Setting Up MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager

Automate pop outs and add touch screen support for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

Nick avatar
Written by Nick
Updated over a week ago

Last Updated: April 30, 2024

For some time the default method of popping out displays for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 has been sufficient for populating most of the displays for RealSimGear components. Since Sim Update 12, Asobo has implemented a system that would allow MSFS to automatically place the pop-outs in the same location as the previous session. This has proven to be problematic if your display configuration changes with Windows Display Properties.

When your displays move in Windows, MSFS will lose the ability to position the pop outs in the correct location, or may not even populate the displays at all. Additionally, the default pop out method does not provide the ability to support touch screen devices such as GTN 650/750 devices, G3X, or Garmin Touch Controllers found in G3000/5000 equipped aircraft in MSFS.

The process of popping out displays and using touch screens in MSFS has been simplified and made possible with the use of an external application called MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager. MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager has been available to the community for some time however, as of recently, it has proved to be an exceptional tool for anyone running external displays for avionics in MSFS.

This article will guide you through the process of setting up a MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager using the RealSimGear G1000 and RealSimGear G3X.

Note: This guide is provided to assist in set up of your RealSimGear devices with third party software. RealSimGear encourages you to use this free program to enhance your flight simulation experience.

RealSimGear does not provide support for the base program itself. This is provided by the author using his support post in the Microsoft Flight Simulator Forum listed below:

MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager Support

Getting Started

The first step to getting started is to download the MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager program. This is provided as a .zip file directly from the authors GitHub page and you can download it from the following links:

  • MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager: This link will take you directly to the current release version of the application. We recommend download the current release versions and not the beta versions of the application.

  • Once downloaded, we recommend extracting the contents of the .zip file to a new folder on your computer. We recommend the Documents folder as shown in the example below:

Note: The add-on located within the "Community" folder is not used in this article. This add-on automatically selects the "Ready To Fly" yellow button before MSFS loads into the aircraft. In the case of this article this is not used, but you may choose to use this if you so desire. If you choose to use this optional item place the folder located in the "Community" folder show in the image above into your main MSFS Community Folder.

Configuring the Pop Out Panel Manger Options

There are quite a number of options to configure for how the Pop Out Panel Manager program starts and how it interfaces with the Simulator. We recommend the leaving the default settings in place to get started, but you can tailor these settings to your desired preferences in the future. The most important settings are found under the "General Settings" menu of the Pop Out Panel Manager interface:

We want the settings above selected so that Pop Out Panel Manger Starts automatically with Microsoft Flight Simulator, it will minimize to the Windows Tray when we minimize the window, and automatically closes when we close MSFS.

Note: For the remainder of this article the default settings in MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager will be used.

If you use Head Tracking Hardware: Head Tracking hardware such as TrackIR, Tobii Eye Tracker, or other third party head tracking systems, you will need to have the TrackIR setting enabled in MSFS Popout Panel Manager for proper operation.

Configure Your Displays With Windows Display Properties

Before we get started with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and the Pop Out Panel Manager application we will need make sure the displays are arranged properly within the Windows Display Properties menu.

RealSimGear recommends an "Across the top - to the right" approach when arranging displays. This means that your RealSimGear monitors should be arranged in a line, to the right of the Main Display and aligned with the top of the main display. This will make it easier to navigate the displays and keep track of them in the future. The image below shows a RealSimGear G1000 Suite aligned with a 50" 4K display. All displays should be set to their native or "Recommended" setting in windows.

Note: for G1000 displays, make sure the display you are designating as a PFD is the first display after the main monitor. In the image above the monitor numbered "2" is the PFD.

Remove the Windows Task Bar from your Accessory Displays.

Right Click the Windows Task bar and select "Taskbar Settings"

  • For Windows 10: Scroll down to the "Multiple Displays" section.

  • Click the button under "Show taskbar on all displays" to OFF.

