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An application on my Mac seems to want to take focus away roughly every 4-5 minutes. I hate to complain, but it is quite distracting and rather irritating. If I am in the middle of typing and not paying attention my keystrokes will be lost, and I have to click on the active window to regain focus.

Unfortunately I do not know what process is causing this. Whatever it is does not change the name of the current window process. For example, while typing this, I will lose focus on Google Chrome, but the menu will remain Chrome. The active window simply loses focus, inexplicably.

I would like to know how to detect what this process is that is taking focus.

I have considered a polling of the currently focused window with something like:

$ watch currentWindowFocusedName

Unfortunately, I do not know of a currentWindowFocused command, but it's where my thoughts start.

I have eliminated all open applications yet the issue persists, so I imagine it must be a background process of some sort, but I have 177 of those and I am not sure which ones can be safely closed.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

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  • If it happens every 4-5 minutes, I would recommend creating a test user account on the Mac and working for a bit under that account. If it does NOT happen, compare the processes in each user's Activity Monitor list. If it DOES happen, then it is probably a system-wide process, not a user process. Hopefully that can at least be a starting point.
    – bispymusic
    Commented Mar 2, 2013 at 20:23
  • @bispymusic: Great call. I did something like this - slowly eliminating groups of processes. Alas, I was too impatient to identify the offender. :) Commented Mar 2, 2013 at 22:01

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