Maya Missing Graph Editor, Outliner, or Other Torn Off Windows – Solved

Luckily for us solving the missing graph editor, or window, mystery is easy to solve. Sometimes when you are on a pc, and you are moving from two monitors back to one, changing the positioning of your monitors (for example from left to above) windows in Maya can go missing. Nothing is worse than animating a scene and not being able to find your missing graph editor!

I ran into a problem when I need to work from only one monitor (I normally work with two because I find animating easier with this set up). However, whenever I tried to open my animation graph editor I could not find it! Maya saves your window settings based upon an absolute position. Meaning if you have a position that is high and meant for two monitors Maya will assume that the second monitor still exists. I am not sure why the programmers didn’t decide to do it off of screen width and height percentages but that is a different story.

There are two ways to solve your missing graph editor and window problems. The first and easiest is to navigate to your Maya preference directory and rename it.

In Maya find your Missing Graph Editor, or Other Window, Fix 1:

In this case mine is at C:\Users\Miles\Documents\Maya. Find your preference folder based upon the version of Maya you are using. So in my case 2013-x64. Now rename this folder and reopen Maya. This will recreate your Maya preferences and thus reset your window positioning. However, this is somewhat bad because you have to reset all your preferences, which if you us a lot of plugins like, can be pain. If you are like me and use a lot of plugins but want to find that missing outliner, animation graph editor, or other “torn off” window then you can easily do this next fix.

In Maya find your Missing Graph Editor, or Other Window, Fix 2:

In this case navigate into your Maya preference directory. Then click on a directory called “pref”. You should end up in a directory like this C:\Users\Miles\Documents\maya\2013-x64\pref\.

Now in the pref file look for a called “windowPrefs.mel”. Rename this file, I prefer to name it to windowPref.mel.bak.
Now restart Maya and you should be able to open up and find your missing windows.

If you take a look inside windowsPref.mel you will see code that sets the window location in Maya. For example:

windowPref -topLeftCorner 1291 985

The code -topLeftCorner 1291 985 tells Maya the positioning of a particular window. So by renaming windowsPref.mel you will reset the positioning of torn off windows back to default. The next time Maya starts the program will write a blank windowsPref.mel file, which is perfectly fine. Once you feel comfortable that the changes are correct you can go ahead and delete the back up file, if your heart desire!

Now that your missing graph editor, outliner, or other window is solved get back to animating your awesome Maya Scene!