For one reason or another, my Word suddenly decided to stay always on top of all other windows. This is terribly annoying. The odd thing is: of three documents I have open, two are on top of everything else, and one behaves normal.

I found one other mention of this behavior. I wonder whether this is a known bug and whether there's a workaround. Sometimes closing all windows helps, but later the behavior creeps back. Other Office products don't seem to show this behavior.

I'm using Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010, 14.0.4760.1000 (64 bit).

  • I also had this problem with Visual Studio 2012 some time ago. – Ray Sep 18 '13 at 12:34
  • Do you use the "Show Desktop" feature very often? I have heard that can attribute to some windows randomly being set to stay on top. – Adam Sep 20 '13 at 1:20
  • @adam: no, I don't use that feature, afaik. – Abel Oct 1 '13 at 12:36
  • 1
    I offered half my rep in bounty, and nothing... no one is interested. :( – ANeves Mar 4 '16 at 17:54

This single-line AutoHotKey script can be used to toggle the always-on-top behavior of the current window whenever Windows-A is pressed:

#a:: Winset, Alwaysontop, , A

| improve this answer | |
  • Good suggestion! Didn't know AHK could do that. Finally a solution that works always (albeit not a fix for MS Word's buggy behavior, it's good enough for me). – Abel Sep 10 '15 at 15:11

Here's another answer I found online which doesn't require rebooting:

  1. In Outlook go to Tools → Options
  2. Switch to the "Mail Format" tab
  3. Uncheck "Use Microsoft Office Word 2003 to edit e-mail messages"
  4. Close Outlook and Word
  5. Re-open Outlook and Word
  6. In Outlook go to Tools → Options
  7. Switch to the "Mail Format" tab
  8. Re-check "Use Microsoft Office Word 2003 to edit e-mail messages"

It should now no longer be always on top.

| improve this answer | |

I just upgraded from Office 2007 to Office 2010 on Windows 7 Professional Service Pack 1. When the Word document was open I could not open any other application in front of it.

I resolved the issue by going to Add-ins then Actions. I only had two enabled 1) Address 2) Instant Messaging Contacts. I disabled both of them.

| improve this answer | |

I had this same problem with Word in Office 2010 and after looking at the link to Matt Fleming's site in bdoserror's answer to this problem, was able to use the solution in the comment there.

I closed both Outlook and Word and started the Task Manager. There was still a Winword.exe process listed under the Processes tab. I killed that duplicate process and restarted Outlook and Word and now Word was behaving correctly.

| improve this answer | |

Running Windows 7, with Microsoft 2010 products, and the problem develops spontaneously.

Reboot corrects, so that word can float to the back behind the active application(s).

| improve this answer | |

This problem happened to me once. Unless you want to download a shady program from a site filled with viruses this is the only way. I figured out that you can fix it with Task Manager. Don't worry you don't have to delete anything or get super techy. If you have something important on the window that is always on front, then you need to save it. Open Task Manager by pressing ctrl + alt +del if you didn't know how. Who doesn't though? End the window that is giving you trouble and re-open it. Go down to the start page or windows button at the bottom left hand screen and open notepad. Using Task Manager click the button to the left of Notepad. It should look like the greater than sign ( > ). One you click it there should be only one option (Untitled - Notepad). Right click it and then choose bring to front. This should fix your problem

I did this with whatever the newest update version for windows 10 was or is for me at 2:56AM Eastern time. 1/5/2018 . I'm 13 right now so anybody older than me who couldn't figure it out should feel ashamed. Just kidding. Forgot to mention that this works for all windows having this problem.

| improve this answer | |

I have experienced this "always-on-top" window problem as a side effect of an MS task (PowerPoint, Excel, Word) not closing down properly when exiting the application. The fix that has always worked for me (Windows 7 Prof. 64) was to kill the residual process(es) using the Task Manager.

| improve this answer | |

Firstly try restarting Word.

If that doesn't work, try restarting the computer.

Finally, right-click on "Microsoft Word" in the start bar, and make sure that "Always on top" is deselected.

| improve this answer | |
  • Tx for your answer on my long-standing open question. I tried to avoid option 2... I do not have the Always on top option in the start bar menu. Still, a +1 for restarting-suggestion ;) – Abel Jul 11 '12 at 14:55
  • 6
    You must be using third party software. There is no "Always On Top" option via taskbar or system menu (Alt+Space). – iglvzx Jul 14 '12 at 6:03
  • Depends on your operating system. – Diamond Jul 15 '12 at 16:29
  • 7
    @Diamond Windows does not include an "Always on top" option for any window in the context menu natively, no matter what version of the OS. You need third-party software to do this. – Ben Richards Oct 3 '12 at 20:23
  • This answer is definitely wrong. There is nothing like "Always on top" natively in any version of windows. – Sнаđошƒаӽ Mar 4 '16 at 15:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.