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Drop Down Menu Focus Problem in Windows 7

    Question

  • Hi all,

    I do PC support in a company, and I have had many people report this problem to me (and I've experienced it myself). I haven't given it much thought b/c it's mainly an annoyance, but I've had enough complaints that I thought I'd look into. After some Googling I haven't been able to find any answers yet. Has anyone seen this issue & does anyone have ideas on what's causing it & how to fix it?

    Problem: When clicking on a drop down menu to see the contents of the menu, focus is lost on the menu, the menu closes, and sometimes the window focus is even lost. This happens in a variety of different applications, including Word, PowerPoint, and SQL Server Management Studio.

    Example: Open Word. Save the file. In the "Save As..." dialog box, click the down arrown on the address bar to select a new folder, the drop down menu opens and then immediately closes & focus on the menu is lost.

    Thanks,

    Andrew

    Wednesday, November 09, 2011 4:38 PM

All replies

  • Hi Andrew,

     

    I think the issue is mostly caused by third party software affecting. When the issue occurs, please close all other running applications in the background. If the issue occurs without any other application running, you can test it in clean boot.

     

    Meanwhile, please update all possible devices driver from manufacture manually.

     

    Best Regards,

    Niki


    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Friday, November 11, 2011 9:15 AM
    Moderator
  • I tried closing all other applications & then the clean boot. I could still re-produce the issue in both cases.

    Here's a recording of me clicking drop-down menus in the Word 2010 Save As dialog box: http://www.askesis.com/swf/dropdown/drop%20down%20issue.html

    Any more thoughts?

    Friday, November 11, 2011 6:58 PM
  • Hi,

     

    Does the issue occurs on other application such as Internet Explorer address bar drop down menu? How about changing another keyboard? If it is a laptop, please turn off the touchpad. Or you can create a new user account for a test.

     

    Best Regards,

    Niki


    Please remember to click "Mark as Answer" on the post that helps you, and to click "Unmark as Answer" if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Monday, November 14, 2011 10:02 AM
    Moderator
  • I have not seen this in IE, but I've definitely seen it in other MS Office applications and in SQL Server Management Studio.

    I'm not sure why the keyboard would matter, but I just tried another one and can still re-produce the issue.

    It is not a laptop, it is a desktop. And it is seen on many machine as many different users logged in.

    Any other ideas?

    Monday, November 14, 2011 9:59 PM
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sure looks as though the entire dialog is disappearing and refreshing in the cases where you're losing focus.  I see that the Word icon is moving around on the Taskbar too, and doubling up sometimes, implying something else is starting.

    This issue does not occur on a clean Windows 7 installation, so SOMETHING you have running - your anti-malware software, a handy tool everyone uses, or maybe even the display driver suite - is causing the problem.

    I maintain several different Windows 7 systems and I've never seen this issue, though to be fair I don't have Office 2010 (and I guess I'm glad I don't at this point).

    Your task is to isolate what's common on the systems that it's happening on, and not on the systems it's not happening on.

    Also, I'd have a look at shell extensions installed on an affected system using Autoruns or maybe ShellExView.

    -Noel

    Monday, November 14, 2011 10:55 PM
  • To clarify, the drop-down doesn't refresh on its own. That's me clicking again to see the drop-down.

    You're probably right that it's some extension or application running. Unfortunately most our PCs are imaged the same so they all have the most of the same apps running. Since it's just an annoyance I may just leave it alone, but thanks for the responses.

     

    Monday, November 14, 2011 11:52 PM
  • No, what I mean is that when you're clicking the drop-down, occasionally the entire dialog disappears and I can see the entire Word window from behind it.  Perhaps that's Word jumping into the front, but under no condition should you expect that the dialog would disappear entirely - even for an instant.

    -Noel

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 6:58 AM
  • I noticed the taskbar icon moving too: Something else is starting up.  Try either process monitor or just plain old Task Manager, keep the window where you can see it (make the save dialog smaller), and watch to see what process or program starts.  (In fact, it probably is a Program, not a Process - if it were only a process, an icon probably wouldn't be trying to make itself visible on the taskbar - that might make it easier to spot).

    In conjunction, make a mental note of the exact system time when you hit the button, then check Event Viewer for any events at that time.  (The desktop gadgets clock could help here, a way to have the clock open and visible at the same time you're clicking)

    For the heck of it, operate the Save As dialog via keyboard shortcuts:  (alt-n to position focus to the filename, alt-d to position to the address bar (top menu), and alt-DownArrow to activate the pulldown while on either of the two pulldown lists. Just to isolate a possible mouse driver issue.

    Is that other icon BitLocker?  Just curious. 

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 1:27 PM
  • Thanks, these are great suggestions to try.

    Is that other icon BitLocker?  Just curious. 

    We do have BitLocker running on all machines. Do you think it could be that? I can't see the icon appear though, it just looks like a blank window that opens and closes really fast.

    The red icon next to Word is Camtasia which is recording the video.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 1:34 PM
  • No, what I mean is that when you're clicking the drop-down, occasionally the entire dialog disappears and I can see the entire Word window from behind it.  Perhaps that's Word jumping into the front, but under no condition should you expect that the dialog would disappear entirely - even for an instant.

    -Noel


    Yes that's correct. It's not showing in the recording, but there's been a few times that I've seen the window with the drop-down menu move completely to the background and some other window takes focus.
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 1:34 PM
  • We do have BitLocker running on all machines. Do you think it could be that?

    No, not necessarily, I didn't mean to imply that I had any reason to blame BitLocker... I couldn't make out the icon or what it was and it looked like a giant keyhole, which made me think Lockers, which made me think BitLocker.. ;-)

    Thanks to an MVP off in another post, I had wound up identifying something by scrutinizing the output of ProcMon, watching each and every registry action.  It can be slow going, there are thousands of items to watch, but in my case it was something easy, I began by scrutinizing "missing registry entries" and that helped pinpoint my situation.   (Not every situation is that easy to spot, though).

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 2:47 PM
  • Yea ProcMon is a great tool, but tons of data. I just tried using it to narrow down what could be causing the problem by stopping 1 service at a time & then seeing if I could reproduce the problem still. I managed to stop everything that was running when clicking the drop-down until just WINWORD.EXE and EXPLORER.EXE were showing up in ProcMon. (I am ignoring some Windows processes like SVCHOST.EXE) So those are the only 2 left & it's still happening.. oh well I don't think I'm going to get much further here.

    The only think that looks worth noting is that EXPLORER.EXE is trying to query and set values here:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\UserAssist\{CEBFF5CD-ACE2-4F4F-9178-9926F41749EA}\Count

    Does anybody know more about the "Count" values & if that could be causing this issue?

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 3:09 PM
  • Here are the keys: http://img703.imageshack.us/img703/3109/procmoncapdropdown.jpg

    Unencrypted, I think these are WINWORD.EXE, Procmon64.exe, and something called ueme_ctlsession.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 3:15 PM