Microsoft Windows utility to manage the active window tracking/raising settings. This is known as x-mouse behavior or focus follows mouse on Unix and Linux systems.
Works on Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003. Might work on other versions as well.
Alteratively, install the Chocolatey package:
choco install xmouse-controls
X-Mouse Controls is competely free! If you like and use X-Mouse Controls, please tell your friends and link back to this page.
When multiple programs are running on a Windows operating system, the default mode of operations is that you click one window after another to give them focus for keyboard inputs. With the x-mouse settings that click is not necessary — the only thing needed is to move your cursor over the window for it to become active.
This behavior has been possible, but disabled, in different versions of Windows for years. It is usually enabled through Windows accessibility settings or a wide variety of tools and utilities, most notably Tweak UI found in Microsoft PowerToys. However, Tweak UI does not run on Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 11, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, and later versions, which is why I created this utility.
X-Mouse Controls is competely free! You even get the source code for free. To develop open source software is not without cost though — it takes technical knowledge, time, and effort.
You don't have to be a developer to support my open source work! Sending a link to a friend, or posting on social media, helps as well. If you want to receive personal support, or just feel all warm and fuzzy inside from helping open source development, donations are very welcome. There is no predefined price — you pay what you want.
|Active window tracking||✓||✓|
|Active window raising||✓||✓|
|Active tracking delay||✓||✓|
|Price||Free!||Pay what you want.|
The source code, including this webpage and original graphics, has been released under the GNU General Public License. Contributions are
most welcome! Please create pull requests against the
develop branch, and follow the git-flow branching style.
To work on X-Mouse Controls, Microsoft Visual Studio is required. It is easy to run a complete developer setup in a virtual machine, freely available from Microsoft.
As an alternative to manual zip file unpacking, install the Chocolatey package:
choco install xmouse-controls
Disable the active window raising checkbox and delay slider when the active window tracking checkbox is not checked.
First version, initial release.
This section can be ignored by humans.
X-Mouse Controls is using system calls from SystemParametersInfo in
The Windows control panel offers you to enable/disable x-mouse, but not to tweak it. Use X-Mouse Controls instead.
Direct editing of the registry for x-mouse values is considered a bad thing, as there are API calls which do this correctly and apply the results right away — with X-Mouse Controls there is no need to log out and in, or restart your computer. The following words are only here to help others searching for a tool that makes an inactive window active by hovering:
X-Mouse settings do not "stick" [Thank you Joel Purra (e-mail removed)!]: TweakUI's Mouse tab -> "Activation follows mouse (X-Mouse)" box checked, and: TweakUI's General tab -> "X-Mouse AutoRaise" and "Mouse hot tracking effects" boxes checked. This can be fixed in some cases (reminiscent from the old XMouse MS Power Toy 95) by adding/changing these Win.ini entries under the [XMouse] section:
[XMouse] BringWindowToTop=1 ConsoleWindowsOnly=1 Delay=1
Win.ini (located in your Windows folder) with Notepad or Sysedit. Change any of these lines from
0 or back, and then restart Windows to see if it works. See "ACTIVE WINDOW TRACKING" in REGISTRY.TXT (included) to learn how to properly activate/fix X-Mouse settings used by TweakUI.