Programs start in the background. No focus on it.


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Win 11

I have been using Windows 11 for some time now. When I open programs, they usually start in the background. This is annoying, of course, because you have to manually bring them to the foreground first.

I have already changed these points in the registry:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ForegroundFlashCount -> 0
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ForegroundLockTimeout-> 0

This did not bring any success.

I often use Stream Deck for startup as well, though that doesn't seem to be the cause. Also "DisplayFusion" was suspected, but also without effect when the application is not running.

Are there problems here in Windows 11?

Thank you
Windows Build/Version
Win 11 Home, 10.0.22621 Build 22621

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win 11
Not noticing that happening here.
When you say "usually start in the background" what exactly do you mean? Do you always have another app in the forground that had focus before starting another app or does the started app not have focus while the taskbar does?
I would suggest you have a task running that steals focus due to it's priority, disable all 3rd party apps from Startup (use Autoruns from Sysinternals to easily disable apps and scheduled tasks from running at Startup/ login).
Disable all Windows customisation apps/ utilities if any are being used.
Revert all registry changes you have made while trying to solve the issue.
If the issue goes away, re enable items one at a time until the culprit is revealed.

Reboot the machine after disabling items and after re enabling items while testing. It would also be advisable to use an app like Macrium to image your current system and also make backups of important user data before making any changes.

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro 22H2, build: 22621.521
    Computer type
    Scan 3XS Custom 1700
    Intel i7-12700K 3.6GHz Base (5.0GHz Turbo)
    Asus ProArt Creator B660 D4
    64GB DDR 3600Mhz
    Graphics Card(s)
    Asus Tuff RTX 3080 10GB OC
    Sound Card
    Onboard Realtek
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Gigabyte G32QC 32inch 16:9 curved @2560 x 1440p 165Hz Freesync Premium Pro/ Dell SE2422H 24inch 16:9 1920 x 1080p 75Hz Freesync
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440p & 1920 x 1080p
    Hard Drives
    WD SN570 1TB NVME (Boot), Samsung 870QVO 1TB (SSD), SanDisk 3D Ultra 500Gb (SSD) x2, Seagate 3Tb Expansion Desk (Ext HDD), 2x Toshiba 1Tb P300 (Ext HDD)
    Corsair RM1000X Modular
    Corsair 4000D Airflow Desktop
    Corsair Hydro H150i RGB Pro XT 360mm Liquid Cooler, 3 x 120mm fans, 1x Exhaust
    Microsoft Ergonomic
    Logitech G402
    Internet Speed
    Edge Chromium
    Defender, Malwarebytes
I have the same problem as the OP. Some examples:
  • Open an Explorer window and use a shortcut to open an app. It opens behind the Explorer window.
  • Install a program or update. An "Are you sure?" or other such window opens, hidden behind the other windows.
  • Receive an e-mail with an attached document. Open the document and Word opens behind the mail client.
There is not 100% consistency on this. Sometimes the windows open in the foreground, as expected.

What I've tried, based on suggestions I found elsewhere:
  • Verified that there are no pending Windows updates
  • Same registry changes as the OP. (I've made no other registry changes.)
  • Set Explorer to "Launch folder windows in a separate process"
  • Clean boot, disabling everything that is non-Microsoft.
  • Verified that "Activate a window by hovering over it" is disabled.
  • Disabled "Scroll inactive windows when hovering over them"
  • Switched desktop theme to one of the standard Windows themes
  • Logged in as a different user
  • Reinstalled Windows (keeping files and apps)
None of these worked for me, but most of them had people who said they worked for them. But in some cases, the fix was only temporary. Surprisingly, I found discussions of this problem on versions going back all the way to Windows XP.

Anyone have any other suggestions?

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
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