No app can take focus or be closed.

New Contributor II

This is a super weird one, and I don't even know where to begin to look.

Some of our teachers are complaining that their computers are locking up; that's a bit disingenuous, because what is actually happening is that no applications can be interacted with. Finder seems to constantly be in focus, even though no Finder window can actually be opened. When I click on another app that is UP, but not in FRONT, I get the buzz like I clicked in an out of bounds area. I can't even open the Force Quit menu with the keyboard command without getting the buzz.

Does anyone have any idea where I can even start looking for a fix for this, or even what search terms I'd use on Google to look for troubleshooting steps? I know it's a vague description of a problem but I hope I've explained it enough that someone can at least point me in the right direction.


New Contributor

I'm sorry that I don't have any suggestions, but I am seeing this issue as well, so I wanted to let you know you're not alone!

Does your school use SMART Notebook by any chance? I've had issues with the background processes it runs in the past, so they are my first suspect when something becomes unresponsive or doesn't work the way I want it to.

New Contributor II

We do, and we thought the same thing. We reimaged one of the affected computers without SMART and the issue persisted. My only thought is exactly that - some process in some app is causing the problem, but I'm dreading doing split-half diagnostics on the software.

I'm glad/I'm sorry you're dealing with it too!


Hi @kunkelb I think I might know what your issue is. Are you experiencing your issue directly after someone wakes their Mac from their display sleeping/mac sleeping or screen saver? And do you also enforce that the user's password be entered "immediately" via config profile? This was - and unless I'm mistaken, still is - a bug with the JSS and how it enforces the Security and Login Window Configuration payloads. And essentially what's happening, is the Mac is never truly unlocking but instead going into a state where you can move around the mouse but can't really do much else.

Our fix was to A) create a custom "security" payload based on the plist that was set to enforce an immediate passcode prompt (my JSS has this listed out: {askForPassword=1, tokenRemovalAction=0, askForPasswordDelay=0.0}

And B) Fire up an instance of Apple Profile Manager in and create a standalone "Login Window" configuration profile setup the way I wanted it to be (the culprit in the first place I believe is the Login Window process), then somehow deploy that and replace the one you created on the JSS (if applicable).

I think the below article is relevant...and good luck!

New Contributor II

Unfortunately we've had it set to be an hour -- it's so generous a time that I disabled it and redeployed the profile. I guess we'll see if the issue persists.

Thank you for the tip!