Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 R2 Pop Up (Steals Focus) RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello all,

    I am in desperate need of some information/options concerning the current notification behavior of the communicator client. Depending on your settings, as you all know any new incomming messages makes a sound and flashes in the task bar. Is there any way to have the chat window "pop" to the front of the screen anytime a new message comes in; Essentially it will steal focus on the screen coming in front of all other apps?

    Preferably we want the ability to turn this on/off depending on the clients choosing. I've searched this extensively and have had no luck. Everything leads to us developing our own API and I was hoping there might be an easier way to accomplish this.

    Unfortunately we've reached a crossroad in our deployment and if we can't provide this functionality we will have to revert back to our old less desirable product.

    Many thanks for any replies.
    Monday, October 26, 2009 6:42 PM

All replies

  • There is no native functionality for that; you'd have to develop that behavior yourself.
    Jeff Schertz, PointBridge | MVP | MCITP: Enterprise Messaging | MCTS: OCS
    • Proposed as answer by Hany Taha Friday, November 25, 2011 11:26 PM
    Sunday, November 1, 2009 1:30 PM
  • Thanks for your response Jeff. Have you heard anything about Microsoft adding this functionality into a later release? It would be perfect if it was a check box option for clients.
    Monday, November 2, 2009 2:34 PM
  • Having recently converted from Lotus Sametime where they have this functionality I must admit I really miss it. It would be a good enhancement.
    Wednesday, December 2, 2009 3:14 PM
  • Seems like a year later now and there is still no native functionality to have the new window pop up.  =/
    Friday, December 3, 2010 10:24 PM
  • I have to say that this is an incredible drawback to this product. On a regular basis my boss sends me OC messages and I miss them because they just stay down on the task bar and don't give me any indication that they came in. This is NOT a good thing! I am used to other chat clients that actually have a clue about notifying the user that a chat message came in!

    I mean, think about it. Here's what the meeting at Microsoft must have went like...

    Employee 1: I have a great idea for a chat application! It'll be incredibly useful in the workplace since employees can just send each other quick messages instead of taking the time to get up and talk to one another or use the phone.

    Employee 2: Yea, that'd be awesome. Let's gear it towards businesses and make it integrate with Exchange/Outlook.

    Boss: Oh, great idea guys! I have a feature too! Let's make it so that when you send someone a message, it DOESN'T show the chat window! It would be GREAT! We'll just make it stay minimized... hiding down on the task bar. We'll make it flash once (or something), but other than that it won't give ANY visual clue that someone sent the person a chat!

    Employee 1: Yea, yea... that way we'll have bosses thinking their employee are ignoring them, forcing them to take time to call their employees instead, and people will think their friends hate them because they aren't responding to chats! This will be the best business chat application ever!

    Oh, come on Microsoft... get a clue. When a new message shows up... you think, just maybe, someone might actually want to see that window?!?!?! And how long has this been an issue now?!?! You really need to fix this ASAP. It's causing a lot of heartache for folks!

    Nathon Dalton
    Software Developer
    Systems Administrator
    Network Administrator
    Blog: http://nathondalton.wordpress.com
    Tuesday, March 8, 2011 6:45 PM
  • You know it takes a LOT for me to actually post something on a public forum, but the lack of this functionality is really annoying! I can't tell you how many messages I have gotten 4 hours later from important people at work. All they need to do is make the message come to front and this would no longer be an issue. How they missed this really surprised me. I bet Apple would have got it right the first time. :)
    Thursday, April 14, 2011 7:38 PM
  • I have experienced the problem of missing incoming messages due to ineffective notifications after Win7 was installed on my machine. My coworker has the same problem. As corporate employees we have no choice. We just have to get along with the software we use in the company.

    Doing some research on the internet I noticed that many people have the same feeling about the notifications of Office Communicator on Win7. People are complaining about that for more than one year now.

    Despite the repeated complaints by users all over the internet Microsoft has not reacted in any way. Why is that?

