Teams App Keeps Pushing Itself To Front of Other Apps During Long Launch

When I launch Microsoft Teams, it takes maybe 20 to 30 seconds to launch. No problem, except that for the entire launch, every few seconds, it will push itself to be the front app. So if I launch Teams, and then go to Safari to login to my web email, I start typing in my username and BAM, Teams has decided it was going to take over as the main app, from Safari as part of the Team’s loading process. And I’m no longer typing into Safari.

I switch back to Safari and a few seconds later BAM, Teams has co-opted being the main app on the screen again, and I wind up typing into Teams instead of Safari.

I just conceded the fact that Teams is an awful app and given the first opportunity to get away from it, I will. And I launch it and get up and go to the bathroom or get a tea since I literally can’t do anything else while it’s launching for that 20 to 30 second duration.

I’m curious of a few things:

  1. Is there a technical name for the behavior that Teams is experiencing where it pushes itself to being the main app? Is there a name for the “main” app that’s currently on the screen?

  2. Is there any OS X settings to prevent apps from doing this?

  3. Is there any back way to get this to stop like running a Terminal command or something?

  4. Am I the only person who gets frustrated by Teams doing this, or are there others? Is there a “I hate Teams” support group I can join? :slight_smile:

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As a workaround, can you try CMD+H after you launch Teams?
(Note: I don’t have Teams, so I am not sure if this will work for your use case).

CMD + H: hide the windows of the front app.

Stealing focus


I’ve been using the beta version of Teams that’s a Universal binary. You don’t mention if you’re launching Teams on an M1 Mac, but if you are, you might give the beta a try. It launches faster and uses less memory on my computers.

The beta is linked to at the end of this article:

A month ago I deleted the teams app From my m1 Mac and switched to using teams in the edge browser.

It is far less irritating to use this way, and at least as useful (as far as I can tell).

I call it “crap coding”. I’ve long said the modern Microsoft has lots of good ideas but lacks decent execution.

My pet peeve with Teams is also focus related. Cmd-Tabbing to Teams when it’s in a different Space does not switch me to that Space. Also, I always use it zoomed on my laptop screen, but every time I start it up it puts itself on my 4K monitor and zooms to take all of that.

I have two ideas, to possibly reduce the inconvenience with this “pop-ups”.

  1. You can use different desktops on your Mac. I use it to have certain apps on certain desktops, so I can work with them without the interference of other apps. For example, I have Omnifocus and Fantastical on one desktop, to make my planning easier.
  2. I start a couple of apps, with the start of my Mac, and just let them run in the background. On this, I have them available, if I need them, and in my configuration it does not “eat” too much resources, so I don’t even recognise these open apps, until I need them.

Both could help reducing the interference of the app, if it fits into your way to work.

I cannot recall more examples now, but I feel like apps stealing focus has long been a problem on OSX and macOS. Sure, one can blame the app developers (quite correctly), but I feel Apple should put something in the operating system to prevent focus stealing when an active input like typing or dragging is under way.

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Yes. AFAIK it’s common with any OS (Windows, Linux, etc) that uses a GUI.

Using Windows at work, there are focus stealers regualrly. The worst ever focus stealer was a pop-up that said “Click OK to reboot now” and the OK button was set as a default button. Yes, I pressed Enter as I was in full flow on the keyboard. Yes, it rebooted instantly. Yes, I was in the middle of dealing with a high severity fault, from home, on dodgy wifi (crappy Dell), with a dodgy VPN, the lot of which had taken me half an hour to get working. The IT department got QUITE the tirade from me the next morning!