How to prevent AutoCAD Publish from stealing focus from the active window.

November 24, 2020 Bob Felton


When AutoCAD publish is running a large plot job, every time a new plot starts, the AutoCAD application interrupts whatever program is running in the foreground with a pop-up window showing the plot progress.

Even after minimizing AutoCAD and opening Outlook, or Teams, etc, AutoCAD will continue interrupting email or a video conference with what Microsoft refers to as 'stealing focus'.




Even when choosing the option to publish in the background, that applies to working in AutoCAD only and doesn't apply to working in other Windows programs.



There is a Windows registry DWORD value called ForegroundLockTimeout whose Windows 10 default value of 200000 in decimal notation can be set to 100000 that effectively stops the interrupting loss of focus.



Search for and open Regedit, then Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER as shown highlighted above, then locate and expand Control Panel and select Desktop. On the right, locate and double click ForegroundLockTimeout. Select 'Decimal' base and change 200000 to 100000.

Click OK and close Regedit. Then reboot your PC for the changes to take effect.


Warning! Problems caused by improperly editing the Windows registry could render your computer operating system unusable. Microsoft provides a wealth of critical information that you need to know about the registry in the Microsoft Knowledge Base at

Use the Microsoft® Registry Editor only at your own risk and only after backing up the registry as well as the system.dat and user.dat files as outlined for your operating system in the Microsoft Knowledge Base and in the related solution, TS66513. Additional information about the registry is also contained in the Help topics in the Microsoft Registry Editor


About the Author

Bob Felton

Sr. Technical Support Specialist, Manufacturing<br><br>Bob Felton has been supporting Autodesk products for over 25 years including core AutoCAD, P&ID, Plant 3D, AutoCAD for Mac, AutoCAD Mechanical, and Vault. His background is in graphics with an Applied Sciences degree and ten years manufacturing experience drafting, as well as technical illustration, image editing, and even patent drafting.

Follow on Linkedin More Content by Bob Felton
Previous Article
How to reset Fusion 360 to its defaults
How to reset Fusion 360 to its defaults

There may be any number of reasons to perform this operation. Fusion 360 starts having issues, Need to get ...

Next Article
Best Practices to Clean Drawings that Come From Outside Your Organization
Best Practices to Clean Drawings that Come From Outside Your Organization

If you routinely get AutoCAD or Civil 3D drawings from outside your organization, here's some tips on how t...


Get Tips Delivered.

Subscribe to Email Updates.

First Name
Last Name
Thank you!
Error - something went wrong!