  • For Windows 11: Click "Taskbar Behaviors"

  • Uncheck the box next to "Show taskbar on all displays"

Changing the above settings will allow the Taskbar to remain hidden on the G1000, or other RealSimGear display modules, for true full screen avionics.

Disable Windows Snap

Windows 10 and Windows 11 have a setting enabled by default that will automatically "Snap" and individual window to a monitor edge or full screen depending on where you place the window. This feature causes more problems than solutions for use with flight simulator systems that need to run on multiple windows. To disable this feature follow the steps below:

  • Go to the Windows Start Menu and click the Settings Icon (gear)

  • Go to System > Multitasking

  • Click the button next to "Snap windows" to turn this function off.

Configuring a G1000 or Other Non-Touch Screen Display

We now have MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager configured, and our displays set with Windows. For this section of the guide we will configure a G1000 suite with the Asobo SR22T G6. The same methods will apply to other non-touch enabled avionics in MSFS such as the GNS units, G3000 PFD/MFD, or other fixed displays.

  1. Start Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and let the simulator load to the main menu. At this time the RealSimGear Device Interface should also automatically start, as well as the MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager Interface. Minimize these programs, but do not close them.

  2. Select your aircraft and starting location, then load the flight. For this example we will use the Asobo SR22T G6, with a departure airport of KMYF in San Diego. We recommend selecting loading on the runway to set your initial configuration for Pop Out Panel Manager.

  3. Once the simulator has finished loading and presented you with the "Ready to Fly" button, click the button to load into the aircraft.

Note: Before proceeding with the pop out process, ensure that the device you have designated as a PFD is set as a PFD1 in the RealSimGear MSFS Device Interface. With the Device Interface open, manipulate the buttons and knobs on the PFD while watching the command display. If the commands are being show on the device listed as "PFD1" (highlighted in blue) you are ready to continue. If the commands are showing under "MFD" (highlighted in blue), swap the blue MFD and PFD1 boxes by clicking on them with your mouse.

​You should now be sitting on the runway, with the aircraft running as the simulator would normally proceed.

Warning: At this point we will be setting up the pop out system. Do not move the Camera view from the default position. If you have moved the camera, reset the view using the camera options window from the toolbar menu of MSFS.

Setting up the Pop Out System

Since we have minimized the Pop Out Panel Manager interface bring the window into view.

  • In Pop Out Panel Manager, you should see the following screen. Click the Add Profile button to add your first aircraft profile.

  • Type the name for the new aircraft profile "Cirrus SR22T G6" and click Accept.

  • Since your current in game aircraft is the SR22T G6, once the new profile is added, your selected active in-game aircraft will automatically bind this profile (in green color). This binding will allow Pop Out Panel Manager to automatically switch to this profile when you switch to SR22T G6 aircraft in the game. Only one profile can be bound to an in-game aircraft at a time and you can unbind aircraft at any time.

  • Next click the Add Pop Out Panel button (plus sign) twice to add 2 panels to this profile. This button is automatically indicated by the program for easy identification.

  • Change the name of each panel to reflect each instrument you will pop out. One for PFD and one for MFD:

Identifying the panels to pop out

  • Click the Panel Source Toggle Icon (crosshair reticule) to enable the panel selection mode. The Icon will turn green and automatically assign a color to each panel. The color will change depending on the number of pop out panels you have.

  • Click the "Identify Panel Source Location" button for the PFD once. Two things will happen when this button in pressed:

  1. The camera angle will automatically move to provide a better view of the G1000 displays.

  2. ​This will place a green circle at the first point of your main monitor you left click with your mouse. If you accidentally click anywhere on the Pop Out Panel Manager window, you will need to move it as the green circle will be located under the window.​

  • Position the green circle on the PFD found on your main MSFS display monitor. You can left click/hold and drag this circle to position it. You will want this roughly in the center of the PFD display on your main monitor.

