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Win 7 randomly alt-tabs back to desktop

This is a discussion on Win 7 randomly alt-tabs back to desktop within the Windows 7 Support, Windows Vista Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. At random times throughout the day, it seems my windows will try to alt-tab back to the desktop. E.G. I


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Old 02-07-2012, 02:58 AM   #1
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At random times throughout the day, it seems my windows will try to alt-tab back to the desktop.

E.G. I have a full screen application running. Suddenly i find myself staring at my desktop without pressing alt-tab. Or if i have my browser window up, i will be staring at my browser window instead.

Seems to happen every few hours, doesnt matter what kind of applications i have running...it even happens when i have NO full screen applications running...if i only have my browser open, what happens is that i will notice the browser window gets unselected (open your browser window, click on the windows taskbar, browser gets unselected, just like that).

Its really very annoying. There are no pop ups or anything, and i am fairly sure i do not have anything installed that could be doing this....scanned for adware and virus using spybot search and destroy, malware anti-bytes and ESET smart security 5, nothing....restarting PC does nothing...

Started happening 1-2 weeks ago...

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Old 02-07-2012, 03:30 AM   #2
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Forgot to mention, win 7 SP1.

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Old 02-07-2012, 10:32 AM   #3
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Check your keyboard and see if alt-tab buttons are sticking or any other keys.
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Old 02-07-2012, 06:28 PM   #4
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As Jack said, turn the keyboard upside down and blow it out with a can of compressed air to remove any dust or crumbs. You can also take a Q-Tip with a little alcohol and run it between the keys of ALT and Tab. If you continue to have problems try a different keyboard.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:20 PM   #5
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Its not my keyboard...it only happens once every few hours even if i dont touch it. Also im using a laptop so its a bit hard to remove the keys. All my keys are fine and not sticking at all.

It doesnt even function like normal-alt tab. If im running a window application and alt-tab, it will normally switched to my browser. But when this happens, the window application just gets unfocused and i end up looking at the task bar + the window application instead of my browser.
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Old 02-07-2012, 08:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
If you continue to have problems try a different keyboard.
try a different keyboard.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:10 AM   #7
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Well its a laptop so thats not really a good solution...

But as i said, its not a normal alt-tab...its more like the window just gets unfocused...

And it only happens randomly every few hours.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:26 PM   #8
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To determine if it is a driver or a keyboard hardware problem, you test with a USB Keyboard. If that solves the problem, then you know it is your laptop keyboard. If you have the same problem, then there is something else like a driver issue.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:19 AM   #9
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Why are you convinced this is keyboard related? The window is getting unfocused so...wouldnt that be something related to windows itself? I can't test it with a USB keyboard. This occurs once randomly every few hours. I cant just plug in a USB keyboard and sit and wait for several hours to see whether it happens.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:30 AM   #10
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Out of focus? Meaning Stacked windows?

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Old 02-09-2012, 04:44 PM   #11
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The only way to rule out the keyboard is to attach an external keyboard. If you never get that problem again, then you know it's your laptop keyboard. Always try the simplest thing first.
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Old 02-11-2012, 12:25 PM   #12
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Out of focus as in...okay open your web browser. Now click on the task bar. Your browser window will get unselected. That's what i meant by unfocused.

If im playing a game in windowed mode, the game window gets unfocused and i end up looking at the task bar. Here's a screenshot i managed to take today :

imgur: the simple image sharer

Alt-tab doesn't do something like that.
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:33 AM   #13
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bump,
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
To determine if it is a driver or a keyboard hardware problem, you test with a USB Keyboard
did you try a different keyboard yet? Did you update your keyboard drivers yet?
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:43 AM   #15
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I'm having the same problem. Also on Windows 7. I'm not on a laptop though, XPS 8300.

I thought it was random at first as well, but I've been paying attention and for me its exactly every 60 minutes. Doesn't matter what program or game I'm using, at 25 past the hour, it's as if the computer decides to select the task bar for me.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:55 AM   #16
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when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth

Meaning the simplest things like trying a USB keyboard.... and updating your keyboard drivers.
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:08 AM   #17
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Question 2 random alt tabbing can also occur because of background applications which will try to grab focus I know Advanced System Care and Smart Ram for instance are background windows utility 3rd party applications tend to grab focus hence giving a semi alt tab kind of effect if you are running an application like a game and don't want them to grab focus simply disable your applications on start up via windows using msconfig like so:

Start -> Run -> MSCONFIG -> Selective Startup -> un-check applications that are grabbing focus

Hope that helps

Edit: you will obviously need to restart as well if you are not exiting the applications
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Old 07-02-2012, 05:43 AM   #18
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See my other thread on this. I used a VB script i found on the net to start a program that would tell me exactly what was grabbing focus, and found it to be some messenger program (not windows live messenger) that was set to auto update every hour or so, and it would grab focus everytime it ran the auto update routine.

The bit about trying a different keyboard was just ridiculously silly.

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