Easily Prevent Programs From Stealing Focus in Windows - WindowsTips.net - Windows Tips and Tricks with Geek

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Easily Prevent Programs From Stealing Focus in Windows

It's not possible for Windows to block all programs from stealing focus and still work properly—it's just not built with the brains to understand that.

Ideally, no other program but the one you're working in would except mouse and keyboard input, and the window would stay on top of all the other ones you're not currently using.

The goal here is to identify the program that shouldn't be doing this and then figure out what to do about it.

You may know what program keeps stealing focus, but if not, that's the first thing you need to determine. If you're having trouble figuring it out, a free tool called Window Focus Logger can help.

Once you know what program is to blame for the focus stealing, work through the troubleshooting below to make it stop happening for good:

  1. 1. Uninstall the offending program. Frankly, the easiest way to solve a problem with a program that's stealing focus is to remove it.

    You can remove programs in Windows from Control Panel with the Programs & Features applet, but free uninstaller tools work as well.

    If the focus stealing program is a background process, you can disable the process in Services, located in Administrative Tools in all versions of Windows. Free programs like CCleaner also provide easy ways to disable programs that start automatically with Windows.

  2. 2. Reinstall the software program that's to blame. Assuming you need the program that's stealing focus, and it isn't doing so maliciously, simply reinstalling it may fix the problem.

    If there's a newer version of the program available, download that version to reinstall. Software developers regularly issue patches for their programs, one of which may have been to stop the program from stealing focus.

  3. 3. Check the program's options for settings that may be causing the focus stealing, and disable them. A software maker may see a full screen switch to his or her program as an "alert" feature that you want, but you see it as an unwelcome interruption.

  4. 4. Contact the software maker and let them know that their program is stealing focus. Give as much information as you can about the situation(s) where this occurs and ask if they have a fix.

    Read through our How to Talk to Tech Support for help properly communicating the problem.

  5. 5. Last, but not least, you can always try a third-party, anti-focus-stealing tool, of which there are a few:

    • 6. DeskPins is completely free and lets you "pin" any window, keeping it on top of all others, no matter what. Pinned windows are marked with a red pin and can be "auto-pinned" based on the window's title.
    • 7. Window On Top is another free program that works in much the same way. Drag the mouse pointer from Window On Top and drop it on a window to make it stay on top. Or, hit the Ctrl+F8 hotkey.
  6. 8. Windows should now stop stealing focus while you're not using them.

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