Don’t you just hate it when a program that’s running in the background suddenly pops up in front of an active program?
If you want to avoid similar situations and prevent programs from stealing the focus on Windows 10, follow the steps we listed in this guide.
How to Stop Programs From Stealing Focus on Windows 10
Scan Your System for Malware
If the programs that are stealing the focus now did not do that before, this may indicate that malicious code changed their behavior.
Run an in-depth malware scan on your computer to detect and remove malicious software.
- If you’re using Windows Security, go to Virus and threat protection.
- Then, select Scan options.
- Click on Full scan.
- Wait until Windows Security has completed the scan. This may occasionally take longer than one hour.
Reinstall the Program
If that malware code is so deeply rooted in the program files, you may need to reinstall it. Corrupted program files may also cause the program to steal the focus. Reinstalling it should fix the issue.
- To uninstall a program, open the Control Panel.
- Then navigate to Programs and Features.
- Click on Uninstall a program.
- Select the program that’s stealing the focus.
- Click on the Uninstall button.
Install an Anti-Focus-Stealing Tool
Another solution to prevents apps from stealing the focus is to simply install a program that can block such a behavior.
If you want to keep a certain window always on top, you can install TurboTop. Even if you launch other programs afterward, the window that you selected will remain on top.
TurboTop remains hidden in your System Tray after you launch it. Simply click on the TurboTop icon, and the program will list all the windows running on your computer.
Click on the window you want to set on top of all the other windows.
If you want to check what window is already set on top, there’s a checkmark next to the name of that window.
DeskPins, AlwaysonTop, and AutoHotKey are three other programs that work in a similar manner. They allow you to pin windows on top to prevent other programs from stealing the focus.
“DeskPins, AlwaysonTop, and AutoHotKey are three other programs that work in a similar manner. They allow you to pin windows on top to prevent other programs from stealing the focus.”
How does pinning windows “on top” prevent other programs from stealing the focus? A window being on top doesn’t mean it has the focus. Indeed, a window suddenly stealing the focus but remaining behind the window you’re working in would be even worse.
Tweak UI, a Control Panel extension for Windows 9x, had a “Prevent windows from stealing focus” option. There ought to be a way of doing exactly the same thing in Windows 10.
Johan – this isn’t just about opening new windows in the background. It’s just as well about preventing an application I already have open from interrupting me while I’m working.
Antonio Noack says
I agree with the others: this article is USELESS.
Strong agree with Johan. The contents of this article did not address its title. What we need is to be able to manage Windows settings.
Doesn’t sound really helpful. Why can’t I just tell the Windows 10 window manager that new windows should always be opened in the background, and that focus follows mouse?