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If I am playing Fallout 3 GOTY when another application puts up a dialog box on the desktop (e.g. Java auto updater needs permission) then I am subsequently unable to return to Fallout 3. Sometimes the desktop is shown (at wrong resolution) but clicking the Fallout icon on the taskbar just displays a wide but minimum height empty window (just the usual window decorations). Sometimes I can just see the dialog box but have no mouse cursor. Usually I can use task manager to kill Fallout 3.

The OS is Vista 32-bit. The desktop screen resolution is 1680x1050 but the game runs at 1280x800 for performance reasons.

I've had similar problems with other full-screen games.

Is there any way to prevent this problem or to recover from it so that I can resume the game?

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I normally play in full-screen Window mode to avoid situations like this. – Ramhound Jul 31 '12 at 18:29
I would us alt+tab to cycle back to the game then if it still looks goofy alt enter to switch between window mode and full screen – Phillip R. Jul 31 '12 at 18:47
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I have the same problem with Skyrim (can't switch to it using Taskbar), but using WIN + TAB or ALT + TAB to switch back to it works.

It just takes 10-20 seconds until the screen appears again.

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I sometimes experience difficulties switching back and forth what usually works is to strike the " ~ " key while in-game then " Alt "+" Tab " out of the game, alternately you can run the game windowed if you have any issue waiting for the game to show back up, experience freezing-crashing or slow GPU rendering afterwords you can window Fallout 3 (or skyrim) Via the setting in the main launcher (before the game starts) or in the .ini file if you for some reason done have a stock copy or deleted your launcher to use FOSE/SKSE or another software to launch the game

EDIT: However, those tricks only work for Fallout 3 & TESV - Skyrim (Fallout 4 pending) I'm not entirely sure if it will help with "All Games" because you are utilizing Bethesda's console to do it. also Bethesda's games are often incredibly buggy and often unstable... so comparison is difficult to other games

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This could be a long shot but can you try setting your desktop resolution to 1280x800 prior to launching Fallout 3 and see if that enables you to switch in and out of it?

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