Windows Foreground Timeout

The Windows Foreground Timeout feature in Windows operating systems is enabled by default and is basically used to prevent other applications from focusing or changing the order of windows on a system without direct user interaction unless the application has been accessed within a set period of time. In other words, another application tried to pop up on the desktop, but Windows prevented it from doing so because it thinks the user would be interrupted if it allowed it to proceed. Whenever you've seen a window title entry in the Task Bar blinking, that is Windows Foreground Timeout in action.

In an AutoMate environment, this feature can be problematic because it can prevent AutoMate from properly focusing specific windows when using the 'Focus Window' or similar window related actions. For instance, if you run a task that is set to focus a window quickly after it sends keystrokes to another, Windows will prevent the window from focusing, eventually failing the task and generating errors such as "The system cannot find the window specified" or "Window cannot be focused."

Disabling Windows Foreground Timeout

AutoMate contains a Disable Windows Foreground timeout option in order to resolve window focusing and related problems. When this option is checked, it will set Windows Foreground Timeout to 0, effectively disabling the feature.

NOTE: Windows Foreground Timeout is a system feature. Turning this feature off from within AutoMate (or any other means) will disable Windows Foreground Timeout throughout the system.

To disable Windows Foreground Timeout:

  1. From the Task Administrator, navigate to the System menu and select Options. This opens a dialog titled Options.

  2. From this dialog, select the System tab

  3. Add a check to the option titled Disable Windows Foreground timeout.

  4. Click OK to save the settings.

See Also

Window Dissection

Interacting with Java Applet Windows