Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25
  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Bellevue, WA
    Posts
    24
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Current window loses focus

    I’ve been using computers for 35 years and pride myself on being able to solve most problems. But not this one! This is a real stumper for me. Here's hoping you're better!

    I got a new Win7 laptop last October. A few months later, a weirdness appeared. It’s the worst kind: totally non-reproducible, random, and inconsistent. Here’s my best description:

    While typing (in any application), suddenly the window I’m in loses focus. It “grays out” – but nothing replaces it! No window has focus. (At least, none that I can see.)

    I somehow stumbled upon Alt-ESC (which I believe tells Windows to push the current window to the rear). Pressing that restores focus so I can continue typing. I’ve pressed Alt-ESC at least ten times just typing this far in this post.

    Alt-TAB does not bring focus back. Instead, it goes to the previous window; it takes 2 Alt-TABs to get back to where I was typing.

    I’ve stared at Process Explorer for hours it seems, but see nothing eating CPU cycles when this occurs. (Although there are many processes about which I have no clue.)

    How can I learn what the current (mystery) window is? How can I stop this? While a fix would be lovely, I also want to know how I should have solves this myself!

    Thanks in advance,

    AL, the newly crowned "Mr. Alt-TAB"
    Last edited by allowe; 2012-06-15 at 14:35. Reason: paragraphs lost

  2. Subscribe to our Windows Secrets Newsletter - It's Free!

    Get our unique weekly Newsletter with tips and techniques, how to's and critical updates on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google, etc. Join our 480,000 subscribers!

    Excel 2013: The Missing Manual

    + Get this BONUS — free!

    Get the most of Excel! Learn about new features, basics of creating a new spreadsheet and using the infamous Ribbon in the first chapter of Excel 2013: The Missing Manual - Subscribe and download Chapter 1 for free!

  3. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    12,625
    Thanks
    161
    Thanked 929 Times in 851 Posts
    "Mr. Alt-TAB"

    One thing you could do is to use an app such as What's In Startup to see what apps are starting with Windows. This app works very well to disable or delete start up items.

    Windows Answers has another possibility to try.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

  4. #3
    Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    76
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 13 Times in 12 Posts
    Al, Sometimes the Desktop Window Manager (mangler?) causes focus problems. You can see if it's involved by simply changing the service to manual and rebooting the PC. If the focus problem remains, DWM is innocent and can be turned back to automatic. If this fixes the focus problem, you can start looking for known problems between DWM and your video driver, etc.

  5. #4
    2 Star Lounger JC Zorkoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    126
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
    Let me add that I am experiencing the same problem. However, my symptoms do not occur as often, maybe every 10 to 20 minutes. I just mouse click the title bar to get focus back to my page.

    It started is the past few weeks, so I suspect that it is associated with some software upgrade. My startup apps have not changed over the past several months, so I do not think this is the problem.

  6. #5
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Bellevue, WA
    Posts
    24
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Microsoft support thought the same thing. We spent an hour replacing DWM. No change.

    Instead, the fix for me turned out to be the laptop's Bluetooth receiver. Turned it off and no more problems.

  7. #6
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Bellevue, WA
    Posts
    24
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Try the Alt-ESC trick, JC. It worked for me. (Of course, if I happened to be mousing at the time, a click sufficed.) I think my troubles also began after a Tuesday night update.

  8. #7
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Bellevue, WA
    Posts
    24
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Research (i.e., Google) led me to some Dell forums where I discovered I was not alone. Other 15z laptops exhibited this weirdness, too. There were several proposed fixes involving software that wasn't on my machine. But the fix that worked was merely to turn off the laptop's Bluetooth receiver! It hasn't occurred since.

    Since I only use a BT mouse while on the road, I'll just turn it back on if/when I need it.

    My problem remains, though: I still don't know how to find the solution myself. But at least it's fixed! Thanks to all who responded.

  9. #8
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    404
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 49 Times in 39 Posts
    There's a Registry fix you might want to try if it happens again: http://winhlp.com/node/862

  10. #9
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Bellevue, WA
    Posts
    24
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I tried that, Xircal, but with no good result. I set it to 200 seconds, but the problem still occurred.

  11. #10
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    404
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 49 Times in 39 Posts
    You could maybe try the second standalone utility called Window On Top which enables a program to maintain focus by remaining above others: http://www.skybn.com/

  12. #11
    2 Star Lounger JC Zorkoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    126
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
    I also tried the registry fix, setting it to 16 seconds, but it did not solve the problem.

    Since Allowe mentioned a bluetooth connection, I am trying a reset of my wireless mouse. Keep your fingers crossed.

  13. #12
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Bellevue, WA
    Posts
    24
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    JC: Resetting the mouse didn't work. I went into the Bluetooth control panel and turned off the laptop's BT receiver.

  14. #13
    2 Star Lounger JC Zorkoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Boston, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    126
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts
    I agree that resetting the mouse does not work. I have a desktop system with no other wireless devices than the mouse, so I can't turn off anything.

    My last mouse software upgrade was March 9 and this problem appeared over a month later.

  15. #14
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    2
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Might be hardware

    It might be a simple or not so simple hardware problem. Mouse might have something inside, a bug (real insect), or soda, coffee, some other sticky drink that got inside the mouse or keyboard causing an intermitting connection on the circuit board or inside the switches. Other possibilities static from a nearby device or clothing, even you are touching the mouse or keyboard or moving them slightly without realizing it.
    Good luck and if it is not a hardware or software problem maybe a physic should be consulted

  16. #15
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Hillsborough (San Francisco Bay area), California, USA
    Posts
    559
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 53 Times in 52 Posts
    maybe a physic should be consulted
    or a psychic, after you've left the bathroom.

    Zig

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •