   -cats +dogs OR fish
   ((-cats) +dogs) OR fish

Operator Precedence

When more than one operator is used in a query, - is processed first, then +, then OR. To change the precedence of operators, use brackets to separate different statements in your query, much like how you would in an arithmetic expression. Brackets may also improve the readability of your queries, and do not affect performance. Here are some examples:

In this example, dogs and birds will be evaluated first because + has a higher precedence than OR:
   cats dogs +birds

To change the meaning of the example above, use brackets:
   (cats dogs) +birds

The example below has the same meaning as the first example, but is much easier to understand:
   (dogs +birds) cats

You can use the - operator to invert the meaning of a bracketed query. The query below will search for all text that doesn't contain dogs, or doesn't contain cats:
   -(dogs +cats)

The query below will search for either cats or dogs, but not both:
   (dogs cats) -(dogs +cats)


You can search for exact phrase matches, even ones that contain operators, by using quotes. Here is an example:

This example will search for the exact phrase "dogs +cars are great", the + operator is ignored because it is in quotes:
   "dogs +cars are great"

Escaping Quotes

To search for quotes within text, escape the character with a backslash (as shown below) to tell the query that you are searching for quotes, and not searching for a phrase.

The example below will search for "dogs" (with the quotes) in the search text:

Match Count Operator

To specify the number of times a phrase should be matched, use the match count operator. The amount can be any positive whole number, including zero.

The example below will match the phrase dogs if it is found exactly 3 times:

Equality Modifier

To match text exactly, you can use the equality modifier on a search term.

The example below will match the phrase "dogs", but will not match things like "dogs and cats":

Word Boundary Modifier

To look for specific words in text, you can use the word boundary modifier.

The example below will match the phrases "dogs" or "dogs and cats", but will not match things like "hotdogs":

You can still use other operators with the word boundary and equality modifiers, and you can also wrap terms in quotes to include spaces and other special characters

The example below will match any text that is not exactly equal to "cats and dogs":
   -=="cats and dogs"

Error: 'The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135)'

Do you receive the error 'The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135). Click on OK to terminate the application.' when you try to start DisplayFusion? If so, make sure you have the Microsoft .NET Framework v4.0 or higher installed. Please visit the DisplayFusion Download page to download the installer for DisplayFusion, this will automatically install the correct .NET Framework version.

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