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Firefox loses focus when clicking on links

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Colin2
35 discussion posts
I believe I have tracked this problem down to Display Fusion Pro.

I am using Windows 7 64bit on a dual monitor system. I am currently using Firefox 13.0.1, the current release version.

This problem first showed up a few weeks ago, and I have been trying to find the cause ever since. When middle clicking with my mouse to open a link in a new tab, or left clicking on a link to follow a link in the current tab, sometimes Firefox will loose focus. The Windows title bar buttons (close most obviously) change colour to indicate the Firefox window no longer has focus. Mouse wheel scrolling and typing no longer go to the Firefox window. This happens every 10 or 15 minutes, and has, at a guess, a 1 in 10 chance of happening every time I click on a link.

I have not been able to find any visual clues as to where focus has gone, or as to which window or program now has focus.

I have tried both Firefox release and beta versions, making a new Firefox profile, disabling all extensions, and several other tests as well, and I still get the problem.

I was using the latest Display Fusion Pro beta version, beta 9, until the start of the day yesterday, when I installed version 4.0.1 over the top. Since then I have not seen the problem at all. I would have expected to see it by now, so this suggests Display Fusion is the cause.

In the beta change log it says:

* Resolved a Taskbar focus-stealing issue

for beta 8 changes. The problem did start around the time I installed beta 7 of Display Fusion, but I was using the beta version of Firefox at the time, to try and fix a separate issue, and I was seeing a lot of Firefox updates, so did not make the connection.

Firefox is the only program where I have seen this loss of focus problem.

I have Display Fusion Pro set to show a taskbar on my second monitor, which shows the taskbar items only for windows on that monitor. Firefox is nearly always on my primary monitor. I have the tab bar set to show below the address bar. Display Fusion Pro only adds one title bar button to my windows, "Move Window to Next Monitor", and this is being done on Firefox.

What other details can I provide to help?
Jul 11, 2012 (modified Jul 12, 2012)  • #1
Keith Lammers (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Could you try disabling the DisplayFusion Multi-Monitor Taskbar, and the TitleBar Buttons to see if that makes any difference? If it does, try enabling each of those two features individually to see which one causes Firefox to lose focus.

Thanks!
Jul 12, 2012  • #2
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
Will do, installing 4.1.0 beta 9 now. I have had another full day with no problems since rolling back to 4.0.1, so it looks like Display Fusion is a factor somehow. It will be good to pin this down slightly more specifically.

I will wait for the problem to occur once before making any changes to my settings, just to confirm that the Display Fusion version is a factor here.
Jul 12, 2012  • #3
Keith Lammers (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Sounds good, thanks Colin!
Jul 13, 2012  • #4
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
A small update. It has taken a couple of days for me to be sure I have seen this focus problem again with beta 9. After seeing the problem, I turned off title bar buttons, accepted this change, saw the title bar buttons disappear from all visible windows, and about 30 seconds later I had the firefox focus problem happen again. Interestingly, almost suspiciously fast.

Since firefox was open when I made this change, I have now restarted firefox, and I have left the taskbar turned on on my second monitor for now, to check just one change at a time.
Jul 15, 2012  • #5
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
Following a reboot, I have now had the focus problem again in Firefox, with the title bar buttons turned off and the taskbar on the second monitor turned on. So I have now turned the title bar on the second monitor off, and restarted Firefox. Now to wait and see.
Jul 16, 2012  • #6
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
Just installed 4.1.0 Beta 10, title bar buttons and the taskbar on the second monitor are both still off, so far no sign of any focus problems, but a bit early to draw to many conclusions.
Jul 17, 2012  • #7
Keith Lammers (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Ok, thanks for the update, please let me know once you've had a chance to test it a bit longer and we'll go from there.
Jul 17, 2012  • #8
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
Another small update, a good way for me to keep track of the tests I have run and their results. I turned the taskbar back on on monitor 2 last thing last night, since working without it is painful.

I have just seen firefox, how version 14.0.1, loose focus. Firefox is on the primary monitor, and not obviously interacting with the second monitor, and no windows were moving to / from the second monitor taskbar.

So it looks like the second monitor taskbar is a factor here.

