Mighty Desktop

Window List





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What is the Window List (of the 'Window Automation' tab) useful for?

  • Finding out which application created a window (for example if a spam or login window is appearing)

  • Repairing Windows: Did you experience that after a connection/disconnection of monitors all the windows on the desktop get shifted to another monitor? Or, did you sometimes have applications that don't appear if you start them? When changing the monitor configuration, coordinate origins get shifted away and the application remembers the old start coordinates, possibly out of sight. Another bug is in the Windows Desktop resp. File Explorer when you open the properties menu of an icon that is on the right edge of the main monitor. The window will appear on the second monitor right to it leaving the impression that it did not open. Without a connected monitor you won't be able to correct this but Mighty Desktop can repair all that and bring back all invisible windows to the visible area. To guard against modifying special windows used internally in Windows, Mighty Desktop knows a bunch of them and it will just issue a warning message. Tip: You can execute this function even after all windows including Mighty Desktop were moved into the invisible. Just right click the Mighty Desktop tray icon. Saved me several times up to now.

  • Deal with windows that are disabled: By enabling them you will be able for example to move it to another place on the desktop or even close it. Most often this is useful when applications display a so called `modal` progress window. As long as the progress dialog is not finished you can't move or minimize the application's main window. But usually the app could process it without any problems, it's just a formal limit. Most of the time minimizing is safe but be aware that enabling the application's window during a progress dialog might crash the application in rare cases! But if you are courageous you can enable it on your own risk. A disabled window usually has a reason for being disabled, for example when multiple access to its inner data model at the same time isn't supported. So keep away from this until you really have a strong reason to do so, for example when a program is malfunctioning, covers important parts of the view or displays a nasty advertisement. From my experience just minimizing is no problem and will be the most used case. An example I often use is minimizing the main window of 7-Zip after dragging a file from File Explorer to it. I don't want to lose the time I've already invested in adding the file, so I can use Mighty Desktop's window list to easily minimize the main window.

  • Do you sometimes get a window that asks for a password, for an update, maybe a window about a missing certificate or even other unexplainable windows which don't state which program it stems from? Actually this is bad programming style (sorry my programmer colleagues, no offense). Just push the button "Select by Pointing", point on the window and Mighty Desktop will show which application is the owner. But if a window is invisible you can't point on it. In this case hold [Alt], click "Select by Pointing" and just activate the app by clicking on the application in Windows Task Bar. After the delay Mighty Desktop will take the window which has become the active now, even if it is invisible. All this can help avoiding getting tricked by someone. For instance, how do you know that a box is really made by the program it pretends to? An example: Are you sure that your E-Mail-Program's master password box really stems from this program and not from a hacker tool? Tip: To abort the pointing just point to a window of Mighty Desktop.

  • Do you know these dialog boxes that vanish after switching to another application and are nowhere to find, not even with Alt-Tab? You can find them by either entering the program's name in the filter box or by ticking the checkboxes 'Visible Pixels' and 'Topmost'. Then select the window in the grid and push the button 'Activate'.

  • Do you remember these windows that display an error but the window is too narrow to see it fully and the programmer didn't make it resizable? Mighty Desktop can also resize non-resizeable windows.

  • Have you ever had these nasty windows that are positioned on top of all others covering something important and you can't close or move them? Mostly advertisements do this. No problem. You can either make them invisible or, if it is protected against that, put it on the bottom behind all other windows.

  • Useful for programmers: Mighty Desktop can give you detailed informations about the window hierarchy and which processes own which window. As a specialty it can show also these special Message Windows. You can navigate through the hierarchy and you can also see invisible windows. Not only viewing is possible but many of the window's properties can be changed interactively. But don't do that if not necessary. We refuse any liability.

The list will show for one part those windows directly on the Desktop (term 'Topmost') as well as all child windows. `Child Windows` are those that are put inside the borders of another window. You can jump to the parent window by pressing the 'Goto Parent' button.

Opposed to the parent-child relationship is another completely separate hierarchy, the hierarchy of `Owners` . During the time an owner shows a window, for example a message box, he can choose to disable himself. The owner's hierarchy is also navigable in Mighty Desktop.

There are special hidden windows called `Message Windows` . These are windows that were assigned to be children of HWND_MESSAGE. Their purpose is to allow processes to communicate with each other. A list of these windows is available in Mighty Desktop but more of a thing for programmers. Normal users shouldn't tamper with any of these.

Window title bans

Some apps just don't answer the query for their window title. Sometimes it's because they allow this only to questioners that are running in admin mode, sometimes not at all. In some instances the whole message system of Windows gets stuck for multiple seconds. It could be a sign of bad programming that the app doesn't service the Windows Message Queue for seconds. In such cases you can see "*** Title queries are not answered ***" as window title and the app will be put in the ban list of Mighty Desktop. It will not be queried anymore for 10 minutes. You can requery them manually with the provided button or clear the list in the Settings tab.

Special notes:

  • If some values are empty or display "NoAcc" the system didn't allow access. In some cases it can help to start Mighty Desktop in administrator mode. You can do that easily in the 'About' tab.

  • As a safety measure Mighty Desktop's own windows are not in the list. But you can access them from a second Mighty Desktop instance if needed.

  • Window frame fields understand not only the displayed format but also the notation "{X=..,Y=..,Width=,Height=..}"


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