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Monday, September 26, 2005

Windows: window focus changing with mouse over

I don't normally use Windows, so it's rare for me to post tips on it. However, a friend of mine figured out a way to make my Windows experience a bit more like my Linux experience (well, the way I have it set up anyway).

Rather than clicking a window to bring it into focus, you can hack the registry to have a the position of the mouse cursor change the focus of a window. That is, the window your mouse cursor is hovering over will become the one in focus.

I'll let my friend explain how to do it:

19:19 <@wabz> wohooo
19:19 <@wabz> windows has the feature, its just not in control panel
19:20 <@wabz> if you want to do it, add 0x0001 to userpreferencesmask in hkcu\control panel\desktop

So if your UserPreferencesMask is b0 32 05 80 just change it to b1 32 05 80. If you don't much like registry editing, you can download the TweakUI powertoy and enable the "Activation follows mouse (X-Mouse)" option.

8 comments:

John said...

Also to have the window come to the top you need to change 0X0100 on first 4 bits, thus B0 becomes F1.

To set a delay set ActiveWndTrkTimeout

for 500 ms use 1f4

That is using the registry editor.

arraval said...

Hello,

I am also a linux style fan. But unfortunately now working on a windows system.

I will like to make the change to the registry but what i get is different from what you have in your blog.

This is what i have:
0000 9e 3e 07 80 .>..

How can I change it?

thanks

CamiloSan said...

It doesn't work for me. Running Vista SP1.

arraval, you have to increment the number by '1'

You're at 9E. The next number would be 9F.
example:
9C, 9D, 9E, 9F...

I also had 9E. I went to 9F and restarted to no avail.

CamiloSan said...

this hack and TweakUI are for XP only. For Vista, check this link:
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/switch-windows-by-hovering-the-mouse-over-a-window-in-windows-vista/

Also, those instructions are wrong, you have to search for "ease of access" or navigate via control panel to get the control you're looking for.

It still doesn't work like linux though. It doesn't just set focus, it will bring the window to the front. I find that really annoying.

Oleg said...

HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop.

REG_BINARY - UserPreferencesMask,

* 0х00000001. focus
* 0х00000040. Focus+active on top

HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop.
REG_DWORD - ActiveWndTrkTimeout *0

Anonymous said...

HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop.

REG_BINARY - UserPreferencesMask,

* 0х00000001. focus
* 0х00000040. Focus+active on top

HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop.
REG_DWORD - ActiveWndTrkTimeout *0

Marc said...

Thank you CamiloSan!!!! Thats what I needed! It was in the "ease of access" all the time!!!

Anonymous said...

yea same for Windows 7, just look in control panel, ease of access, "change how the mouse works" ... its a checkbox option in there