Losing Focus in XFCE

One of the annoying things about a default XFCE install is really easy to fix.  Changing window focus when scrolling is easy to shut off.

March 22, 2013

When GNOME3 came out, and Unity for that matter, I was lost.  They were both so radically different from what I was used to, which was GNOME2, so I switched to XFCE and customized it enough to feel familiar.  I gave Unity and GNOME3 a serious try for about a month around Christmas 2011, and just got done another couple month run last week (mid-March 2013) yet have found myself back on XFCE.

But one of the things that drives me crazy is the focus getting switched when I scroll over a window.  Often when I’m working on a website I’ll have Geany and Firefox windows open.  As I’m writing or browsing in one window, I like to be able to scroll in the window that’s in the background.  The problem with XFCE is that scrolling over that window brings it to the foreground.

This has been an extended fit of idiocy for me, as I found a solution that’s been in front of me for I have no idea how long.

To fix this problem, go into the XFCE menu and head to System.  Hit Window Manager Tweaks, and get into the Accessibility tab.  Uncheck the “Raise windows when any mouse button is pressed” box, and you’re golden.

4 responses to “Losing Focus in XFCE”

  1. Pablo says:

    Just wanted to let you know this is still helping people. Thank you!

  2. Craig says:

    Awesome Pablo. I must admit, I’m kind of wavering back and forth between Mint (with Cinnamon) and Xubuntu. Can’t decide which one I like best, but they each have their little snafoos like this.

  3. zoechi says:

    Currently for me windows even lose focus when I scroll the window using the mouse wheel that currently has the focus.
    When I write in Intellij editor and move the mouse wheel a bit, I have to click into the editor again to be able to write.
    That also happens in other windows (Chrome, …)

    • Craig says:

      I haven’t tested in Chrome or Intellij, but it’s fine in Chromium, which seems strange. I’m having a whole different problem with my trackpad though — it ceases to work after I’ve had a USB mouse plugged and shut/repoen the laptop lid a few times…
      I’m about to ditch XFCE in favor of LXDE (because I’m thinking of joining the docs team over there) but I’ll see if I can replicate it on this end and see what’s shaking before I switch.

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