Games lose focus constantly in Windows 11


eilhart

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With different games this happens randomly. Sometimes 10 minutes after I start the game, sometimes 2 hours later. It happens multiple times in long sessions. If the game is in fullscreen, it gets minimized but no other program gets the focus. It just minimizes to desktop.

Recently I tried borderless windowed mode in a game, the losing focus thing still happens but instead of getting minimized to desktop it just flashes black and I momentarily lose control of the game, then it's restored like in a split second. In some older games I even lose the controller and I have to restart the game after unplugging and plugging the controller again. The native resolution of my laptop is 2560x1440. I'm running the game in 1080p. I usually run games with Discord and sometimes Google Chrome in the background but I tried nothing in the background too apart from things I can't turn off like Steam and Microsoft Security (I can probably turn that off but I don't think it's causing the problem, so I didn't try that.) This happens with old games and new games, so it's not like my specs aren't enough. My gpu drivers are up-to-date. My cpu is Intel i7-11800H, gpu is Nvidia RTX 3070 and ram is 16 gb.
 
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Windows 11 Home Single Language, v21H2, OS Build 22000.556
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glasskuter

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I have seen many similar threads across the web with others having the same problem. The only solution some have found is a clean install of windows. You have not listed your computer specs nor did you mention if your system upgraded to 11 or if it came with 11. I would certainly consider a clean install, especially if it was an upgrade. Clean Install Windows 11 Tutorial
 

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Dru2

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eilhart

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It came with Windows 11. It's a brand new laptop. I'm guessing it counts as a clean install? But I'll try that too probably if not. I entered my specs in the forum when it asked me after making the thread (you can see it at the bottom of my post) but here it's again. Intel i7-11800H cpu, nvidia 3070 gpu and 16 gb of ram. I tried running the games in native desktop resolution, changing scaling to 100% from display settings and disabling fullscreen optimizations for the game. Tried each of those separately. Nothing worked.
 

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eilhart

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Would help if you provided some example games, you're having issues with? Are these old or new games?
So far I noticed it happened with Fable: The Lost Chapters, Dark Souls and Elden Ring. So both new and old.
 

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Dru2

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eilhart

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glasskuter

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There are multiple complaints in the feedback hub and across the web. One person posted this in the feedback hub.
""My games are tabbing out to desktop or losing focus in borderless fullscreen. Using Windows Focus Logger I've found that the culprit is actually Widgets and msedgewebview2"
Msedgewebview 2 is associated with Teams and widgets. Try disabling both Teams and widgets.

Close Microsoft Teams and Widgets from the Task Manager​

The primary solution to this problem is to put any processes of Teams and Widgets to a halt, and you can do that using the Task Manager. The MSEDGEWEBVIEW2.EXE is used very actively by both these apps, so it is not a long shot to assume that they’re at play here. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Open the Task Manager by right-clicking on the Windows icon on the Taskbar
  • Locate Windows Widgets and Microsoft Teams in the Processes tab
  • Right-click on them and select End Process.
Replicate it for both the apps and you’ll observe the disappearance of MSEDGEWEBVIEW2.EXE from the Task Manager’s Details.

2] Disable Microsoft Teams from launching at Startup​

Microsoft Teams has a tendency to get launched every time you boot up your PC, which can, in turn, activate the process under discussion and cause memory consumption and leaks. A solution to this is to stop Teams from launching at Startup completely and this, too, is done using the Task Manager.


  • Open the Task Manager from the Windows key at the menu
  • Now, click on the Startup tab at the top
  • Here you’ll see a list of apps and processes that are designated to get activated on Startup. Locate Microsoft Teams, select it and click on the Disable button at the bottom-right
disable-ms-teams.jpg


Close the Task Manager and, viola! This should do the trick for you.

3] Disable Widgets via the Windows Registry​

Since the process is related to Windows Widgets as well, it is important we deal with that too. Using the Registry Editor, a user can very easily disable Windows Widgets from running on their PC.

  • Open the Run command box with the ‘Win’ + ‘R’ key combination and in the empty box, enter ‘Regedit’
  • Enter the following location in the address box:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  • From the list of DWORD entries here, look for ‘TaskbarDa’. Click on it and select to modify it
  • Now, change its bit value from 1 to 0 and save this change
msedgewebview2.exe High CPU and Memory usage


Restart your PC to make this change take effect
 

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Dru2

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I'm running an intel-nvidia system. I tried the DirectX download. After running the web installer, it said equivalent or newer version of DirectX was installed already, so it didn't reinstall.
Are the games you're having issues with games on Stream?
 

