Xmouse on Windows 7

Being an avid Linux user, I have come to “need” Xmouse functionality in my daily battles on the desktop (hmm.. that sounds like I could be describing something else, but I’m not).

Simply put, Xmouse lets you shift input focus from one window to another simply by moving the mouse pointer over the window to which you want to give focus, without raising the newly focused window to the top. This sounds like a lame requirement, but once you get used to it, you will realize its advantages of having to click on a window to give it input focus (or cycle through 20 windows using Alt-Tab or similar). Of course, if you’re a “single threader”, you may never have more than one window open at any given time, in which case this tip is not for you 🙂

Anyway; for Windows XP, Microsoft had a utility called “Powertoys” and “Xmouse”, where you could set this behavior. Obviously, they didn’t remove the functionality in Windows 7, they just made it harder to activate it. Why Microsoft after a zillion years of desktop and window management hasn’t made this a standard feature, configurable via the Control Panel is beyond my comprehension.

Open the Windows 7 registry by launching regedit.

go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Edit UserPreferenceMask value to be 9F 3E 07 80 12 00 00 00

Also in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop
Edit ActiveWndTrkTimeout, change ‘Base’ to Decimal and put in 25 as the ‘Value Data’
(the original post says 150 here, but 25 works much better IMHO)

Log out and back in again, and Bob’s your uncle.

Kudos for the solution found here.

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