I've had a very specific bug ever since I upgraded to Windows 10 that no one else I've spoken to has seen, and none of the other Windows 10 alt-tab questions or threads seem to cover.

I often find myself working with Word documents or Adobe-reader PDF's open, for reference, often quickly opening one to look up something, then alt-tabbing to another window to type or read something else. however, since the upgrade to 10, these two programs don't like me alt-tabbing and force their way back to the forefront, but only once. it will be simpler to explain with an example.

Lets say I'm writing something into Window A. I need to stop and reference something, so I quickly load a Word document to reference something, call this Window B. I find what I need in a few seconds, then alt-tab back to Window A and continue typing. 2-3 seconds later, Window B is suddenly in front, and my cursor has been set to it, so my typing is suddenly happening in window B. I backspace this out, alt-tab back to window A, and then that's it. It doesn't force it's way back front anymore.

Unless I need to open another word document, Window C, which will again force it's way back to the forefront the first time I alt-tab away from it, but only the first time I do so.

This multiplies endlessly, but only once per file. Word Window D, E, and F will all object to my alt-tabbing away from them and force thesmelves to the front a few seconds after doing so, but only the first time I do so while Word is open.

Adobe Acrobat displays the exact same behavior, forcing itself to the front after alt-tabbing away, but only the first time.

These stack upon themselves. if I read PDF window G, decide to look up something by loading PDF window H, I can only read a few seconds before G suddenly decides I should still be reading it.

but in each case, this only happens once per instance of having Word or Adobe in memory, per document. if I then go from H to I, then H will force it's way over I, but only once. ad infinitum.

however, if I close all Word and/or Adobe Reader windows, and then load the same document, it all starts again, each one forcing it's way to the front exactly once.

To avoid a commonly asked question in response, yes, the same thing happens if I click on another window in the taskbar instead of alt-tabbing.

However, it is not a case of the switch being forced behind all other windows. the window I alt-tab or click on comes to the front, and I can use it for 3-8 seconds before the word or adobe reader window I left forces it's way in front of it.

At first I tried to ignore it, because after forcing it's way up once it'll behave afterwards until the next time Word or Adobe Reader is loaded into memory, but every time I close them to clear up space on taskbar or memory the whole process starts over again and it's driving me nuts I can't find anything about it.

  • What do you expect from Beta software.
    – Moab
    Apr 24 '16 at 18:51

Adobe has been known to intercept the keyboard hook. For example the escape key won't work in other programs if adobe photoshop elements 10 (and other versions) is open.

Immediate thoughts - use autohotkey to override it back to normal? Or investigate what if anything is hooking it/responsible, by shutting down processes and services until it works, or trying to find what leads to it not working?

But my 1st reaction to "key not behaving as expected" and "anything about adobe software on board" is to look hard at adobe ;-)

  • The problem with that is that Word continues to exhibit the same behavior even if Adobe is uninstalled, so clearly the issue isn't with adobe itself.
    – Nekira
    Apr 25 '16 at 16:36

While the cause of the bug remains unkown, it appears a patch of windows 10 eventually fixed it.

  • Any idea which update fixed it? How certain are you this was the solution? Keep in mind the goal here includes to help someone else with the same problem. Dec 23 '18 at 2:56

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