Windows 7 and Vista mouse focus on window without raising the window

This is a short guide on how to get Windows 7 and Windows Vista to follow mouse focus without raising the window on top of the other. Very useful when you have many windows on your desktop and want to quickly chose what window to type in. Clicking a window to be able to type, takes to much time IMHO.

Start regedit and go to:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]
For full X-Mouse, add +41h to the first number stored in binary key “UserPreferencesMask”.
If you only want “focus follows mouse,” add +1h.


For example, the value for my registry hex key was “9E 3E 07 80 12 00 00 00″
I edited it to “9F 3E 07 80 12 00 00 00″ to get “focus follows mouse”
If I had wanted full X-Mouse, I’d have edited it to “D9 3E 07 80 12 00 00 00″

You can use the built in windows calculator if you like. In my case I would use 9E + 1 = 9F. Picture shows windows 7 calculator with programmer mode.



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25 Responses to Windows 7 and Vista mouse focus on window without raising the window

  1. John says:

    Have you noticed that activating Windows 7 for focus follows mouse messes up alt tab as well as the task bar?

    It seems now the windows don’t consistently come to the foreground when alt-tabbing or clicking the taskbar.

  2. Jim says:

    Just wanted to say Thanks! Haven’t tried it for long, but can’t stand click for focus.

  3. lucifer says:

    Noticed the same thing as john.

    Pretty annoying. Can’t change volume or pin/unpin things to taskbar. The moment I move the mouse to the floating menus, they dissapear.

  4. lucifer says:

    What is “full X-Mouse” anyways?

  5. Jim says:

    Still want to say thanks (and have used this in windows xp successfully) but I have to followup that the focus following mouse does cause the task bar to work incorrectly (cannot right click and then get options)…. any solutions?


  6. Jim says:

    10 seconds later…

    in the control panel -> ease of access -> ease of access center -> make the mouse easier to use, there is an option (activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse). This some what gives the feel of focus follows mouse, but sadly also pops the window up (can’t M$ get it right?).

    I’ll let you know if I find any other solution.


  7. Jim says:

    hi All,

    I found this:

    which follows the same advice given here, but adds a change to ActiveWndTrkTimeout.

    I’ve tested it and (so far) it works for me.


  8. Drew says:

    Thanks, Jim, for that link… ActiveWndTrkTimeout is in milliseconds, so I found the suggested 150 simply too sluggish. I currently have mine set to 25, and it’s solved most of my taskbar issues while still transferring focus between windows near-instantly.


  9. David says:

    I had the same problem. I had set the registry with Vista on my old machine. After setting up Win 7, I used the MS WET to transfer all my files and settings. It moved this X-mouse function too and I found the same troubles you’ve had with the task bar. There are a few ‘work arounds’. After clicking an item in the system tray, try pressing ‘tab’ before moving your mouse to change the volume or whatever. I also found that for ‘more icons’, after clicking the sys tray button once, click and hold the mouse button again. I doesn’t work with other icons since doing so will move them out of the sys tray.

  10. iyam leQ says:


    ii eas able to get my xmouse , my full xmouse (which is indicated by actualy moving the window with the focus to the foreground as opposed to leaving it in the z order it was when you put th the mo on it. ii prefer it that way.

    on another note, regarding the mojse;.l is there a way of keeping the mouse from moving all over the screen when tuyping? i’ve tried hiding the mouse while typing, but it doesn’t help matters with this issue.l the mouse still floats all over the screen. even onto other dinows, thereby moving the focus to those windows. it’s really annoying. anyone?

  11. Has anyone else experienced the condition where a clean-installed Windows 7 will lose the xmouse setting when the system is connected to via RDP (Remote Desktop)? See for a detailed description of what I’ve experienced.

  12. vcx says:

    Another way is to just put the following lines in a file with a .reg extension. Save it and finally right click on it and select “merge”.

    –start below this line–
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    ; Changed 9e to 9f below to get focus follows mouse

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]

    –end above this line–

  13. Gil says:

    I figured out how to solve the taskbar issues caused by the change that many people are experiencing. For some reason, at least on 64-bit versions of windows 7, the DWORD registry key in [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop] is titled “ActiveWndTrackTimeout”. This key appears to do absolutely nothing in terms of actually delaying the window activation.

    Instead, right click –> new –> DWORD (32 bit) Value. Name this key “ActiveWndTrkTimeout” (I think caps matter). Change this value to something reasonable (anywhere between 125 and 250 works well). This value actually delays window activation! (the decimal value is the delay in milliseconds)

    This will correct issues such as the inability to access the right click context menu on program icons in the taskbar or change volume when a window is in the background. It also delays certain programs such as Photoshop and MPC Home Cinema which for some reason jump to foreground even when that feature is not activated, so that they do not instantly rise and you can reach other windows behind them.

  14. Alan says:

    Doesn’t work.
    It countinues raising the windows

  15. Cecil says:

    Here is a simple program which will do the trick for you.
    The web site is in Japanese, but you can just grab the program which is written in English.

  16. Arkise says:

    Very nice tips, but I was wondering if it is possible to just disable the “raise on click” (making the raising to happen only if I click on the top of the window)
    Any sugestions?

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