When I switch to a desktop that has the hangouts "window" on it, it steals the focus.

Steps to repeat: * Desktop 1 has a terminal and the hangouts window * Type in the terminal * Switch to desktop 2 (using CTRL+ALT+RightArrow) * Switch back to desktop 1 * Continue typing in the terminal

Outcome: Nothing happens in the terminal because your focus is on hangouts (as visible in the desktop title bar)

Expected: The terminal keeps focus

This is just one example (switching desktops) but there seems to be lots of different ways in which hangouts steals focus.

It's not a traditional window so I don't see options to disable "always on top" if that's what's happening.

This is the hangouts "window" I'm referring to:

enter image description here


The 'Always on top' behavior can be toggled in the settings for the hangouts app itself. Click on the gear icon to get to the settings menu.

hangouts settings

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    I can't seem to find settings that look like your screenshot. Is this for the Hangouts Chrome Extensions or am I using something different? – Michael Martin-Smucker Mar 28 '15 at 19:08
  • Ah yup, looks like I was using the older Hangouts app, which suffers from the same issue, but hides its settings in a different place. – Michael Martin-Smucker Mar 28 '15 at 19:11

This is happening because Hangouts is set to "Always on Top".

Unfortunately, this "window" is stripped down and has no title bar to right click on, nor does it have options in the menu bar. So we need to revert to the command-line and wmctrl. Open a terminal and enter:

wmctrl -r Hangouts -b remove,above

Another option is to use the "Alt + Space" keyboard shortcut which will show the window menu.

| improve this answer | |

This did also hit me. It looks like it steels the focus when it moves with your view to the active desktop. I disabled it and the problem is gone:

Hangouts App options page

This options page is hidden behind the menu button (three stripes) next to your name.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.