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Topic: «Is CTFMON.EXE Screwing Up Your System? , Determine if the MS Office service "CTFMON" is running and disable it. » on forum: Window Rules, or Tips and Tricks   Views: 260128
 
Steve Hobberstad
Registered user
 
Posts: 4
Joined: 27.09.2005
Posted: 27.09.2005 13:06:50
 
 
This problem has more far-reaching consequences than just for Actual Title Buttons (although it manifests during the use of ATB) and should concern anyone using Microsoft Office XP/2002/2003/2007, and possibly other versions of MS Office as well.

I had been having a LOT of trouble with my new system lately, most notably whereby focus would be stolen away from the active window I was working in yet not transferred to any visible window on the desktop. "Focus" - if you are unfamiliar with the term - refers to the current, ACTIVE window on your desktop. Normally at least ONE window (but ONLY one) will have focus (i.e., be the Active window) - indicated by the Active Window Titlebar color specified in Display Properties. At any given time any and all additional windows you have open besides the one with focus will display the INACTIVE Window Titlebar color.

Since just about the time I rebuilt my system last December I had been having trouble whereby my current, active window (the one I was working in) would lose focus. This problem seemed to have gotten worse just about the time I added two new programs to my system: Actual Title Buttons and an excellent macro/scripting program called KeyText. While I did not suspect either of these applications as being the culprit (since it had been happening even before installing them) this anomaly would occur at random intervals in the process of using them. For example, while rolling up/down or sizing a window with Actual Title Buttons, or during the execution of various scripts with KeyText, focus would not only be lost from my current, active window - it would not be transferred to any visible window on the desktop. When this occurred one of two things would happen: either NO window would display the active titlebar color, or else (less often) the last active titlebar would suddenly display the Active color for part of the titlebar and the Inactive color for the other part of it - normally an impossible condition were it not for this problem. And after this occurred it was sometimes necessary to click REPEATEDLY in the window I wanted to make active in order to return focus to it.

Initially I suspected my VGA, device drivers, or some clash of third-party software with the operating system, but the culprit turned out to be a "service" offered by Microsoft Office XP/2002/2003/2007 itself, namely CTFMON.EXE.

From the Microsoft Knowledgebase article cited below: "Ctfmon.exe monitors the active windows and provides text input service support for speech recognition, handwriting recognition, keyboard, translation, and other alternative user input technologies."

Be that as it may, "ctfmon" REALLY screwed up my system! After disabling it not only did the random lost-focus anomaly stop but my system now runs about 150% faster than it has since I rebuilt it last December. It was like getting a new system all over again!

Having found only the slightest hint of user suspicion regarding CTFMON out there on the Internet I'm very sure there are lots of people having similar problems who aren't aware of the cause. You can determine whether CTFMON is running on your system by checking the StartUp tab of MSConfig: click the Start button, select the Run... item, then in the "Open" field type

msconfig

and click OK. Under the Startup tab look through the items in the "Startup Item" field. If you see "ctfmon" and there is a checkmark in the checkbox then "ctfmon" IS running on your system. If you are having problems similar to the ones I've described or any other unusual behavior you haven't accounted for you might want to try disabling it. Unlike most MSConfig...Startup items however note that disabling CTFMON is not as simple as unchecking it in MSConfig...StartUp. There are several steps involved in killing this beast permanently.

Here's a link to a Microsoft Knowledgebase article entitled Frequently asked questions about Ctfmon.exe.
 
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Alexey Fadeyev
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Posts: 1245
Joined: 30.09.2005
Posted: 28.05.2007 05:11:00
 
 
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