    Thursday, May 5, 2011 1:15 PM
  • Perhaps they didn't react because they didn't see the notification flash in the task bar.
    Wednesday, September 7, 2011 3:17 PM
  • LOL.  The Pop up feature actually works on Windows XP.... the issue is with Communicator and Windows 7
    Friday, September 9, 2011 3:19 PM
  • Add me to the list of people annoyed.  We also transitioned from Sametime and I tested OC on XP and approved it.   Now moved to Win7 and I have no clue when someone sends me a new message.
    Friday, September 16, 2011 6:57 PM
  • I am also looking for an answer to this.  Do we know if this function has been corrected in Lync?
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 4:43 PM
  • I spent a little while looking into this and was able to get toast style alerts working, which was enough for me.


    The trick for me was adding people manually to "Team Access".  Here are my steps:

    1. Tools->Options->Alerts->"General alerts", check "Display subject or message in conversation alerts"
    2. Tools->Options->Alerts->"When my status is Do Not Disturb", choose "Display all alerts, but only conversation alerts from people in my Team access level" **This doesn't seem necessary, as the problem I was having was NOT when I was on Do Not Disturb.
    3. View->Access Level Management, right-click on group (in my case it was "People in my company"), change level of access to "Team"

    and voila, the next message toasted.  Hope this helps.

    • Proposed as answer by Eamon Lyons Thursday, May 24, 2012 5:02 AM
    Friday, September 23, 2011 7:21 PM
  • 100% agree with you!! This drives me crazy!!
    Thursday, October 6, 2011 7:27 PM
  • If you do not group your programs (properties, Taskbar buttons, Never Group), you will receive a new flashing window in the task bar, it is just not stealing the focus. I would not want any application to steal the focus, I prefer to continue my current task before deciding to respond.
    Friday, October 7, 2011 12:29 AM
  • @jeffcsp: this issue isn't whether YOU want it to steal focus is that it would be nice to have the OPTION to have it steal focus if that was your choice. Radio Button that allows us to turn it on or off as some of us would like it to steal focus so we don't miss a conversation.

    @rdawe: I followed your steps but nothing changed. I tested with a user and we added each other to the TEAM domain level access and tested it but the same thing still happened. Only the flashing ICON in the taskbar. Did I miss a step? Do you have to quit the application then restart it or anything? And when you say toasted are you making a reference to a toaster? Bread popping up when it's toasted? Just never heard that term used before is all.

    Why hasn't micrsoft answered if this feature has been added to lync? Does anyone know if it has?

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011 4:33 PM
  • Hi,

    @Michael500 I have seen the 'toast' feature and am pretty sure its not going to satisfy you...as i am in the same boat as you.  The toast comes up and down on the taskbar for a second but is very easy to miss...iut doesnt steal focus.  You would need to be watching the screen as its a 'blink and miss it' thing.

    We really want the IM messages to appear on the users screen too..they are constantly been missed and are making the product redundant as now users know that another user will receive an email but are unsure whether a user will see an IM.

    Hopefully some solution or update will come out on this...its unbelievable that MS hasnt addressed this yet...there are tonnes of forum posts about it.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 11:56 AM
  • Maybe this will met some requests. Also has a good explanation of why bringing the conversation to the forefront breaks the MPOP piece.



    Friday, November 4, 2011 9:28 PM
  • This is not the exact same issue ... but I thought maybe asking on this thread would be handy as it has to somewhat do with the taskbar and the blinking notification.... I am ok with it not stealing focus ... but what has happened to me now is that I get the toaster pop up alert (like an incoming email) but then when that goes away then I do not get a new open window minimized blinking on my taskbar.  That would drive you guys more nuts then not stealing focus.  This way you do not even get a chance to see the chat window if you miss the alert.  And while I was marked as "away" I used to get emails saying missed conversations and the window would still be on the taskbar ... now I do not even get those either (since of course the window is not appearing)

    Has anyone seen this before ?