Taskbar settings are as follows:

Enable multi-monitor taskbar = On
Taskbar mode = All taskbars show relevant windows
Taskbar button middle-click behaviour = open a new instance
Window preview style = Windows 7 style
use jump lists = On
show taskbar in front of full screen applications when they loose focus = On
Allow taskbar reloading while full screen applications are running = Off
Focus window when mouse is dragged over Taskbar button = On
Lauch start menu short cuts on current monitor = On
Use alternate start menu on DisplayFusion taskbars = Off
Taskbar Opacity = 100%

I have now gone into the Compatibility settings, and added a setting for Firefox. I have turned off everything except for "Allow wallpaper changes while this Application is running", to see what effect, if any, this will have. Are there any other tests I should run?
Jul 19, 2012  • #9
Keith Lammers (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Could you try disabling the various per-taskbar settings (right-click the taskbar > Multi-Monitor Taskbar). Try disabling the following taskbar features one at a time:
  • Start Button
  • Show Desktop Button
  • System Tray (the whole thing, not just the tray icons)
Thanks!
Jul 20, 2012  • #10
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
DisplayFusion beta 11 appeared today, at the start of the day, so I installed it. I have seen the Firefox focus problem 2, perhaps 3 times since then.

The start button is already disabled on the second taskbar, so I have just disabled the show desktop button, and see what effect this has. Thank you for helping me to pin down the exact trigger. I know this can be a slow process, but we will get there eventually I am sure
Jul 20, 2012  • #11
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
The loss of focus is still happening, now and then, with the start button and show desktop buttons turned off, so I have now turned off both the system tray icons and the clock, and will wait and see what effect this has.
Jul 23, 2012  • #12
Keith Lammers (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Sounds good, thanks Colin!
Jul 24, 2012  • #13
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
The loss of focus is definitely happening with the system tray icons and clock turned off as well. I wanted to be sure before posting, sometimes loss of focus seems to be related to VMware Workstation popping up a delayed message box, or something else I might have done to trigger the behaviour.

One interesting, but vague observation, the frequency of loss of focus seems quite a bit lower since I installed Dispaly Fusion 4.0 over the top of the beta, and then returned to the latest beta version. I am not sure why that should have happened though, if this is actually a real effect.

The current settings for my taskbar on the second monitor are as follows:

Shortcuts = Combine with Taskbar Buttons - I have no shortcuts on either monitor
Size = Automatic - it matches the size on the primary monitor, and is deep enough for one row of icons
Position = Automatic - it is on the bottom edge of the monitor, same as the primary monitor
Auto-Hide = Disabled - same as the main taskbar
System Tray = clock and icons are both turned on, and the block is disabled
Start Button = Disabled
Show Desktop Button = Disabled
Button Alignment = Left
Button Style = Automatic - it shows icons and text, same as the main taskbar
Group Buttons = Automatic

Windows taskbar settings are to Lock the taskbar, at the bottom. Autohide and small icons are both turned Off. Taskbar buttons are set to combine when the taskbar is full.

What should I try next? From the settings, the next test to try is not immediately obvious to me.
Jul 26, 2012  • #14
Keith Lammers (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
To be honest I'm not really sure where to go from here either. Do you have any Firefox add-ons installed? We've never run into this issue before, and we use Firefox all day around here, so perhaps there's an add-on that's conflicting with the DisplayFusion taskbar.

If you do have any add-ons, could you try disabling them, or maybe make a new Firefox profile without any add-ons and see if you still run into the same issue?

Thanks!
Jul 26, 2012  • #15
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
I have several firefox addon's installed. I tried disabling all of them when I first had this problem, along with a new, default profile, but I still saw the problem. I am having another go though, I have just disabled all addon's. I am now using Display Fusion Beta 12, so lets see what result we get.

Assuming I still see this problem, do you know of any method to work out which program / process has keyboard focus? Display Fusion knows which program to mark on the second monitors task bar after all. I hunted for a method a while ago, but without much success. A technical method, a powershell command / script, or even a small monitor program is fine if that's what it takes. If I could work out where focus was going that might help to make sense of this.

