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Ezkaton

STOP things opening in the foreground (Win7 x64)

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Yo.

I am REALLY god damn sick of Windows opening shit in the foreground when I'm typing... making my keystroke instantly get rid of whatever it was (installing something, starting a game, joining a BF3 server, whatever else).

 

I have no idea what the pop up was because it's gone before I can even react to it being there.

It's like Windows HATES people multitasking while waiting for it to do its thing.

 

Is there any way at all to make everything not take focus, and open in the background instead?

So whatever I'm doing can't interrupt it until I'M ready to do something with it?

 

It's the number 1 irritation I have with Windows, and I don't know how (if there's a way) to make it stop!

 

Worst 'feature' ever!

 

Any ideas?

Is it possible?

 

Thanks. :)

 

EDIT: Typing this post screwed up joining a BF3 server 3 times.

FUCK YEAH.

Edited by Ezkaton

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I am not sure what you mean?

 

Most probably it sounds like a Firewall issue where you have to approve its connection. Most games join fluid like with no interruptions ,looks like it could be running too many options in the background causing this.

 

You really need to find out what these popups are ,its the only way of finding and fixing the issue. Try moving your login window and see if you can see what it is.

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You know, when you're installing something... and move it to the background so you can type to somebody on Steam, or make a forum post, or comment on an article, or Facebook or whatever.

It reaches the 'next step' and wants you to intervene (ie: click next, or yes/no/cancel, for example) and you're mid sentence typing away and it just pops up into the foreground and your typing instantly presses one of the buttons you're required to click.

 

Or in the instance of BF3, sitting in queue... talking to people on Steam/Origin, the starting game Origin box comes up and because you're typing, it instantly 'uses' the cancel button and makes it go away and the game doesn't launch.

 

I want these things to happen in the background, not pop into the foreground while I'm doing something else while I wait.

Then 'flash' on the taskbar to indicate they require my attention, or something new has happened that I can't see because I'm doing something of my own in the foreground window.

 

Know what I mean yet?

Edited by Ezkaton

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I think it's just something you're going to have to live with. That's if you want to multi-task. The system has no way of determining what it is you want to stay focused on. It just knows it's doing an operation as requested, and then dutifully displays the results for your attention.

 

And to be honest, it's not that big of a deal is it? I thought you'd at least expect this yes?

 

Perhaps someone else has a way you can get the desired result, but I can't see how you can have your cake and eat it too.

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It kind of is a big deal.

I'm really tired of typing away while, for example, installing something... and it pops up for the next step OVER what I'm doing.

My typing automatically 'clicks' the cancel button, and I have to start it all over again.

 

I see it as a really bad design flaw.

 

You'd think there'd be a simple tick box somewhere.

 

Open new windows in background - *tick*.

or

Don't change window focus automatically - *tick*.

 

It should keep what is already in focus, and not pull things into the foreground on its own when it requires attention.

Instead it should leave them where they are, and simply flash at the taskbar.

 

That sounds logical to me.

 

Nukejockey posted this to me on Steam:

http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-200918...zed-in-windows/

 

While it's not exactly a solution, there's a chance it might help for a handful of things...

Edited by Ezkaton

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It's funny typing in Steam while you wait for BF3 to load a map, and then you typing cancels Origin sync, and the map then doesn't load :-P

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Yeah that's what was happening to me while typing my original post!

Shit was driving me crazy.

 

I don't know how everybody puts up with this shit and hasn't questioned it before.

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It makes perfect sense for it to come to the foreground because it requires your attention/action.

 

 

Everyone else just deals with it and doesn't have a cry about it.

 

 

EDIT:

 

Actually a quick google shows that Windows 7 shouldn't allow windows to steal focus.

Edited by PointZeroOne

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It makes perfect sense for it to come to the foreground because it requires your attention/action.

 

 

Everyone else just deals with it and doesn't have a cry about it.

 

 

EDIT:

 

Actually a quick google shows that Windows 7 shouldn't allow windows to steal focus.

Ah, but it does. This behaviour annoys the crap out of me, too. For example, when I'm logging into my remote workstation the RDC window will come to the foreground and start displaying the desktop. It doesn't necessarily steal full focus as I can still type into what ever application it's hidden, but for goodness sake if I wanted it to be the foreground I would have left it in the foreground.

 

I also have the same things happen as Ezkaton, when I'm busy with one application another one will pop up over the top and take focus away. If you're not careful this can have some disastrous effects if your typing accidentally clicks the 'OK' or 'Cancel' buttons in a dialogue.

 

I've tried looking for a way to change the behaviour but I've come up with nada. I'm hopeful someone here will have an insight.

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It makes perfect sense for it to come to the foreground because it requires your attention/action.

 

 

Everyone else just deals with it and doesn't have a cry about it.

 

 

EDIT:

 

Actually a quick google shows that Windows 7 shouldn't allow windows to steal focus.

It should at least be optional.

And well, if they're going to come into the foreground on their own, the damn keyboard shouldn't automatically push something.

 

Bad design flaw is bad.

 

Having a read through this now:

http://windows7forums.com/windows-7-suppor...ling-focus.html

 

Hopefully it contains something useful.

Edited by Ezkaton

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TweakUI used to fix this for XP.

 

The same registry change can be made at hkey cu\control panel\desktop\foregroundlocktimeout.

 

It's default is at 200000ms.

 

 

Looks like it doesn't work anymore.

I have noticed the same frustrating issue.

Edited by viremia

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Still Googling around to try and find a fix for this, but nothing anybody suggests seems to work.