    I have tried reinstalling, wiping the reg keys...even now as I notice today ... if I have a chat window open that we have been using with someone else ... and they close the chat window on their PC that we were talking in, and send a new message...it does not show up in the chat window I still have open ... it will try and start a new one. 

    this totally sounds like a machine issue ... but what part :(

    • Edited by sadley Friday, February 17, 2012 2:31 PM
    Friday, February 17, 2012 2:29 PM
  • I recently was upgraded to Windows 7 and experienced the same issue.  Drove me nutty, missed several IMs....  One of the Helpdesks fella's came over and set my Theme and the desired behavior was restored.  Viola !  Hope this helps.  -Cqlboy

    Senior SQL Server DBA w/Storage Savvy

    • Proposed as answer by cimedaca1 Wednesday, July 25, 2012 8:01 PM
    Wednesday, April 4, 2012 5:59 PM
  • @ CQLBoy - Do you know what "Theme" they set you to?

    • Edited by themartinezhome Wednesday, April 4, 2012 8:57 PM Didn't direct my response
    Wednesday, April 4, 2012 8:57 PM
  • My team found an acceptable work around to the problem after we were upgraded to Windows 7. 

    ·         Right click on the task bar at the bottom of the screen

    ·         Select Properties

    ·         Under the Taskbar tab, look for the preference field for “Taskbar buttons” and select “Never Combine”. 

    The downside is that there is button for every window open in a program, but the upside is that you will see the name of each person that IMs you until you close out that conversaton.   My team just started our remote work program.  We had to find some kind of a solution that would be make it easier to see IMs when they happened and from different people. 

    Wednesday, May 2, 2012 3:26 PM
  • You can also just drag the Office Communicator icon from the group items onto the task bar and it will stay there.
    Wednesday, July 25, 2012 2:19 PM
  • changing the level of "People in my company" domain to "Team" helped, since that added the popup notifications (aka "Toast" notifications as some people call it).  I prefer if the chat was brought to the foreground, especially since i can manually toggle if a chat should "Always be on top", but MS doesn't want to do it.  Can't i toggle that a chat window should *Sometimes* be on top?  like when a new message arrives?
    • Edited by Jahbreeze Thursday, July 26, 2012 8:48 PM
    Thursday, July 26, 2012 8:47 PM
  • The geniuses at MS don't seem to be able to distinguish between stealing the focus and making the window topmost.  I have written my own notification apps that work fine under XP and NEVER steal the focus.  That would be a security risk and NO APP SHOULD EVER BE ALLOWED TO DO IT!  That said, bringing up an obvious window in my face is something I should have the option of setting up if I need that super attention-getting feature.  Windows 7 has broken my apps.  They can't be made topmost any more and they come up hidden behind the window I'm working in.  Their icon in the taskbar is the only indication they have opened.  Micro$oft's Lync program, however, steals focus every time the friggin' phone rings!  What a bunch-O-hipocrites!
    Wednesday, August 22, 2012 10:24 PM
  • AMEN!  We should be able to set the popup window behavior- bring to front or hide on taskbar, display for X seconds or display until I minimise, etc.  We are being swamped with complaints that this functionality is CRAP comapred to our older "spark" functionality that this replaced.  Bad development on Microsofts part, and they do not appear to be buding on getting this fixed.  Whats Up Bill??

    Scott Seibert

    Portland, OR

    Friday, August 24, 2012 1:39 PM
  • I was hopeful but rdawe's fix of Sep 23, 2011 didn't work for me. I'm using Windows 7.

    • Edited by gliding Wednesday, April 3, 2013 3:27 PM
    Wednesday, April 3, 2013 3:26 PM
  • I wrote a script in AutoHotKey to do this with Office Communicator.  I've released the source and the compiled executable here:


    Just put the exe in your startup folder.  One caveat – if you have an existing IM window open, and a new one comes in, nothing will happen.  You have to go from 0 IM windows to 1 IM window for this to trigger.

    I actually also did this for meeting reminders with MS Outlook, as they have that same problem.  I've put that version up there too.
    • Edited by loki980 Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:21 PM
    • Proposed as answer by loki980 Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:27 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by loki980 Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:27 PM
    Thursday, April 11, 2013 10:20 PM