IE7 loses focus when I open a new tab

I ran AdAware and Spybot S&D, came up clean. This is happening just recently, and while not a huge deal, it’s kind of irritating.

When opening new browser tabs in IE7 (7.0.5730.11) using the center mouse button, the new tab opens, but IE loses focus altogether. I don’t know where focus goes – even when nothing else is running, IE just loses focus. I have to click back into the page to regain focus (and, thusly, scroll mouse functionality).

Any ideas?

My guess would be that some ad-ware is popping a window that gets the focus, but its doing it incompetently – the window has focus but is invisible. There are developer tools (Spy++) that would show that hidden window, but it’s pretty archaic for a casual user.

My suggested cure would be to install Firefox, but you were probably expecting that and have a good reason to be running IE7, such as work requirements. Sorry, that’s all I’ve got.

A quick workaround/diagnostic: if IE has actually lost focus, you should be able to alt-tab back to IE without having to reach for the mouse. When you do this, note what app is losing focus, and that may help tag the culprit. My guess would be that IE still has focus, but the focus has been taken by that pop-up, invisible window.

Thanks for the suggestions! Turns out, I believe I have some kind of adware running… AdAware, Malwarebytes’, AVG all turn up clean, so it’s becoming a bit of a frustration. I have started to get random popup windows, and there are now a few randomly named DLLs in my system32. I cleaned out the registry and startup services, but something keeps running rundll32 and recreating new DLLs. Can’t even delete them in safe mode, because they’re in use.

Entirely frustrating.