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    Intel i9-9900K
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    Gigabyte Aorus Z390 Xtreme
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    Intel i7-7600U
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dbartenstein

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3] Disable Widgets via the Windows Registry
Since the process is related to Windows Widgets as well, it is important we deal with that too. Using the Registry Editor, a user can very easily disable Windows Widgets from running on their PC.

  • Open the Run command box with the ‘Win’ + ‘R’ key combination and in the empty box, enter ‘Regedit’
  • Enter the following location in the address box:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
  • From the list of DWORD entries here, look for ‘TaskbarDa’. Click on it and select to modify it
  • Now, change its bit value from 1 to 0 and save this change
msedgewebview2.exe High CPU and Memory usage


Restart your PC to make this change take effect
Note that even if you disable in the registry, you can still execute Widgets by pressing Windows + W....
 

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Dru2

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First....

There are multiple complaints in the feedback hub and across the web. One person posted this in the feedback hub.
I personally think one needs to take into consideration the whole of the situation when opining Windows 11 is bad for gaming when you consider the "facts" that most web reporting has to do with AMD based systems....


However, that doesn't mean Intel systems can't have issues, either. I'm simply saying AMD based systems seem to be more problematic with 11 and gaming at the moment. With that I think it prudent to look at the system in question before applying fixes that may not be applicable to another system.

Anyway, as a gamer myself, I'm not having any gaming issues with my desktop shown in system specs. But I understand that's me.

I'm running an intel-nvidia system. I tried the DirectX download. After running the web installer, it said equivalent or newer version of DirectX was installed already, so it didn't reinstall.
I asked this before, are the games you're running Steam based games? If so, you might go over your settings in the Steam app. You might also verify the integrity of the game files. Right click on a game, go to local files and choose verify integrity of game files.
 

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    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 (22000.778)
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    Custom built
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    Intel i9-9900K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Aorus Z390 Xtreme
    Memory
    32G (4x8) DDR4 Corsair RGB Dominator Platinum (3600Mhz)
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    Radeon VII
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    Onboard (ESS Sabre HiFi using Realtek drivers)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC PA242w (24 inch)
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    1920 x 1200
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    5 Samsung SSD drives: 2X 970 NVME (512 & 1TB), 3X EVO SATA (2X 2TB, 1X 1TB)
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    EVGA Super Nova I000 P2 (1000 watt)
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    System used for gaming, photography, audiophile media center, work.
  • Operating System
    Win 11 Pro Dev 22H2 (build 25140.1000)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga X1
    CPU
    Intel i7-7600U
    Motherboard
    Intel
    Memory
    16igg
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel HD 620
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14.0 WQHD OLED Touch
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB NVMe Drive (OEM)
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glasskuter

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With that I think it prudent to look at the system in question before applying fixes that may not be applicable to another system.
I'll be the first to admit I'm not a gamer but I read complaints about these issues for over 2 hours. Since so many are experiencing this problem on a widespread basis, is it not prudent to try the things that can be tried, especially if everything one tries can be easily undone if it makes no difference. Perhaps this poster wants to use Windows Focus Logger on his own system to see if it leads him in another direction.
 

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    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 22000.778
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    Dell Optiplex 7080
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    i9-10900
    Memory
    32 gb
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Benq 27
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 m.2 2230-256+1 tb hdd
    PSU
    500w
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    MT
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    Dell Premium
    Keyboard
    Logitech wired
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    Logitech wireless
    Browser
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    Antivirus
    Defender+MWB Premium
  • Operating System
    Windows 10 Pro 21H2
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Optiplex 9020
    CPU
    i7-4770
    Memory
    24 gb
    Screen Resolution
    2560x1440
    Hard Drives
    256 gb Toshiba BG4 M.2 NVE SSB and 1 tb hdd
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    500w
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TairikuOkami

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Interesting I actually use the value 0, since I had this problem, but not sure if this sovled it.
Code:
rem Specifies the number of times the taskbar button flashes to notify the user that the system has activated a background window
rem If the time elapsed since the last user input exceeds the value of the ForegroundLockTimeout entry, the window will automatically be brought to the foreground (focus)
reg add "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop" /v "ForegroundFlashCount" /t REG_SZ /d "0" /f

rem ForegroundLockTimeout specifies the time in milliseconds, following user input, during which the system keeps applications from moving into the foreground / 0 - Disabled / 200000 - Default
reg add "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop" /v "ForegroundLockTimeout" /t REG_DWORD /d "0" /f
Note that even if you disable in the registry, you can still execute Widgets by pressing Windows + W....
Indeed they can be uninstalled, if they are not used, just like msedgewebview2.
Code:
winget uninstall "Microsoft Edge WebView2 Runtime"
winget uninstall "windows web experience pack"
 

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eilhart

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Thanks. I'll try the solutions posted here by glasskuter and others here today before starting my games.
I asked this before, are the games you're running Steam based games? If so, you might go over your settings in the Steam app. You might also verify the integrity of the game files. Right click on a game, go to local files and choose verify integrity of game files.
Sorry. I was at work. Last time I answered I was about to go to bed. Yes, they are Steam games. Since this happened with multiple games, I doubt it's something with corrupt installations but I'll do the file integrity check anyway. Thanks.
 

