X-Mouse Controls

A tool to enable or disable active window tracking, raising and also the delay in milliseconds. This is known as x-mouse behavior.

What is x-mouse behavior?

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 accesiblity settings or a wide variety of tools, most notably Tweak UI found in Microsoft PowerToys. However, Tweak UI does not run on Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008/Windows 7/later, which is why I created this tool.


Screenshot of the main window of X-Mouse Controls
The main window


Active window tracking

Enable to give focus to windows by moving your cursor over them. Obeys the delay described below.

If disabled (default) a click is required to activate a window.

Active window raising

Enable to automatically make the active window the topmost window.

If automatic window raising is disabled (default) it allows the user to type text or give commands in one window without changing the order of the other windows.

Active tracking delay

The delay, in milliseconds, until the window focus changes. This program allows settings from 0 milliseconds (instant focus) to 2500 milliseconds (very long delay).


Saves the settings and applies them to your system. The settings should come in effect right away.


Source code

I've release the full sourcecode, including this webpage and original graphics under the GNU General Public License. You can find the source code on github. Contributions are welcome!

History and downloads

2012-08-12 20:30 Source
No changes, but the source code is now release on github under the GNU General Public License.
2010-04-03 11:55 Release Debug Source
Allows for manual input of the delay, new web site links, using more bindings.
2007-12-27 16:19 Release Debug Source
Disables the active window raising checkbox and delay slider when the active window tracking checkbox is not checked.
2007-12-27 14:04 Release Debug Source
First version, initial release.

About the author

Joel Purra is a coder and webmaster, working mainly on webshops and sometimes on his hobby projects. His prefered programming languages are JScript for classic ASP and C# for .NET-development. He is available for consulting work.

Other stuff

Search engine fodder

The code relies on API calls to user32.dll, not direct edititing of the registry (as it's considered a bad thing). The following words are only here to help searching for this tool: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Mouse\ActiveWindowTracking, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ActiveWindowTracking, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\ActiveWndTrkTimeout, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\UserPreferencesMask, REG_DWORD, REG_BINARY, TweakUI, xmouse.

Excerpt from AXCEL216's MAX Speeed Windows 98/98 SE + DOS 7.10 ┬ęTricks, Secrets, BUGs + FIXes

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:


Edit Win.ini (located in your Windows folder) with Notepad or Sysedit. Change any of these lines from 1 to 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.