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  1. #1
    ril
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    Outlook Window Loses Focus

    I recently installed Outlook 2000, and it still has a bug that was present in Outlook 98 (and I believe in 97, and perhaps in 95).

    The problem is the Outlook application spontaneously loses focus.

    The problem shows itself typically after Outlook has been loaded for about 3-5 minutes. Sometimes it requires that you don't do anything active in Outlook (it's waiting for a good opportunity), but it often happens in the middle of typing an email (very annoying!).

    I believe the problem is due to the 'OLFax MOD' module loading in the background, which I believe is the Symantec Fax driver (which is what Outlook 2000 ships with). (As a result, I believe you will only have this problem if you install Outlook in IMO mode, and not in CW mode).

    The result is that I'll be typing away in an email, and Outlook will lose the focus, and everything I am typing will be fed into another application. This bug has been around for years.

    Are others plagued by this bug?

    Does MS have a solution?

    Does ANYONE have a solution?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    I have been using Outlook since the 97 version in the Internet mode and never had this happen. Now that we have cable access Outlook 2000 is running almost all the time. In fact my wifes machine is running OL2K in the background and she has NOT had this problem.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    Likewise - never heard of this one.
    Are you running any real-time virus-checking?

  4. #4
    ril
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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    Right - if you have Outlook constantly running then you will only see this problem once (approx 3-5 minutes after you start Outlook). Once Outlook is running, and has loaded the Symantec Fax drivers, the problem does not repeat... until the next time you load Outlook. It only occurs once per Outlook session. Since Outlook is such a memory hog, I only load it on demand, thus this bug rears its ugly head about a dozen times a day.

  5. #5
    ril
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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    I am using Symantec Norton AV, including their POPROXY email scanner. I have found plenty of bugs in it, but I have never seen be responsible for changing window focus. And since the problem is repeatable (happens every time), and only occurs with Outlook, I would kind of doubt it is the A-V. But if you have other info... please do share...

  6. #6
    2 Star Lounger
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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    I have found something similar to this behavior in OL98, only after I chose to have certain folders open in a new window, then chose "Exit and Logoff". When I restart Outlook the program seems to have trouble with which window should have the focus, so sometimes I end up seeing the main Outlook window on top of all the others but the active window doesn't have the focus.

    FWIW

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    I'm running OL2000 and have run each of the previous versions without running into this. I use an active virus protection, but NOT Norton, so I strongly suspect your AV is at the root of the problem. BTW, I ran OL98 in both IMO and CW without encountering this. The fact that it occurs only with Outlook doesn't mean it's an Outlook problem per se. I doubt that you use e-mail scanning with any other program, but even if you did, the problem simply means you've got some incompatibility between Outlook and something else.
    Charlotte

  8. #8
    ril
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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    Although it's possible it's a problem with Norton A-V, the symptoms seem to indicate it's a problem with Outlook (or more accurately, with the Outlook Fax drivers - made by Symantec).

    When Outlook loses focus, the 'OLFax MOD' gains focus. It's like it should be loading OLFax MOD in the background, but instead loads it in the foreground, and giving it focus.

    (You can press Ctrl+Alt+Del in Win9x to see which app has the focus - even when that app has no visible windows, as is the case with 'OLFax MOD'.)

    Maybe there is some way to prevent 'OLFax MOD' from loading, except on demand?

    Does 'OLFax MOD' get loaded after a few minutes of Outlook inactivity on your machines? If so, does Outlook lose focus when it loads?

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    I run NT and have never run across the Symantec fax drivers. I know I didn't load any such animals when I installed Office 2000. I used WinFax Pro on my old Win98 machine and never had any problems. While it's been some time since I used Win98, I don't remember the task list showing which application had the focus, only which ones were running, generally in the order in which they loaded.
    Charlotte

  10. #10
    ril
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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    I think Fax support is installed by default in Outlook 2000 (IMO installations), but I am not sure. If you go into Tools -> Options -> Fax, you can see if it is installed.

    BTW, the Win98 the task list (Ctrl+Alt+Del) lists the application with the focus first in the list (even if it has no visible windows).

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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    Not on mine. The only reference to fax in the help file is Microsoft At Work Fax and it tells you you can download it from the Microsoft site. There's no reference to Fax services on the Options dialog at all. Of course, NT is a different animal from 9x, so that could be the difference. Oh, and the task list is way different in NT too. I always feel like something's missing when I have to use it on a 9x box.
    Charlotte

  12. #12
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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    Not on mine either, and I have been running OutLook since Office97 and Norton's AV since the DOS days. I have never had any of the fax software appear.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  13. #13
    ril
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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    So do you not use Outlook for faxing?

    Perhaps the fax routines are an option during installing.

    If you don't have them installed, I doubt you would see this bug, as it looks like a bug in them.

    I'm still interested in hearing from people who have fax support installed if they have this bug (losing window focus).

  14. #14
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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    The question is where the "fax support" is coming from. I had Windows faxing available through Outlook on my Win98 box, but that was Windows and not Office/Outlook that provided the option. If that's what you're dealing with, it isn't an Outlook issue at all.
    Charlotte

  15. #15
    ril
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    Re: Outlook Window Loses Focus

    Nope... the fax functionality is provided by Outlook 2000. It's the same fax routine used by Outlook 97 and 98 (and maybe 95).

    It's installed straight off the Office CD-ROM as part of the Office installation.

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