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Something very strange is happening.

At a random point while using my laptop, an invisible, always-on-top window appears. Below is a screenshot showing what happens when I hover over this area with SnagIt (image capture software that can capture an entire window of a program).

Screenshot with problem area highlighted

This area blocks interaction with programs below it. For example, I can't click hyperlinks on my browser, or select files on my desktop.

The only other way I can interact with this problematic area is by dragging a file from elsewhere on the desktop over it. In this scenario, a tooltip pops up saying "Copy". See screenshot:

Screenshot showing copy tooltip and rough boundary of invisible window

In an attempt to identify the problem area, I copied a file across then deleted the original from my desktop and used the Windows search function to find the copied file. Nothing was found.

Any suggestions appreciated, I'm at a complete loss.

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    I am not sure I understand. I use SnagIt all the time. Once you highlight an area with SnagIt, you must click the Toolbar (picture, video, ..) to get the image into SnagIt. Until you do, the rest of your screen is not usable
    – John
    Oct 13, 2019 at 22:16
  • Try opening the windows notification center and hitting the clear all notifications link. I used to have a similar problem on my desktop and that was the fix.
    – kicken
    Oct 14, 2019 at 7:13
  • Hi John, I only included the Snagit screenshot because it clearly shows the boundary of the invisible, always-on-top area. When I close Snagit, anything below the highlighted area cannot be clicked or interacted with. Kicken: I'll try that next time it happens and report back, thank you.
    – Chris
    Oct 14, 2019 at 8:53
  • Kicken, I tried this and it didn't resolve this issue! Thanks for the suggestion though.
    – Chris
    Oct 15, 2019 at 22:01

2 Answers 2

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Use http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/winlister.html to find out which application is holding that area. Check which windows are TopMost in WinLister.

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You can identify (and kill) the offending program using Process Explorer (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/process-explorer). Specifically, using the 'Find Window's Process' tool, which looks like a target icon, in Process Explorer's toolbar.

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  • Amazing, thank you. I was wondering whether something like this existed but wasn't quite sure how to search for it.
    – Chris
    Oct 15, 2019 at 11:55
  • Perfect - used the Process Explorer and identied Slack as the culprit! Killed that process tree in cold blood, and now the problem is solved.
    – Chris
    Oct 15, 2019 at 22:02

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