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No longer a good experience

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Circuit Daemon
4 discussion posts
Hello everyone,

Just to give some context, I started using DisplayFusion since Windows 7 came out (actually used it to replace UltraMon due to the lack of updates) and since then I never looked for an alternative. The taskbar functionality alone was great and all the other additions only made it better. As with any software, there were some hickups every now and then but nothing too bad or even enough for me to care due to the benefits in productivity I experienced. Back then, it was purchased for several engineers in a company I worked for due to my recommendation and we all loved it.

Fast forward a few years, I no longer work there and I just happened to buy a new computer last year that came with Windows 11. I decided to stick to it as I liked the experience in general. Then I decided I needed more monitors and that's when I bought my own DF license. I knew that because W11 had just been released (I got my computer in November) it would take a while for DP to release a compatible version so I didn't mind the bugs at first. Then they released a beta meant for W11 in December and it seems like it's been the definitive version since.

Now, I won't say the software doesn't work. It does most of the time. However, in all the years I've used it, this is the first time that I've found it to be so unstable. I mostly use it for the custom taskbar and a single shortcut to move windows to the next monitor. That's it. No wallpaper stuff, no screensaver settings, nothing else. That's been the same since I first started using it because that's all I care about. I keep my computer on for days at a time as I usually need to keep stuff running even when I'm not around and it takes a long time to get everything I work on up and running again every time I do a system restart. As someone in IT, I know one of the first recommendations is to do a restart every now and then, but I also know the circumstances under which that applies or it doesn't. But just hear me out, even when I'm not working and I'm only using the computer for casual stuff, every now and then DP will start acting up. It can be that it sort of crashes (but it's still running in the background), secondary taskbars stop being on top and apps will maximize over them, opening the start menu or the whatever it's now called menu that pops out when clicking the clock (notifications/quick settings menu?) will appear on the main screen instead of the one where you click on, if something changes the monitor's resolution, the secondary taskbar clocks will resize and stay the wrong size, etc...

I know these are bugs that I could open a ticket for every time I encounter them, and I'm not saying the DP team don't respond, I'm honestly wondering if other people are having such an unstable experience in general. I still love this software and I also have a feeling that it's partially Microsoft and W11 to blame here, but I haven't seen any official comment from Binary Fortress to explain that. I guess this sort of turned into a personal rant, but I'm trying to be objective and express that what was once a very stable product with frequent updates and a great experience, has become the opposite since I started using it in W11.

Has anyone else been experiencing this kind of thing?
Sep 6, 2022  • #1
Owen Muhlethaler (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Sorry to hear about the troubles you've been having! Windows 11 has definitely been a big project for us to take on due to all the changes it made, especially with the taskbar. We are continuing to collect a list of issues and work through them though.

The issue with windows dropping behind your taskbar should be fixed up in our latest beta (unless you're running Start11 as well, that's a separate issue) available here: https://www.displayfusion.com/Download/Beta/. We've fixed up some menu constraining in those betas as well.

DisplayFusion uses "system fonts" from Windows, which don't get updated after a scaling change until you've signed out, and back in to Windows. Doing so should fix up the clock text.

What kind of issues are you running into when it crashes, but still runs in the background?

Thanks!
Sep 7, 2022  • #2
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Circuit Daemon
4 discussion posts
Thank you for the response Owen, from what it ways it seems like you're working on the kind of behavior I'm seeing and that alone helps a lot. At least I now know the company is still working on improving the product. Some updates on what you're working on every now and then would be great, though.

Every now and then, all the secondary taskbars will disappear like if I manually disabled them. My apps won't maximize over the now missing taskbar space so it seems like Windows still thinks there's something there but it's completely transparent as I can see the wallpaper. The icon in the notification area will still be there but double clicking or right clicking on it does nothing, I have to either restart the computer or end the process from the task manager. If I launch it again after that, everything loads fine. I'm not using any other apps to modify the taskbar behavior. If it's relevant in any way, the only sort of system modification I have is PowerToys from Microsoft for "Run" and "Awake".

Something else I just noticed which isn't a big deal and I believe it's always been like that is that when I pin an app shortcut in a secondary taskbar and the app gets updated, the pinned icon will no longer act as the app's active button. If I click it, the app will launch but it will create a new button for it and stay sort of greyed out like I didn't launch it in the first place. So what I've done so far is I'll pin the updated app to the taskbar and remove the old pin. My guess is that pins are using some method to identify the process that's not only their path and every update they get detected as a different app regardless of whether they are in the same location.

Again, thank you for your response. I really like the product, I was just feeling like it was getting forgotten just like it happened to UltraMon.
Sep 7, 2022  • #3
Owen Muhlethaler (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Could you send me over a debug log for the crashing? Here are the steps:

  • On the DisplayFusion Settings > Troubleshooting tab, change the Logging drop-down to "L1: Log Minimal" and click Apply
  • Reproduce the issue (or wait for it to happen again) and note the time so we'll know where to check in the log file
  • Click the "Export Info to File" button on the Settings > Troubleshooting tab
  • Reply with the file attached
  • Disable debug logging after sending the log

Do those apps have the version number in the file path? This can happen if the app gets updated and the version changes, so the file path is different. Currently our work around is to re-pin the app when it's updated, but we have this on our list to look into a more permanent solution as well.

Thanks!
Sep 7, 2022  • #4
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Circuit Daemon
4 discussion posts
Again, thank you for the follow-up. I'll send the log as soon as it happens again.
About the updated apps, I've noticed it happens with Chrome, Firefox, Messenger (from Facebook), Telegram and Whatsapp. I checked all of them and they don't seem to have any version numbers in their paths except for Whatsapp so there must be something else that's causing DP to detect them as a different app:
Facebook Messenger:
\AppData\Local\Programs\Messenger\Messenger.exe
Whatsapp:
\AppData\Local\WhatsApp\WhatsApp.exe
(This one does have a version folder with another executable in it, however, the shortcut points towards the path I wrote above and not the version specific that looks like this: \AppData\Local\WhatsApp\app-2.2232.8)
Chrome:
C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe
Firefox:
C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\Firefox.exe
Telegram:
AppData\Roaming\Telegram Desktop\Telegram.exe
So out of all of them, the only one I'd think would have this behavior is Whatsapp but not the rest.
Sep 7, 2022 (modified Sep 7, 2022)  • #5
Owen Muhlethaler (BFS)'s profile on WallpaperFusion.com
Yeah that definitely wouldn't be happening with browser windows. Could you send me over 2 copies of your troubleshooting info, one when the apps launch correctly and another when it's updated and starts creating a second button? I'll attach the steps below:

  • Open the Settings > Troubleshooting tab
  • Click the "Export Info to File" button
  • Reply with the file attached

Thanks!
Sep 8, 2022  • #6
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