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    Intel® Tiger Lake Core™ i7-11800H
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eilhart

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I've done a few things so far.

1. I verified integrity of Elden Ring with Steam since that's the game I'm playing now. There were no errors.
2. MSEDGEWEBVIEW2.EXE wasn't listed at Task Manager->Details. But I still checked the Processes tab for Microsoft Teams and Windows Widgets. They weren't on.
3. I disabled Microsoft Team from Startup tab. It was enabled.
4. Checked the Windows Widgets TaskbarDa DWORD value. It was already set to 0. I didn't change it.
5. I disabled another little program called ControlCenterTray from Startup tab which provides quick change buttons between laptop's performance modes like office, gaming etc. I can do that with a button on the keyboard too. I feel like this might be the culprit since this app also deals with color calibration and I notice the hue of my screen change when the game loses focus sometimes. This came pre-installed with the laptop. I had done color calibration with it before. Although I tried turning this off myself before while playing games but the problem persisted, so maybe that's not it.

I didn't read the article about preventing programs from stealing focus yet. I will if the issue persists. I might also try that Windows Focus Logger program.
Interesting I actually use the value 0, since I had this problem, but not sure if this sovled it.
Code:
rem Specifies the number of times the taskbar button flashes to notify the user that the system has activated a background window
rem If the time elapsed since the last user input exceeds the value of the ForegroundLockTimeout entry, the window will automatically be brought to the foreground (focus)
reg add "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop" /v "ForegroundFlashCount" /t REG_SZ /d "0" /f

rem ForegroundLockTimeout specifies the time in milliseconds, following user input, during which the system keeps applications from moving into the foreground / 0 - Disabled / 200000 - Default
reg add "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop" /v "ForegroundLockTimeout" /t REG_DWORD /d "0" /f

Indeed they can be uninstalled, if they are not used, just like msedgewebview2.
Code:
winget uninstall "Microsoft Edge WebView2 Runtime"
winget uninstall "windows web experience pack"
how do I use the codes you posted? do I put them in command prompt?

Also, last night when the game lost focus, there was an update icon in the system tray. It appeared beside the language/keyboard indicator beside the internet icon instead of inside the tray, so I think updates might be stealing focus too.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home Single Language 21H2 (22000.556)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Monster Tulpar T5
    CPU
    Intel® Tiger Lake Core™ i7-11800H
    Memory
    16 GB (1x16)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia RTX3070
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Security

Dru2

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Since this happened with multiple games, I doubt it's something with corrupt installations but I'll do the file integrity check anyway. Thanks.
Each game has it's own integrity check so this isn't an across the board thing.
 

My Computers

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  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 (22000.778)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom built
    CPU
    Intel i9-9900K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Aorus Z390 Xtreme
    Memory
    32G (4x8) DDR4 Corsair RGB Dominator Platinum (3600Mhz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon VII
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    Onboard (ESS Sabre HiFi using Realtek drivers)
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    NEC PA242w (24 inch)
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    1920 x 1200
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    5 Samsung SSD drives: 2X 970 NVME (512 & 1TB), 3X EVO SATA (2X 2TB, 1X 1TB)
    PSU
    EVGA Super Nova I000 P2 (1000 watt)
    Case
    Cooler Master H500M
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    Logitech Craft
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    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    500mb Download. 11mb Upload
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    Microsoft Edge Chromium
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    Other Info
    System used for gaming, photography, audiophile media center, work.
  • Operating System
    Win 11 Pro Dev 22H2 (build 25140.1000)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga X1
    CPU
    Intel i7-7600U
    Motherboard
    Intel
    Memory
    16igg
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel HD 620
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eilhart

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Each game has it's own integrity check so this isn't an across the board thing.
I know. What I meant was it was unlikely that all three of those games had corrupted files at the same time since it happened in those three games I played.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home Single Language 21H2 (22000.556)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Monster Tulpar T5
    CPU
    Intel® Tiger Lake Core™ i7-11800H
    Memory
    16 GB (1x16)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia RTX3070
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Security

Dru2

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I have nothing further to add. Good luck.

