Don't steal focus


Most every morning I sit down, start up my computer and start up all the programs I will be working with that day. I usually proceed to read my email first. Unfortunately, Intellij, like so many products, thinks it is the most important program ever and it must have my attention. So it steals focus and puts itself right in my face. However, I tend to have between 2-4 projects open in different windows. So it does this not only once but for each project.

IMO there is never a case for focus stealing. One could make a case for security software which may have a legitimate need to demand direct action. I also think such a case has never occurred in my life. I suppose any kind of alarm program could make the case. I still wouldn't agree, but I can see that some people would. However IntelliJ has no case whatsoever to steal focus. Focus should be on what I am focussed on. Just because I started the IDE does not mean I intend to work with it right now. Untill someone implements a telepathic focus algorithm programs should just start up in the background and let me continue with whatever I am doing.

Arseniy Nisnevich

Hi James,

Nowadays we're working on and The fixes will be available in the following major updates (2020.2 or 2020.3).


Startup is annoying sometimes but not too bad. STealing focus while running embedded terminal commands or syncing file changes is a huge pain in the ** tho.

Mine steals focus all the time when running background operations or terminal commands. And I when I have 3 or more PhpStorm instances open they are stealing focus form each other constantly while running terminal commands and gets really confusing end up running command son the wrong project because I didn't notice it switched to a different PhpStorm instance.

Just had a session fo them constantly stealing focus form each other for 30 minutes until I wanted to uninstall PhpStorm and find some other editor.

Its not just startup. Stop stealing focus, for any reason, forever. Just never do it ever. 😠



We have similar issues under investigation:, We'll try to fix them as soon as possible.



Given that this issue was raised in 2013, we might have a slightly different definition of "as soon as possible"! ;-)


I was talking about mentione two tickets only. General focus stealing issue is a complex task and needs some core changes.


This problem is the most annoying thing on Intelij for me. I hate to be typing on the Terminal and my words appearing on a random class inside Intelij because they feel I want the app in my face right away.

Arseniy Nisnevich

Hi Cristiadu,

It reminds of which has been fixed in 2020.2.1. Which IDE version do you use?


Can't we have a checkbox in program settings to just turn of all focus stealing?



IDEA is an excellent product, except for the window focus stealing.


And they are still stealing... bad boys!


Hi folks,

If you experience problems with focus stealing please contact our support team or raise a new issue at , and provide additional information as per .


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