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Windows 7: single click taskbar icon to restore/lose app focus


04 Feb 2010   #1

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
single click taskbar icon to restore/lose app focus

i have a "window/app focus" challenge that's driving me nuts!

previously, if i had 2 apps open, i could single click app 1's respective Taskbar icon to restore (minimize)/lose (set) focus. the aforementioned method would also minimize or maximize the app 1's window as the focus changed. further, if i launched app 2, app 2 would load in the foreground, immediately receive focus and i could use it right away. seems after a recent Windows Update, i lost the ability to use all the above methods. My current Taskbar properties are:
  • Taskbar Tab - Lock the Taskbar, Use Small Icons and Autopeek all enabled
  • Start Menu Tab - both Privacy settings enabled
the steps below describes the current behavior starting with no apps open:

  1. i open app 1 (e.g., Firefox) and perform an app 1 activity
  2. next I open app 2 (e.g., Word) and app 2 loads in the background (as opposed to opening in the foreground and receiving the focus)
  3. i click on app 2's taskbar icon to gain access (transfer focus) and perform an app 2 activity, however, app 2's taskbar icon starts flashing but app 2 doesn't receive the focus.
  4. to access app 2 i have to minimize app 1 using app 1's minimize button
  5. if i want to go back to app 1 i click on app 1's taskbar icon to gain access (transfer focus) and perform an app 1 activity, however, app 1's taskbar icon starts flashing but app 1 doesn't receive the focus.
  6. to access app 1 i have to minimize app 2 using app 2's minimize button
  7. now clicking an app 1 or app 2 taskbar icons cause them to start flashing
  8. if app 2 has the focus, and i mouse over app 1 (when it doesn't have the focus) and click the preview of app 1, app 1's taskbar icon flashes, but the focus does not shift to app 1 - it remains with app 2.
  9. with 5 apps open, if i want access to app 2, i have to minimize app 1, 3, 4 and 5 using their respective minimize buttons to see/gain access app 2.
as i mentioned, in the past, i only needed to single click any app's Taskbar icon once to lose focus (and minimize window) and transfer focus (and restore window) to another app or vice versa. call me weird, etc, but this greatly enhances my work productivity because i'm navigating to windows with virtual machines, remote desktop connections, etc. i even created a restore point where this behavior is working as i want it. if i restore and update, the behavior changes. i'm sure there's a simple solution, but right now, i can't see the forest through the trees! any help suggestions would be appreciated.

mods - i searched for similar issues but none of the solutions worked for me. feel free to merge/delete as needed. thanks in advance for responses and suggestions!


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Feb 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Yes, I am having the same problem as you. With my first install of Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit I had this issue and I thought that maybe some windows system files got corrupted. About 2 weeks ago I reinstalled the os clean and today the problem began again. It's extremely frustrating when the taskbar doesn't bring the window into focus.

I have to actually click on the window itself which mostly involves minimizing the windows in front of it. Restarting usually fixed the problem but I just restarted the computer yesterday. Coming back from sleep only once and the bug popped up. This is a weird bug but have read others having the same problem.

I was also thinking that it might be some app I have installed but others have this bug so it probably is not related to any particular program, as far as I know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2010   #3

XP Vista 7
 
 

go to windows update and check update history. let us know which updates were installed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Feb 2010   #4

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
a quick update...

well i eventually rolled back to a restore point where the feature was working and methodically (no, painfully) stepped through the updates to see which one (in combination with my laptop configuration) broke the the single-click restore/lose focus feature. my informal, unscientific tests imply that the Windows (Reliability) Update (KB977074) triggers the change. sure enough, after that update i lost the ability to use the single-click restore/lose focus feature. i used system restore to reset my laptop and then reapply all but the Windows (Reliability) Update (KB977074) and the single-click restore/lose focus feature was not affected. this is not to say the update alone changes the behavior, but it validates that the update applied to my laptop's Win 7 configuration disables the feature. i wish i knew what steps are required to enable/disable the single-click restore/lose focus feature, that way i can reset without frustration. ok, i digress... there are certainly more important things happening in the world today that deserve more attention than my problem. thanks for reading!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2010   #5

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by PoPPeR View Post
go to windows update and check update history. let us know which updates were installed.
@PoPPeR - have you experienced similar behaviors? do you have the same update installed on your laptop? thanks!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2010   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Don't most people get the same updates from Microsoft? I mean everyone with Windows 7 should be getting mostly the same updates with a few exceptions correct? Anyway, I checked the list of updates I have and the list is quite long and difficult to tell which might be the culprit because it tends to install several at one time if you haven't updated in while. I guess it's a trial and error system then by uninstalling one by one. yikes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
 
 

Cortez-uninstalling kb977074 fixed it for you correct?

Update: Saw this on Ars Technica

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/new...some-users.ars
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Feb 2010   #8

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Freeza View Post
Cortez-uninstalling kb977074 fixed it for you correct?

Update: Saw this on Ars Technica

Windows 7 stability fix breaks stability, puzzles Microsoft
not installing it help me... my first test i installed the update and the second test i went back to a restore point and ignored the kb977074 update, e.g., i'm hiding it so i won't see it again!!!!!

EDIT: i read the article...kinda funny that there were others impacted in different ways by the update. oh well... i'm happy, things are working well (so far...)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

This is to confirm that with Windows 7 Ultimate 64, I was having the same problem with the taskbar programs not coming to front when clicked. I found the update KBB977074 in the add/remove programs, and removed it. I then restarted Windows and the problem is gone. So, I reinstalled the update and sure enough, the problem came back. I then removed it again, restarted and it offered that update to me so I hid it. Seems to be working fine now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Feb 2010   #10

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

This just happened to me tonight after a normal reboot. I started noticing windows on my secondary display would get focus and just stay "on top". If I opened new programs they would typically open in the background. After some testing I didn't see any pattern to it, and some applications like IE8(64bit) were not affected at all. In hindsight I should have tried another native 64bit app.

I closed some programs from my system tray, BOINC, Rainmeter, and GotoAssist Expert, but the problem seemed to remain. Then I closed all my open "taskbar" applications and re-opened them and suddenly the problem was gone.

I am also running Windows 7 64bit Ultimate, and I have the KB977074 that was mentioned but according to my update history I've had that update since January 27th and this was the first time I've noticed this bug. So I'm not convinced that is the culprit, if it recurs I'll definitely try removing the update.

Anyway in my hopes to explain this behavior to my co-workers I did a quick and dirty screencap video of the behavior in action.

I didn't see any rules about not linking files, so here goes:
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1569095/WeirdFocusBug.wmv
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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