I would not be surprised to learn another program is involved, something in addition to Display Fusion and Firefox, but what? It took ages to discover Display Fusion was a factor.
Jul 27, 2012  • #16
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
That did not take long, the problem has just happened again.

This loss of focus seems more likely, more common with Display Fusion 4.1.0 beta 12. With the last build, beta 11, I often went nearly all day without seeing the problem, but I have seen some form of focus issue 3 or 4 times today already. Beta 11 was installed early today. Not sure all of the problems are this bug, but most of them probably are.

Now trying a new, default profile.
Jul 27, 2012  • #17
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
And this has just happened with a new profile, no addon's, I did not import my bookmarks. I did change a few firefox settings, to suit my tastes, and I opened a few tabs. I had perhaps 10 or so open when this happened.

The rate at which I am running tests and posting results today is interesting. With some beta builds of Display Fusion I have had to wait 2 or 3 days before I am sure that I have seen the problem even once. So there is definitely an effect here.
Jul 28, 2012  • #18
Keith Lammers (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Interesting thought about another program possibly being in the mix. I did find this thread about Firefox losing focus because of a recent Flash player update: http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/929688#answer-342801

Does your clean Firefox profile still have Flash installed? If so, does the issue still occur if you temporarily uninstall Flash?
Jul 31, 2012  • #19
Keith Lammers (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Could you also attach a copy of the info from the DisplayFusion Settings > Troubleshooting tab?

Thanks!
Jul 31, 2012  • #20
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
A slightly slow reply, but I have now uninstalled flash for Firefox, while flash is still installed in IE. I did briefly try a flash blocking firefox plugin while I was trying to track down this problem, but that did not fix the problem.

I am currently running Display Fusion beta 13, and will see what happens. I turned the system try icons and clock back on on the second monitor toolbar, since I was really missing them. I *may* have seen the loss of Firefox focus once so far since uninstalling flash for Firefox, but I am not certain it was really this problem, so I will keep an eye on this. If I see the problem again I will disable the system tray icons and clock one by one, and see what happens.

The about information is:

Code

Aug 6, 2012 (modified Aug 9, 2012)  • #21
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
I am a Firefox user as well, and I have the exact same problem. It doesn't seem to matter if DisplayFusion is running or not. Sometimes when I visit a page with Flash content, another window flashes up and steals focus. I have always assumed it is the Flash container process doing something, but I may be wrong.
Aug 9, 2012  • #22
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
Interesting, especially since for me different versions of Display Fusion have an effect. Of course effect does not mean Display Fusion is actually causing the problem.

I have now been running without flash in Firefox for 4 days now, and I have only seen one blip, which I mentioned in my last post. I have been running Display Fusion beta 14 for 2 or 3 days now, and no problems since installing beta 14.

Another day or two, and I will reinstall flash for Firefox and see what happens. Having to pull up a separate web browser just for flash sites is not ideal, but I can cope for now
Aug 11, 2012  • #23
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
A quick update, I reinstalled flash for Firefox a couple of hours ago, so I will now wait and see what effect, if any, this has. There has been no real focus problem since removing flash. If the focus problem comes back I will have a go at different builds of display fusion again, since it is something I can try.
Aug 13, 2012  • #24
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
Well that was unexpected! Within an hour of rolling back to DisplayFusion 4.0.1 I have had this problem twice more.

So despite all of my careful tests, and the fact that last time I changed the version of DisplayFusion the problem went away, changing the version of DisplayFusion is not helping any more.

Sorry for bringing this up here, it now looks like DisplayFusion is off the hook, and this is purely down to flash and Firefox. The joy and happiness of tracking down intermittent problems.
Aug 13, 2012  • #25
Keith Lammers (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
No worries Colin! Glad to hear it's not DisplayFusion, but sorry to hear that you're still having the issues
Aug 13, 2012  • #26
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Colin2
35 discussion posts
Off to try the fix given here, for editing one of the flash config files, in case anyone else ends up here with the same problem:

http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/929688#answer-342801
Aug 13, 2012  • #27
Jon Tackabury (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Thank you so much for the link! This has been driving me absolutely crazy for months now!
Aug 14, 2012  • #28
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