Edge interfering with Win32 applications that use layered windows

Fixed Issue #11678064


Anthony B.
Apr 16, 2017
This issue is public.
Found in
  • Microsoft Edge
Found in build #
Reported by 2 people

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Steps to reproduce


After the Creator’s Update, Edge appears to be causing problems with Win32 applications that apply the WS_EX_LAYERED and WS_EX_TRANSPARENT styles to a window. This combo is intended to allow for “click through” windows for accessibility apps like screen magnifiers.

This still works across the system, but oddly fails whenever the application in question happens to be on top of the Edge content frame. Mouse clicks and other events simply don’t fall through to Edge the way they are supposed to. This causes apps like screen magnifiers (not the built-in one) to stop working properly when trying to use Edge.

Edge is the only application that appears to have this problem. All other apps are fine, including other core Windows 10 apps like Store, Mail, etc.

I thought it might be a video driver issue, so I ran the Creator’s Update on my laptop and saw the exact same result.

I have put a very small, simple C++ app on GitHub with a more detailed description of the problem:



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    Comments and activity

    • Same issue. My application uses WS_EX_TOPMOST | WS_EX_TOOLWINDOW | WS_EX_LAYERED | WS_EX_TRANSPARENT | WS_EX_NOACTIVATE to create a window that is transparent to clicks in close proximity to the cursor. Starting with the Windows 10 Creators Update this breaks in Edge and a few other apps. The result is my previously transparent window now eats mouse clicks, preventing them from getting through to the intended window below.

      In my searching another user here has reported this issue also:

    • Microsoft Edge Team

      Changed Assigned To to “James M.”

    • Update:

      This behaviour can also be observed when using Windows Magnifier in Lens mode.

      To reproduce:

      1. Start Magnifier (WIn key and +)
      2. From the View dropdown on the Magnifier tool window, switch from Full Screen to Lens
      3. Move the mouse around and click on various apps. They behave as expected.
      4. Hover over web content in Edge and try and click links. Mouse clicks have no effect.

      Magnifier almost certainly uses the same window styling techniques described above to achieve its functionality. Full Screen mode works, but probably because it’s using some direct hardware support (and bypasses windowing).

      This is definitely an accessibility issue for Edge and is even effecting Microsoft’s own built-in screen magnifier.

    • Microsoft Edge Team

      Changed Assigned To to “Sermet I.”

      Changed Assigned To to “Francis H.”

      Changed Assigned To from “Francis H.” to “Richard L.”

      Changed Assigned To from “Richard L.” to “Reiner F.”

      Changed Status to “Confirmed”

      Changed Status from “Confirmed” to “Fixed”

    • Hello,

      Thank you for providing this information about the issue. We have confirmed the problem, and we are working on a solution for a future build of Edge. We are presently tracking this issue as a duplicate of an existing internal bug report. We look forward to additional feedback you may have on how we can improve Microsoft Edge.

      Best Wishes,
      The MS Edge Team

    • Hello,

      I have met a similar issue on windows 10, but this time the problem happens in adobe flash player which runs on a web browser. Could you please tell me why this issue happens on Microsoft edge, is it caused by the video driver or something else. Thanks!

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