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Programs Unselect Themelves as Current Program

Posted on 2008-11-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a user who is trying to type letters in Microsoft Word and using various other programs and all of a sudden the cursor simply disappears.  On further investigation it seems that the programs are deselecting themselves from being the active program in Windows.  Has anyone ever heard of this or know how to fix it?  
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Question by:aclaus225
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by:MightySW
ID: 22933971
Try swapping out the keyboard.  Could be the windows key is acting up.  Also there could be some application that is constantly trying to put itself in focus (even if it is in the task bar or systray.)

Run MSconfig and deselect all of the startup items and see if that takes care of it. If so then be selective and turn half of them on (this way you know which half the problem is).  This is a good logarithimc approach to discovering your problem if you have a bunch of startup apps.  

If that isn't it then download Search and Destroy and run a full scan and get rid of any spyware you have.  I recommend this either way.

HTH.
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by:jcimarron
ID: 22933975
aclaus225--Concerning the cursor problem, http://www.yotatech.com/f98/word-2003-cursor-disappears-43194/
Another interesting discussion  http://www.eggheadcafe.com/software/aspnet/31691197/text-cursor-disappears-wh.aspx
If these have not helped, tell us the versions of Windows and Word you are using.
Concerning the disappearing programs, are they closing or just minimizing to the Taskbar?
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by:aclaus225
ID: 22934157
I am sorry that I did not make that more clear.  The programs are not disappearing.  The only problem is that they are deselecting themselves.  
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jcimarron earned 600 total points
ID: 22934252
aclaus225--A couple of good suggestions here
http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/thread-2190529.php
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by:MightySW
ID: 22934628
Yes, I understood.  They are going out of focus arbitrarily.  Can you check the apps that are taking control?  Is there a pattern?
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by:aclaus225
ID: 22934671
It doesn't seem like any of the active programs are taking control.  It has to be a program in the background.
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by:MightySW
MightySW earned 200 total points
ID: 22934696
Yes, run msconfig and uncheck all of the programs that are running at startup.  Reboot and then open word or excel and see if it happens.  

See above post as this will explain the rest.

Hope this helps.
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Expert Comment

by:jcimarron
ID: 22935078
aclaus225--"It doesn't seem like any of the active programs are taking control"
What is taking the place of the program losing focus?  
Did you read the link I posted earlier.  Several good potential solutions are offered.  http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/thread-2190529.php
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by:aclaus225
ID: 22935214
I did read this link.  I am looking through task manager to see if I see anything suspicious.  What I am saying is the user has Outlook, Word and IE open, but when Outlook is deselected it does not automatically select Word or IE.  
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by:jcimarron
ID: 22935507
aclaus225--What you describe certainly sounds like what is discussed in that link.  
In addition to trying to determine what is causing the problem by using TaskManager other ideas in that link are&
1)  install Tweak UI and set "prevent applications from stealing
focus".   (General|Focus)
2) Scan your system for possible malware (viruses, spyware).
3) Download process explorer from system internals:
http://www.sysinternals.com/Utiliti...ssExplorer.html
Use that to monitor what is running and see what app is taking thefocus.
4) Troubleshoot By Using the Msconfig Utility in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/?id=310560
5) Loss of focus may be triggered by an external IR
signal from another laptop or PDA on my desk. Whenever this happens,
irftp.exe starts up silently, steals focus, then exits silently.  Perhaps something other than an IR signal could do this--perhaps connected with the router, if you are using one.
Good luck!!
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by:orangutang
orangutang earned 200 total points
ID: 22936550
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