keeping IE from being in charge
March 24, 2006 2:58 PM   Subscribe

you know how you're sometimes forced to use internet explorer? and you know how sometimes you open a second window while waiting for Window #1 to load? and then when Window #1 is done loading, it automatically pops in front of Window #2 which you're now happily reading? is there anyway to prevent Window #1 from popping forward?
posted by crush-onastick to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
tweakui don't steal focus.
posted by orthogonality at 3:47 PM on March 24, 2006

Piggybacking the question: Is there anyway to get Camino to stop doing this on the mac?
posted by Popular Ethics at 3:53 PM on March 24, 2006

One alternative to being forced to use IE would be the IE extension for Firefox. It enables you to specify certain websites to open in IE window within firefox. It's pretty cool - I use to it to view my compaby's (IE-only) intranet... seems to work perfectly. This could be a nice workaround for you...
posted by Mave_80 at 4:01 PM on March 24, 2006

Or, as a lot of "IE only" websites aren't really, they just think they are, the FireFox User-Agent Switcher.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 4:10 PM on March 24, 2006

Response by poster: what i mean by "forced" is: it's the only thing installed on the Uni computers and i can't put firefox on instead, although that IE extension is great news to me!

also: orthogonality, can you translate your answer into "idiotwithacomputer"speak?
posted by crush-onastick at 4:19 PM on March 24, 2006

Tweak UI has a setting that stops apps from stealing focus in the manner you've described. However, if you don't even have permission to install Firefox, then no, you probably also lack access to the kind of admin controls that can stop this from happening.
posted by ChasFile at 4:46 PM on March 24, 2006

Could we possibly make this a "how to stop this behavior with any browser" question? With Safari on a Mac, gmail (for example) forces itself to the front when it's done loading. Very annoying. So do many Amazon pages. I'll be clicking on a link in metafilter, but then gmail will pop its tab forward and I'm clicking on some random message. What web designers think users want this? I can't believe google, of all companies, thinks this is acceptable.
posted by jdroth at 5:07 PM on March 24, 2006

Warning. Be careful when mucking with the registry. If you're on a corporate box, you may need to re-do this each time you log it.

1. Go to the Windows Start menu -> Run -> enter “regedit” and click OK
2. Open HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Control Panel/Desktop
3. Edit ForegroundLockTimeout, set the value to an insanely high limit, like 1312d00 (decimal 20000000)

ForegroundLockTimeout is the amount of time (in milliseconds) Windows will wait before letting an application steal focus. 20,000 seconds seems long enough for most people’s needs.
posted by orthogonality at 5:38 PM on March 24, 2006

regedit is usually one of the things locked down by the net nazis on a corporate box. Firefox can usually still be installed as it does not hook into the registry. Installation is just unpacking the files and creating a profile.
posted by caddis at 7:41 PM on March 24, 2006

With Safari on a Mac, gmail (for example) forces itself to the front when it's done loading

Gmail does this to me, as well, and I use Opera on a PC. I can't open some emails as well - some I can, most I can't. It's very strange.
posted by malpractice at 12:41 PM on March 25, 2006

All TweakUI does is set that value to 200,000 (you can enter the value in decimal in regedit by selecting the decimal radaio button), which orthogonality demonstrates- you don't need to put 20,000 seconds in there, though. :) If regedit is disabled, you can still change it by copy/pasting this at a command line or even the start/run line:
reg add "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop" /v ForegroundLockTimeout /t REG_DWORD /d 0x00030d40 /f
It's possible this won't work, but who thinks to disable the reg program? It'd have to be a pretty locked down desktop environment to not even allow this- in which case, you probably aren't browsing or doing much else on that box either.
posted by hincandenza at 3:46 PM on March 25, 2006

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