Losing Active In Use Window Focus

I’ve got a strange problem on both my Intel 27 inch iMac and my M1 Pro 14 inch MBP with losing focus on whatever window I’m typing in.

No peripherals on the MBP but the iMac as a BT keyboard, Apple mouse, and Apple trackpad connected as well as a USB connected Intuos tablet.

Both are running up to date Monterey.

On both machines…I’ll be typing along in an email or Note or whatever and for no reason I can figure out whatever window I’m in loses focus. The app stays in front but with no window having focus…and it’s happened 6 times so far typing this email.

I’ve checked all the preferences in Mouse, keyboard, and Trackpad and nothing is amiss there…but since this happens on 2 machines it almost seems like a a macOS issue…although I do have an Apple Watch series 5 on all the time.

The problem existed before I added the Intuos tablet on the iMac…and I do have Tap to Click disabled on both the laptop and the trackpad on the iMac as even with older computers I was always getting inadvertent clicks.

The problem is worse on the iMac than the MBP by about a factor of 2 or 3.

Anybody seen anything like this or have any other suggestions?


I have never seen anything like that here on my Monterrey Macs and I use both USB and BT peripherals. I’d suspect it could be the watch simply because that’s the one thing in your setup I don’t have. If you shut off the watch entirely, does it still happen?

Or what about background tasks? Do you have any app/service running in the background that could interfere with your focus? Does it happen if you boot into a vanilla user account?

I had this problem some years ago. Tracked it down to beeing Google Drive. I do not experience this with Monterey. I have the Apple Watch too. Deactivate any non Apple software one at a time.

Thanks all…I’ll try the suggested solutions and see if any of them work.

Fresh user account I already tried…no effect.

No real background tasks running now that haven’t been running for a long time…so it seems unlikely that it’s any of those.

Apple Watch and my BT hearing aids paired to my iPhone could be a source…but again both of those long predate the problem which started with Monterey. However, I’ll try taking my watch off and leaving it not near the iMac when I’m back in there processing photos.

Deactivating non Apple software…yeah, could be but seems like a long shot since again…all of my software pretty much predates that and there’s nothing on the iMac that uses BT at all except the Apple mouse, trackpad, and keyboard…and there are no BT devices paired with the M1 MBP.

I’ll try eliminating some of the BT items on the iMac and leave my watch not near it but since I’m seeing the same issue on two computers that again seems like a long shot…my personal guess is that it’s something slightly squirrel-ly with the BT stack in Monterey (or my hearing aids) that is causing interference or something.

I have a suggestion. Start the Terminal. Write top and hit enter. Then you will get a list of active running processes. Place the terminal on the monitor where you can see it. Check which processes are active when you lose focus. Hit q to stop top. To get some more info on the processes you can write ps -ef |grep “whatever you saw in top” + enter in Terminal.

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I will give that a try as well…never thought of that idea before but perhaps it will provide some useful hint.

It doesn’t happen every day…I used my laptop a couple hours today without it happening…so it’s obviously something intermittent.