  • Once you are happy with the placement of the green circle, repeat the same process above for the MFD, this time the circle will be red. Again, position this roughly in the center of the MFD display on your main monitor.

  • With the panel selection process complete, click the green Panel Source Toggle icon to confirm your selections and lock the changes in. When this is done the "Start Pop Out" button will be available and the Panel Source options will no longer be available.

Popping out the Panels

  • Click the Start Pop Out button.

Note: Once you have pressed the Start Pop Out button, do not touch your flight controls or your mouse. Let the application process the pop out operation and monitor the progress window in case of any errors.

  • Pop Out Panel Manager will now minimize and display a progress window showing you the operations in effect. If any errors are present in your configuration the step causing the issue will indicate with (FAILED) in red next to that operation.

  • If any part of the pop out operation fails you will need to go back and check your settings and your configuration. A common cause for failures can be custom camera views not set by Pop Out Panel Manager, improperly placed panel selection points, not switching off head tracking software, or forgetting to plug in your displays.

    Additional troubleshooting and software support can be found on the MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager Support forum.

At this point you should now have an automatically popped out G1000 PFD and MFD showing on your main monitor. We will need to make a few minor adjustments to the pop out windows before we can place them on the RealSimGear G1000 Display.

Adjusting the Pop Out Sizes

Looking at each of the PFD and MFD pop outs, you will notice they each have black borders on the left and right sides of the pop out. We will want to remove these, as once they are positioned on the RealSimGear displays and full screen mode is enabled, your soft keys will not align with their designated function.

There are two ways to adjust the pop out to remove the black bars:

  1. Left Click/hold and drag the edge of each pop out window until you reduce the black borders to zero.

  2. Adjust the width of the pop out window in the Pop Out Panel Manager interface.

For this guide we will use the Pop Out Panel Manager interface.

  • Looking at the Pop Out Panel Manager window, you will see that the PFD and MFD window sizes are listed at 1010 x 761 (measurement in pixels)

  • Click the up/down arrow, next to the width value to adjust the width in pixels by values of 1 or 10.

  • Reduce the width to reduce the size of the black bars until they are no longer present on your pop out displays. Do not adjust the height of the pop out as this will reset the reduction to the black bars. You will Use this procedure for any pop out that has a black left/right edge border.

RealSimGear recommends a value of 975 x 761 pixels for the G1000 displays. Additional recommended settings can be found in Appendix A at the end of this article.

  • Your pop outs should now have no black bars on the left and right sides of the display.

  • With the PFD and MFD now resized, you can left click/hold the white bar at the top of each pop out and drag them to the respective display they should occupy.

  • You will need to ensure that each pop out is displayed completely in the monitor you wish the pop out display should occupy. No part of the the pop out should be located outside the limits of the display. This is important for the final step. If it is outside the display limits the full screen operation will fail.

Finalizing Your Pop Outs

With our G1000 pop outs placed on the RealSimGear G1000 displays, lets complete the last few steps.

  • Open the pop out sub-menus by clicking the down pointing arrows at the end of each pop out configuration line:

  • Click the button to left of "Full Screen Mode" for each pop out. This will allow the avionics display to fully populate the window and remove the Windows Title Bar.

  • Open the profile sub-menu by clicking the indicated arrow:

  • For aircraft that have G1000/G3000 avionics, you must have the option selected for "Power on is required to pop out panels". Pop Out Panel Manager will require the aircraft power to be on during the pop out procedure to generate the pop outs. This setting must be enabled if you like to start with a cold and dark aircraft, parked on a ramp.

Warning: Automatic power on for Auto Pop Out Panels feature will not work if you're using any flight control hardware (such as Honeycomb Alpha or Bravo) that permanently binds the master battery switch or master avionics switch. If the hardware control switch is in the off position, pop out manager won't be able to temporary turn on the instrumentation panels to pop them out. This seems to be a bug on Asobo side and only affects the G1000 instrumentation at the moment.

