I've only ever noticed this happening while playing a video in vlc media player. I'll have the video playing in full screen with the video's folder in the background. Without touching the mouse, keyboard, or touchpad, the background Explorer window will pop to the front, obscuring the video. I can have other apps open, but it's always an Explorer window that pops up.

AndreRet commented: Yup, mine goes awry with file explorer. +15
richards1222 commented: good. +0
Naini commented: Amazing +0

TBT, while I have a spiffy new W11 laptop I'm still migrating so I haven't seen this issue.
But I won't give you nothing. (?)

See https://i.imgur.com/1N625p5.png and look at the bottom right about "When to raise the interface". Try the other setting?

commented: Thanks, what I were looking for! +15

That looks promising. Incidentally, Daniweb shows that as a broken link, but if I click on it and select "go there anyway" it takes me to the page. Curious. I've seen this happen here before recently.

commented: I've noticed the same. I can understand if certain links is blocked but not legitimate ones... +0

I also see that a lot. Strangely enough, if I open your post and save it, it appears fixed.

commented: Problem is that if a poster do post a legitimate link, it is lost in the system as I will not open a link if not from a known member like yourselves. +15

I had this happen before, but not with VLC. It seemed randomly, Explorer would become the foreground app. It happened so frequently, I thought I had a mouse / driver issue. It hasn't happened again for a few months. Perhaps an update fixed it for me.

@pritaeas, I see you tried to correct the link, thanks.

Update to my first solution, I tried most of the settings. I could not see any changes or funny behavior's but the explorer windows did not pop-up yet, so who knows, hopefully it works.

I couldn't believe 4.5 hours to do an update (from the posted article). My updates download in the background so I don't know how long that takes, but the install/restarts take five minutes at the most.

commented: Same here, mine is running in the background and when I shut down it prompts for install, also around 5-8 minutes most... +15

Well, it's back to happening again - Windows Explorer pops to the foreground app for no reason. Windows 11 Home, 22H2, OS Build 22621.2070, Windows Feature Experience Pack 1000.22659.1000.0. Weird, and not something I can induce to investigate a cause.

It's still happening to me as well and the usual fixes (sfc, dism) have found/fixed nothing. At least with VLC I can set it to be always on top.

Well, I found this "Fixed an underlying issue believed to be the cause of File Explorer unexpectedly jumping into the foreground sometimes." posted in the Windows Blog "Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 23403" posted March 8, 2023. Let's hope.

commented: amazing. +0

On a similar note... I have my desktop icons set to medium, align to grid, no Auto Arrange. The first column of icons has an empty space in the 9th slot. Every once in a while, Windows will shift the first column of icons down one position, so the top left icon is empty. Drives an OCD person nuts. Only seems to affect the first column. I do like Windows 11, but some of the quirks...

Yup, mine is now back with it's tricks again... Will try the link above, thanks.

I found a script that lets me save and restore positions. Haven't used it to restore yet. I'll see how it does. It may require restarting Explorer, I'm not sure.

If you are experiencing an issue where the background Explorer window pops up and obscures the video while playing a video in VLC media player, there are a few potential solutions to try:
Check for VLC updates: Make sure you have the latest version of VLC media player installed. Sometimes, updating the software can resolve issues like this.
Disable "Always on top" option: In VLC media player, go to Tools > Preferences > Video and uncheck the "Always on top" option. This may prevent the Explorer window from popping up in front of the video.
Check for conflicting software: It's possible that another program or software is conflicting with VLC media player and causing the issue. Try closing other programs and see if the issue persists.
Check for corrupt registry: In some cases, a corrupt registry can cause issues with VLC media player. You can try running DISM to repair the Windows image. The command which has to be run from an elevated command prompt is this one: DISM.exe/Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth. Check the DISM log which is located at C:\Windows\Logs\DISM to see what errors it identified and fixed.
Try a different media player: If none of the above solutions work, you may want to try using a different media player to see if the issue persists.
It's important to note that these solutions are not guaranteed to work, and it may be necessary to seek further technical support if the issue persists.

commented: Incorrect ChatGPT response as this will not solve the issue as described. +15

Oh, here we go again. The frustrating dance of Windows Explorer barging into the foreground without an invitation. Windows 11 Home, 22H2, OS Build 22621.2070, Windows Feature Experience Pack 1000.22659.1000.0. It's just bizarre, you know? And the weirdest part is, I can't even recreate the situation to dig into what's causing this maddening spectacle. Ugh!

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