How To Prevent Programs from Stealing Focus in Windows XP

Stealing focus is when you are working on one program then another program starts popping up in the window you are currently on. It is annoying because it interrupts the work you are doing. A notification from other programs is an example of stealing focus. By default the Windows XP operating system is configured to prevent other programs from stealing focus, but it can change when programs are installed on your computer. You can configure Windows XP to prevent these programs from stealing focus.

1. Click the Start button and select the Run application.

Go to your taskbar and click the Start button. On the Start menu click the Run application.

2. Type the command regedit.

On the Run window type the command regedit in the field then click OK.

3. Locate HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/Desktop.

At the Registry Editor window, go to the left panel of the window. First find the HKEY_CURRENT_USER option and expand the folder by clicking the + (plus sign) beside it. Then locate the Control Panel folder and expand it with +. Lastly click on the Desktop folder, this will show the contents on the right panel.

4. Look for the foregroundlocktimeout on the right panel.

On the right panel locate the name foregroundlocktimeout. Beside it are two more columns labeled Type and Data. For the name foregroundlocktimeout under the data column, check if this entry appears - 0x00030d40 (200000). If it appears in the data field then Prevent Programs from Stealing Focus is activated in the Windows XP system. If it doesn’t appear and you have a different value under data, then go to step 5.

5. Edit the data with the Edit DWORD panel.

Move your cursor to foregroundlocktimeout then Right-Click. In the options menu select and click Modify, this will display the Edit DWORD Value window.

6. Enter the value 30d40.

In the Edit DWORD Value window check if the Value name is foregroundlocktimeout, and then enter the value 30d40 in the Value data: field and click OK. Check right panel again in the Registry Editor window if the Data field contains this value 0x00030d40 (200000), for the name foregroundlocktimeout. If these details are there then you can click OK.

7. Exit the Registry Editor window.

Close the Registry Editor window, and Restart the computer.

After you have restarted the computer, the Windows XP system will now prevent any other applications from stealing focus. In case you install new applications, and prevent stealing focus is changed, you can modify the registry again to fix it.  


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