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All of the windows on my Windows 8 computer have started to lose focus every minute or so and get focus back quickly. Any ideas what this could be? I have tried to see which application is using most CPU when this happens, but to no success.

I am running a Norton scan at the minute, so that should sort out any malware.

It is starting to get VERY annoying!

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I just had this problem where a window would lose focus every 5 seconds for a split second. For games where the sound turns off when the game doesn't have focus, it's super crazy annoying.

The problem for me was the Intel Smart Connect Technology Agent that wasn't connected from my new MSI mainboard (z87-g45). Uninstalling that fixed it right away.

Even if it's not the same program doing it, it could be a similar thing where it throws an error every X seconds. Check the event viewer in your Control Panel\System and Security\Administrative Tools and see what's in Windows Logs -> System. That's where I found my culprit.

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  • I just experienced this myself. So random. Thought I was gonna go insane. Finally saw the ISCTAgent starting to run for split seconds in the task manager Services tab and tried to disable it. Fixed the issue...
    – Svish
    Mar 28 '15 at 13:25
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I worked out the problem just to a downright fluke. I was doing some document work, and I happened to press Ctrl-C just as the problem occurred. When I pressed Paste, I got this:

[Window Title] HPNetworkCommunicator

[Main Instruction] HPNetworkCommunicator has stopped working

[Content] Windows is checking for a solution to the problem...

[Cancel]

As you can see, it was a background window trying to fix 'HPNetworkCommunicator'.

It was then a very easy thing to look up the solution, which was that, as it turns out, the HP printer's automatic scanning facility had malfunctioned. I turned it off, and the problem was fixed.

Thanks for all your help and answers!

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    THANK YOU!!!! .... for this hint. I really got pissed off my computer the last days. My compuuter lost focus every 5 minutes ... Ctrl-C on one occation got me "[Window Title] autoconn-win.exe [...]". Now I can check what this crap is...
    – cljk
    Oct 27 '15 at 4:37
  • @cljk It's nice to know this worked for someone else. Of course it's not easy to do on purpose, but hopefully now you'll be able to fix the problem, I know how frustrating it is! Oct 28 '15 at 11:21
  • I already found out.... it was the synology CloudStation client. Installed the update and all was fine again.
    – cljk
    Oct 28 '15 at 12:28
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I turned off Windows Error Reporting, and problem went away.

Start > Control Panel > type reporting > Choose how to report problems > Never check for solutions > OK

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There are unrelated software that can help you. Because nobody really wants to know what's the active window at the moment, this feature is rarely seen in applications. Except, if you do some kind of time tracking.

2 services: Paymo3 and Timecamp, have an option of tracking the time you spend working on the PC, for billing reasons. The PaymoPlus app records active windows, and time on them, so you could then add them to specific tasks, so you can bill the client. Timecamp does the same, but automatically adds the apps to a task.

The thing is - you can see when and what apps were focused at any given time, which is what you need. Run the app, start the timer, do your stuff while waiting for this glitch to happen, then, either look in the PaymoPlus window if you're using it, or on Timecamp web UI, if you're using that one.

I'd go with PaymoPlus. http://www.paymoapp.com/

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It is possible that a backup program might be stealing the focus, which has no visible window. One such a program is Gladinet Cloud Storage, which was used by other third party vendors like Nuance Cloud Connector.

You might see the offending title using the ALT+TAB task switcher.

There is one (of many) thread(s) here at the Gladinet forum that deals with this issue: http://www.gladinet.com/forum/default.aspx?g=posts&t=2221

In another thread on the same forum they discussed that when this application is trying to connect and fails it takes the focus. Two years ago...

You have the choice of removing the application or upgrading to the latest version and see if that helps.

If it is not this particular program you should still be on the lookout for something similar. (BTW, the Task Manager may not show you this process because it can run as a dll as part of Explorer.exe. :( )

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