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Windows 7: Dialog box not on top

01 Feb 2011   #1

Windows 7 (64)
Dialog box not on top


My proglem is as follows, occasionally, the dialog box (for "saving" or else) does not show on top. Which means I'm in the process of doing something, in this particular instance, saving a file from the internet to my computer (using IE8), and the dialog box is completely lost amidst all the programmes I have running (like Adobe Acrobat, Word, and IE). This means I'm actually stuck and I have to close every single window one after another to find the elusive dialog box and complete the procedure (I tried going directly to "desktop", but it wasn't there).
It never happened with XP, is there a setting I should tune or is this just a(nother) bug?
Thanks v. much for any help/advice.


Note: there was an old post about this issue: "Error message and search problems", but I was advised to create a new one, as it was, indeed too old.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Feb 2011   #2

Windows 7

Normally the dialog box is with the application it's associated with, but it can get behind the other application windows you have opened. If you hold down Alt and press Tab until you come to the associated application, then release Alt, the dialog box should be there. Or click on the taskbar button of the application that is using the dialog box and you should see it.

If another application you are using has its own setting for "Always on top", it may be preventing you seeing what is behind it - try it with Task Manager (Options > Always on top) and you'll see what I mean. So check your application settings for this.

If the dialog box is actually behind the application that is using it, that's weird; maybe someone else will have experience of that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2011   #3

Windows 7 (64)

Hi Debugged,
And thanks for your reply.
If the dialog box is actually behind the application that is using it, that's weird; maybe someone else will have experience of that.
Yes, that's kind of what happened, when I clicked on save, I was looking at the IE window, but the dialog box did not pop up, I waited for it to appear, but nothing came, that's when I started looking around for it (I only understood my command had been taken into account because I could no longer click on any other command of IE). I did click on the icon for my internet page in the taskbar, to no avail.

I like your suggestion of other programmes possibly conflicting with the popup if they have "always on top" activated. I'll just have to wait next time it happens and check one programme after the other, might solve it (because it doesn't happen all the time).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Feb 2011   #4

Windows 7

If it turns out that it is a specific IE problem, you might post about it in the Browsers forum. I can't comment, because I use Firefox. Best of luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2011   #5

Windows 7 (64)

Well, so far, it hasn't happened again, so I'll be on the lookout..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Feb 2011   #6

Windows 7

Glad to hear that the problem is fixed.

In case it happens again, and for anybody with a similar situation who might chance upon this thread... I found this:

There is a registry setting that is supposed to prevent other programs from stealing focus:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop

Value data should be 30d40 (Hexadecimal), which is the default.

If it has changed, that may account for the problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Dialog box not on top

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