Out.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 21H2 (22000.778)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Custom built
    CPU
    Intel i9-9900K
    Motherboard
    Gigabyte Aorus Z390 Xtreme
    Memory
    32G (4x8) DDR4 Corsair RGB Dominator Platinum (3600Mhz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Radeon VII
    Sound Card
    Onboard (ESS Sabre HiFi using Realtek drivers)
    Monitor(s) Displays
    NEC PA242w (24 inch)
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1200
    Hard Drives
    5 Samsung SSD drives: 2X 970 NVME (512 & 1TB), 3X EVO SATA (2X 2TB, 1X 1TB)
    PSU
    EVGA Super Nova I000 P2 (1000 watt)
    Case
    Cooler Master H500M
    Cooling
    Corsair H115i RGB Platinum
    Keyboard
    Logitech Craft
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3
    Internet Speed
    500mb Download. 11mb Upload
    Browser
    Microsoft Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Windows Security
    Other Info
    System used for gaming, photography, audiophile media center, work.
  • Operating System
    Win 11 Pro Dev 22H2 (build 25140.1000)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga X1
    CPU
    Intel i7-7600U
    Motherboard
    Intel
    Memory
    16igg
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel HD 620
    Sound Card
    Onboard
    Monitor(s) Displays
    14.0 WQHD OLED Touch
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    1TB NVMe Drive (OEM)
    PSU
    laptop
    Case
    laptop
    Cooling
    Laptop cooling
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Anywhere 2S
    Keyboard
    Laptop
    Internet Speed
    100MB
    Browser
    Edge Chromium
    Antivirus
    Windows Security

eilhart

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Local time
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Windows 11 Home Single Language 21H2 (22000.556)
Thanks for your help. I think it's fixed. It's either disabling Microsoft Teams or control center app that came with my laptop from the Startup but I'll try another session of gaming before enabling the control center app. I didn't have any minimizing today after several hours of gaming.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home Single Language 21H2 (22000.556)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Monster Tulpar T5
    CPU
    Intel® Tiger Lake Core™ i7-11800H
    Memory
    16 GB (1x16)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia RTX3070
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Security

eilhart

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Local time
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Windows 11 Home Single Language 21H2 (22000.556)
While it happens less now, it happens still. Though it's random. Last few days it only happened three times. Last two happening close to each other last night. I was running Windows Focus Logger. It didn't detect anything stealing the focus. It's a 2014 software. I wasn't even sure it would work in Windows 11. I don't know why it didn't detect anything when it happened. It works. It detects Steam, games, chrome, search host taking focus. There were long gaming sessions nothing happened too.

I added the two registry entries Tairiku posted via cmd. also removed those two programs today after realizing the issue wasn't gone completely. Previously I had disabled a control center program my laptop manufacturer provided and Microsoft Teams from Startup.
Interesting I actually use the value 0, since I had this problem, but not sure if this sovled it.
Code:
rem Specifies the number of times the taskbar button flashes to notify the user that the system has activated a background window
rem If the time elapsed since the last user input exceeds the value of the ForegroundLockTimeout entry, the window will automatically be brought to the foreground (focus)
reg add "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop" /v "ForegroundFlashCount" /t REG_SZ /d "0" /f

rem ForegroundLockTimeout specifies the time in milliseconds, following user input, during which the system keeps applications from moving into the foreground / 0 - Disabled / 200000 - Default
reg add "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop" /v "ForegroundLockTimeout" /t REG_DWORD /d "0" /f

Indeed they can be uninstalled, if they are not used, just like msedgewebview2.
Code:
winget uninstall "Microsoft Edge WebView2 Runtime"
winget uninstall "windows web experience pack"
Microsoft Edge WebView2 Runtime uninstall first gave an exit code of 19 but after uninstalling Windows Web Experience Pack it said there was nothing to remove.

I skimmed through that article about stealing focus.

I will try two software that are supposed to keep the game windows in focus (the anti-focus stealers) that are linked there but I didn't use the registry edits in there as they seem to be for Windows XP. It seems to be a very old article.

I will also be contacting my laptop manufacturer to see if they have a solution for this but I will wait a few days to see if my latest solutions worked.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home Single Language 21H2 (22000.556)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Monster Tulpar T5
    CPU
    Intel® Tiger Lake Core™ i7-11800H
    Memory
    16 GB (1x16)
    Graphics Card(s)
    Nvidia RTX3070
    Antivirus
    Microsoft Security
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