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My copy of Visual Studio seems to be set in "Always On Top" Mode. It runs this way by default; there seems to be no way of changing it.

Visual Studio runs as Administrator/Elevated, but that really shouldn't affect weather or not Visual Studio runs as "Always On Top."

Any idea why this may be occurring, and how to prevent it from happening?

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I saw a glimpse of this problem with Visual Studio 2010 starting to run "Always On Top" in Windows7, but it only happened straight upon a ReSharper update, and got resolved as soon as Visual Studio was restarted. –  user157214 Sep 9 '12 at 9:43
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Which version of Visual Studio do you refer to? –  Marcel Dec 10 '13 at 10:18
    
Do you have ReSharper installed also? It seems to have a history of causing this type of issue on various versions. –  panhandel Dec 31 '13 at 22:48
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4 Answers

Use windowdetective to check if it's actually set to always ontop Work from there to determine the cause.

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I had a similar thing happen with Visual Studio being stuck as always on top. It started happening after I hit the Windows key followed by a bunch of arrow/home/end/pageup/pagedn keystrokes by accident (I had meant to use the control key).

What seemed to clear the always-on-top behavior was to select a different application (eg: Chrome), then press Windows-Home (which minimized everything other than Chrome), then press Window-Alt-Home. Then I could un-minimize Visual Studio, and it would no longer be always on top.

This worked with both VS2010 and VS2012 when they got into this weird always on top mode.

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Perhaps an addin is causing it? Try disabling addins in Tools/Add-in manager then run Visual Studio in safe mode by executing

devenv.exe /safemode
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this is the definitive answer imho. –  nocarrier May 14 at 1:46
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Maybe for some reason, the always-on-top property of your Visual Studio (VS) is being saved somewhere and then reloaded on run.
Depending on your VS version, you may be able to use FileBox eXtender(FBX) to change its always-on-top property for each run or permanently. It is probably better to use the version matching your Windows' architecture; 64-bit for x64 and 32-bit for x86. Also, FBX can probably be only used for elevated-mode programs if itself is run in elevated mode (e.g. "Run as Administrator").
Always-on-top status can be switched by clicking the pushpin on the program title bar when FileBox eXtender is running.

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