#1053 Can't activate PasswordSafe from task bar when it is locked

Mitch Ames

On Windows 7 Ultimate SP1, 64 bit (with Classic theme), and PasswordsSafe v3.29

Run Password Safe, enter passphrase to open database.
Switch to another window (often, but not always, by going to URL from PWSafe and auto-type logging in to web site)
Wait long enough for Password Safe to lock itself. (Possibly opening another window or two and switching between them, during this time.)
After PasswordSafe locks itself...
PasswordSafe appears in the task bar (configured as "combined when taskbar is full", if it matters), but when I click it the taskbar icon disappears (instead of activating PasswordSafe, to show the "enter passphrase to unlock" prompt) and I have to alt-tab or display the desk top to get to PasswordSafe.


  • Rony Shapiro
    Rony Shapiro

    Odd. In Manage->Options->System:
    1. Is 'Put icon in System Tray" checked?
    2. Is "Hide system tray icon"?
    3. Is "allow multiple instances"?

  • Mitch Ames
    Mitch Ames

    Manage->Options->System has:
    Put icon in System Tray - No
    Hide system tray icon - No
    Allow multiple instances - Yes (I have only one instance running when the bug occurs)

  • Mitch Ames
    Mitch Ames

    More information:
    I created a new user account on my PC, with a default configuration, and Password Safe seemed to work correctly, at least for a little while. Although, after
    - the database locked itself
    - I clicked on the task bar to activate it
    Password Safe came to the front (of the previously active window) but the passphrase entry field did not get the focus, as I expected it to, and I had to click it to give it the focus.
    However after changing a few user settings Password Safe reverted to the reported erroneous behaviour (not appearing when I click the taskbar button). I it may have been changes to one or both of:
    - Themes - Windows 7 Basic (the default) or Windows Classic (which I normally use)
    - Taskbar buttons - Always combine, hide label (the default) vs Combine when task bar is full (my normal setting)
    However I can't consistently replicate the behaviour of Password Safe with specific settings, so I can't be sure that these settings are the ones causing the problem.
    I ended up deleting the test user profile, and trying all four combinations of the above, and in all cases Password Safe demonstrated the bug. In ALL of my usage, I have the environment variable PWS_PREFSDIR set to a directory that all users have read and write access to. To replicate the bug with all four combos of Theme and Taskbar Buttons, I did this:
    - delete pwsafe.cfg, so starting from a known default config (I did this for each of the 4 combos)
    - run Password Safe and load test database
    - turn OFF "put icon in system tray"
    - close Password Safe
    - run Password Safe again, load database
    - Play FreeCell while waiting for database to lock. FreeCell window mostly covers Password Safe, but not completely, so I can see when it locks - at which point it disappears from the display (rather than displaying the passphrase prompt)
    - Wait at least ten seconds after database locks, just in case
    - click Password Save button on task bar

    Other information that might matter:
    I'm running two monitors (desktop "extended" over both), but if I switch to Monitor 1 only, the problem is still there.
    It doesn't matter whether I ran as Administrator or not, the behaviour is the same
    I have unnecessary animations turned off, via:
    - Control panel, Performance information and tools, Adjust visual effects
    - Control Panel, Ease of Access Center, Make the computer easier to see, Turn off all unnecessary animations
    - Local Group Policy Editor, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, Desktop Window Manager, Do not allow window animations

  • Mitch Ames
    Mitch Ames

    Test database used - passphrase is 1234

  • Michael P.
    Michael P.

    I've got the same problem and it's very annoying (although I have to admit I've never gone to such great lengths in order to find out, what the root cause was). The login window just appears behind other windows without getting the focus and the task bar icon disappears, so there is no indication as to whether Password Safe is still running, except cycling through windows or looking in Task Manager. Even if you don't have any other windows covering Password Safe, the fact that the login window doesn't get the focus and when you start typing your input ends up in Nirvana is still pretty annoying.