When using the Honeycomb hardware, set your battery/avionics switches to ON before clicking "Ready to Fly" This should bypass the limitation. Once the pop out is completed, set your switches to off and continue your preflight checklists.

  • Complete your configuration by clicking the padlock icon to lock the configuration from accidental changes. The icon will turn green when locked.

Now that the configuration is complete, any time you load into the configured aircraft with MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager running, the profile will automatically become active when the plane loads. Pop Out Panel Manager will take over a few second after loading the aircraft at the set position in MSFS and automatically capture, place, resize, and make full-screen, your configured pop outs. Once you press the Ready to Fly button leave your controls and mouse alone for a few moments to let the program generate your pop outs.

The above procedures can be followed for any type of pop out you wish to generate for your RealSimGear avionics, G1000, G3000, GNS, GTN, and G3X. You will need to modify your pop out settings for the individual avionics to suit your configuration.

Enabling Touch Screen Device Support

Before Pop Out Panel Manager, touch screen displays were next to impossible to use with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. MSFS Pop Out Panel Manager enables the ability to use touch devices just by changing a few settings within your pop out configuration and will greatly expand your experience using RealSimGear touch enabled avionics.

For the purposes of this guide we are configuring the Asobo NXcub with the RealSimGear G3X Flight Display.

Note: Before working with RealSimGear touch screen devices please familiarize yourself with the instructions on proper touch screen activation with windows. We have setup guides for the touch screen portion of your device at the articles linked below:

*Legacy devices are touch screen devices that require PenMount control drivers for touch operation. All touch devices sold after Sept. 2022 do not require PenMount.

Configure your Pop Outs

Using the steps outlined earlier in the guide, generate the pop out, resize, place, and enable full screen mode for your desired avionics display.

  • Open the pop out sub-menu.

  • Click on the hand icon (this will be white at the present time with a line through the icon) The hand icon will turn green, denoting this is a touch enabled pop out.

  • Open the profile sub menu:

  • Click "Enable entire monitor display to have game refocus function when touch"

  • Select the Main Monitor (Display 1) only.

Note: We need this function enabled to ensure that the game focus is returned to the main monitor after using the touch screen. This is an issue with Nvidia Frame Generation and that issue is overcome by enabling this setting.

  • Finalize your settings by clicking the padlock to lock the changes. Then, start the pop out process again. This will enable the touch functions and proper refocus actions with Pop Out Panel Manager.

Touch Screen Performance

Due to recent changes in the architecture of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and Pop Out Panel Manager, with some touch screen pop outs, running your touch enabled avionics in full screen mode will have touch control issues.

If you are finding that your touch screen is slow to respond to your touch inputs, requires double touch to make an input, or the edges of your display do not respond to touch at all, uncheck Full Screen Mode from the panel sub menu. This will put your touch screen enabled pop out in windowed mode.

With your touch panel in windowed mode, you will need to adjust the size and position of the panel to hide the windows title bar at the top of the window. Additionally in windowed mode you will not be able to remove a portion of or all of the black bars from the sides of the panel window.

While not running the touch enabled panel in full screen mode may seem like a minor inconvenience or not as intuitive, our testing has showed that the change in touch response far outweighs the negatives, and this is how we prefer to run touch panels using Pop Out Panel Manager.

Appendix A​

The information contained below are the optimal sizes for pop outs to remove the black bars from the sides of your popped out avionics. With the exception of the G3000 PFD/MFD, these have all been tested on RealSimGear Devices to allow the pop out to fit the screen without going outside the limits of the display.

G1000 NXi (PFD and MFD): 975 x 761
G3000 (PFD and MFD): 1670 x 1073

G3X Flight Display: 1220 x 793

GNS530: 606 x 473

GNS430: 275 x 180
GTN750: 586 x 725 (When equipped with PMS50 GTN 750)

GTN750: 586 x 720 (When equipped with TDS Simulations GTNXi 750)

If you require further support or have any additional question please contact our support department using the email address below:

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