A background process/program steals focus from my currently active application. It disturbs me a lot when I type in an app or control an app using keyboard or play online flash games in full-screen.
I want to remove this program from my PC, but I'm unable to detect it. I've analyzed all processes & scanned for viruses. All things are right from this side.
I don't want to change focus behavior using registry tweak. Please, help me detecting that app..

  • 3
    Logically, the application that has stolen the input focus is the application that has the input focus after it has been stolen. So state in your question what window on the screen actually receives the input focus when this happens. That will help other people to tell you what is stealing the input focus.
    – JdeBP
    Jun 23, 2011 at 16:36
  • Are you sure you don't have problems with your keyboard? I had a similar problem with left windows key and left alt key (they remained pressed from time to time. After I replaced the keyboard it was ok. Jun 23, 2011 at 17:31
  • 1
    This is a known bug in Windows 7 when 3rd party programs are poorly written, start removing items from startup using msconfig, it will be a process of elimination and will take time.
    – Moab
    Jun 23, 2011 at 20:40
  • 2
    Untrue. Quite a few more keystrokes will be available. Alt+Space will bring up the system menu of the focus-stealing application's window, for example.
    – JdeBP
    Jun 24, 2011 at 10:02
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    @ Sachin Sheckhar, Yup, its a bug for sure, many complaints out there for this exact issue, its always a 3rd party software or driver causing it, but its not supposed to happen in W7, but it does.
    – Moab
    Jun 27, 2011 at 22:47

2 Answers 2


I used http://www.happydroid.com/focus and left the PC running over night to find the program that was stealing the focus.

  • 5
    Works properly and appears to be virus free. At least for now. Now I just have to wait. :-)
    – inf3rno
    Oct 30, 2017 at 0:26

The problem has been fixed. At a time of focus stealing, I pressed Alt+F4 and instantly spotted exiting process from Process Explorer.

Note: Windows Process Explorer can be downloaded as part of Windows Sysinternals library.

update: theres's any nice pogramm showing/logging, what process has focus: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/ie/en-US/dee98b15-0540-4975-b38d-ce3d2ee87c30/figuring-out-whats-stealing-window-focus

may this helps as well http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windowsxp/ht/stealingfocus02.htm

  • I'm curious which program keep stealing focus. . .
    – surfasb
    Jul 11, 2011 at 19:06
  • 2
    Gladinet Cloud Drive. It generally maps online accounts at start-up, but at the time of problem, it failed to log in to Windows Live SkyDrive because of password change. It was re-trying again-n-again with focus stealing!
    – user79032
    Jul 13, 2011 at 22:36
  • Interesting . . .
    – surfasb
    Jul 14, 2011 at 4:19
  • How did you "spotted exiting process from Process Explorer"? I'm fighting the same problem and I was more than sure, that when you press Alt+F4, program is terminated immediately, so you have no chances to open (or even switch to) Task Manager to see, what has just "left" it.
    – trejder
    Jan 30, 2014 at 10:05
  • 3
    @trejder Use Process Explorer, not Task Manager shipped with Windows. Process Explorer highlights exiting process with Red.
    – user79032
    Jan 30, 2014 at 10:36

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