However, it appears MANY people out there have a similar irritation for the issue that I have.

 

With the registry entry, my default was 0, even though M$ pages say the default is 200,000ms.

 

But I tried the 200,000ms value and it did nothing... so yeah.

 

Still on the hunt!

 

I like how focus stealing even has its own Wiki page.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focus_stealing

 

And lookie what we have here.

 

These are alternative methods for grabbing the attention of the user that could be used instead of focus stealing[1]:

Pulse the application's icon in the task bar, leaving the application in the background

Edited by Ezkaton

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I think it's just something you're going to have to live with. That's if you want to multi-task. The system has no way of determining what it is you want to stay focused on. It just knows it's doing an operation as requested, and then dutifully displays the results for your attention.

 

And to be honest, it's not that big of a deal is it? I thought you'd at least expect this yes?

 

Perhaps someone else has a way you can get the desired result, but I can't see how you can have your cake and eat it too.

It's simply a matter of having programs start minimized and staying minimized if they are in fact, minimized, whether it is a big deal or not is irrelevant, as for the system not being able to differentiate? Sure it can! It doesn't need to open it to the foreground, it can open it minimized, if its already running and needs to alert you to a process, it can alert you with an orange flash and you can look at it when you're ready. Its as simple as that, the system doesn't need to know you're doing anything.

 

In regards to this matter, as I told you on steam, you can set programs to launch minimized, which should work, however you have to manually do it for each one, whether or not there is a setting somewhere in windows, or a program that can help you, I do not know. That would obviously help you with your issue with like launching bf3 and stuff (And in regards to bf3, pretty sure theres a setting somewhere where you can choose to have it open the game when it loads, you should be able to turn that off.

 

The only thing I can't think of a solution for is programs alerting you to a new action, when they're already open.

 

But I wouldn't assume it would be all that hard.

 

It makes perfect sense for it to come to the foreground because it requires your attention/action.

 

 

Everyone else just deals with it and doesn't have a cry about it.

 

 

EDIT:

 

Actually a quick google shows that Windows 7 shouldn't allow windows to steal focus.

Does it?

 

Stealing your attention away from another program, potentially causing a myriad of problems to occur, seems logical and makes sense to you?

 

Surely a flashing Orange icon is just as effective and far less intrusive.

Edited by NukeJockey

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This behaviour is generally within the application. The developer would have coded "grab teh focus" when he deems the task does definitely require user interaction. The days of that being the practice should be long dead though. Hopefully all new software uses alerts and notications that DO NOT steal the focus and ARE NOT modal (popups). At least that's the trend in web UX and would be the same on desktop too. I know it was when I was doing silverlight app dev last year.

 

I'm humoured that you find it such a big problem when installing software. You're installing software that often? "Gunna go play me some BF3. Oh and also install a bunch of software". repeat .

 

In summary, this is another pointless post that doesn't help you, other than to say you probably can't get around it easily.

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I'm installing games often, if that counts as 'software'.

And playing BF3 has the same focus stealing crap with Origin starting, syncing, etc.

And most of the time I'm on my PC I'm having some sort of conversation on Steam, I can imagine the puzzle pieces join together nicely.

 

But regardless of how often it happens, fact of the matter is, it's a bad design decision by either Microsoft or the game/program/whatever developers... and it's unnecessary.

I just wish there was a solid way of changing it.

Edited by Ezkaton

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Yeah, pisses me off. Especially on the off occasion that the letter I'm typing at the time of focus theft matches a command in the new window. Like, hitting space bar for "ok" when an error occurs and never getting a chance to read what the error was.

 

I've found no known solution. Only a lot of people passing the buck onto apps, which doesn't quite make sense given apps run on Windows. No reason why Windows can't be programmed to say "no".

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I think it's just something you're going to have to live with. That's if you want to multi-task. The system has no way of determining what it is you want to stay focused on. It just knows it's doing an operation as requested, and then dutifully displays the results for your attention.

 

And to be honest, it's not that big of a deal is it? I thought you'd at least expect this yes?

 

Perhaps someone else has a way you can get the desired result, but I can't see how you can have your cake and eat it too.

It's simply a matter of having programs start minimized and staying minimized if they are in fact, minimized, whether it is a big deal or not is irrelevant, as for the system not being able to differentiate? Sure it can! It doesn't need to open it to the foreground, it can open it minimized, if its already running and needs to alert you to a process, it can alert you with an orange flash and you can look at it when you're ready. Its as simple as that, the system doesn't need to know you're doing anything.

 

Meh. People would be telling a different story if the programs didn't take focus. "ZOMG Windows suxorz. I haz to manually go down to the tazkbar to engagez the next action that I wantz to do. Of Coursez I wantz to do that... y duznit it juzt pop up?"

 

I agree it can be annoying if multi-tasking, especially typing. But it's not all this thread has made it out to be. If you're going to do multiple things at once, and they require user inputs, then expect them to give you focus.

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It should still be optional for things to take focus or not.

That's more what the overall 'vibe' of my rants are supposed to convey.

 

It's a shame I still can't find a way to stop it from happening.

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It should still be optional for things to take focus or not.

That's more what the overall 'vibe' of my rants are supposed to convey.

 

It's a shame I still can't find a way to stop it from happening.

For the time being, perhaps cut down on the multitasking.

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Strangely enough, this is happening a lot less in Windows 8. My usual in succession login for Steam, Origin and Skype is a lot quicker, as they all come in behind what I'm typing in to, rather than coming up in the foreground so my password isn't entered :-P

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