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There is an application we run which on some XP machines pops in front of everything else when it needs the user's attention. It is a livechat app so we want it to do this.

It does this on some XP machines but not others. I spoke to the company that creates the software and it is beyond their help. So I am thinking it is an OS thing. Hence my posting this here.

Is there something within the OS (maybe within the registry) that can be altered to allow an application window to steal focus and come to the front if its own programming tries to do this.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

The behavior of the SetForegroundWindow API has changed in Windows 2000. Before, applications were allowed to 'pop infront' as they chose, now there are restrictions.

If it's really SetForegroundWindow() (check back with the developers of your software), you could try setting the SPI_SETFOREGROUNDLOCKTIMEOUT parameter to zero using SystemParametersInfo. I'm not entirely sure how to do this through a registry modification, without actually calling this API.

Note that I would rather refrain from setting a system-wide parameter to make one single application behave well. The SetForegroundWindow restrictions are around long enough, so the developing company should have had enough time to do something about it.

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