Application windows disappear when switching or opening applications
December 25, 2007 9:04 AM   Subscribe

OSX troubles - whenever I open or switch applications, all other open application windows disappear. How do I fix this?

I'm on OSX 10.4.11, and an Intel MacBook.

Whenever I have applications running, whenever I switch applications (either through cmd-tab, clicking on the dock or through Quicksilver) all currently open application windows disappear, rather than moving behind the application in focus. cmd-H (hide) has also stopped working - I can no longer hide applications by choice (it just happens whenever I open or switch). Also, the menu that pops up when I cmd-tab occasionally fails to register an app - e.g., I'll have Mail, Safari and Terminal open. I'll cmd-tab and Mail won't show up. Or occasionally Finder.

The only change I can recall making recently is installing Visor. However, I've since removed Visor (and SIMBL), and the problem persists. I've run Onyx and Cocktail (restoring permissions and cleaning caches etc.), to no avail.

Can anyone help? I just want my regular OSX back...
posted by djgh to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Can you tell us what's in /Library/InputManagers and /Users/[you]/Library/InputManagers?
posted by sbutler at 10:12 AM on December 25, 2007

Nothing in either ( ~/Library/InputManagers doesn't exist - I deleted it when I got rid of SIMBL).

Also, another account on the same MacBook is fine, so I guess it must be user-specific.

Thirdly, looked at this, and the only 3rd party stuff is DivX, Version Cue, MySQL and GeekTool, the latter I have uninstalled using the uninstaller to no effect.

Finally, I've also noticed that when quitting programs often the menu bar (at the top, don't know if that's the exact technical term) takes it's time changing (e.g. if I quit Mail, it takes a while before it says Apple Logo, Finder, File etc. rather than Logo, Mail, File etc.).
posted by djgh at 10:25 AM on December 25, 2007

Also, the windows don't show up in Expose even when the apps are running.
posted by djgh at 10:28 AM on December 25, 2007

Sounds like you might have enabled the old Single Application Mode. The feature never made it out of the OS X Public Beta and into production, but there are a number of 3rd party apps that will enable it for you.

Might you have at some point installed
LiteSwitch X
Mac Pilot
Transparent Dock
Application Wizard
etc. ?
posted by mumkin at 10:28 AM on December 25, 2007

None of the above.

I'm still Googling about and going through Apple Discussions, so apologies if my updates as to what I've tried etc. are piecemeal.

This didn't work as there was no single-app default (which sounds like it's related to what you thought it was).
posted by djgh at 10:31 AM on December 25, 2007

For the above link, put an ampersand and a hash between the 51 and 40 of the number at the end. MeFi seems to strip them out.

On preview - and strip out my HTML character entities for ampersand and remove the hash...
posted by djgh at 10:34 AM on December 25, 2007

When I used Qs, I know there was a "Hide other Applications when switching" option somewhere in the Qs prefs. Could it be that?
posted by Utilitaritron at 12:08 PM on December 25, 2007

Qs = Quicksilver
posted by Utilitaritron at 12:08 PM on December 25, 2007

Utilitaritron, thank you!

I'd just removed various .plist files from Prefs and everything, so I'm kicking myself that it's something that's just a checkbox somewhere.

Once again, thank you!
posted by djgh at 12:13 PM on December 25, 2007

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