IE Compatibility Mode Pop-up Issue

Occasional Contributor

We are experiencing an issue with a website that must run in Internet Explorer Compatibility Mode. Performing different functions on the site causes a pop-up window. The pop-up is required to perform the function or for it to continue. Our problem is that the pop-up is appearing behind Edge. If you minimize Edge, you also minimize the pop-up. The only way to get to the pop-up is to open Task Manager, expand Internet Explorer, select the pop-up in the list, and choose Bring to front. From the user’s perspective, the website has frozen. Any help is appreciated.


Windows Version:  Windows 10 1909 (18363.815)

Edge Stable Version 81.0.416.58 (64-bit)


The following is the entry for the website Enterprise Mode Site List.


<site url="">




12 Replies

@Michael Griffith Thanks for reaching out, and welcome to the MS Edge Insider's community. I've looped in the Enterprise team, and they'll be looking into this shortly!


Fawkes (they/them)
Project & Community Manager - Microsoft Edge

Hi @Michael Griffith, I work on Edge and I'm interested in learning more about the details of this issue so we can attempt to reproduce and understand it. Here are some questions I have, it would help us out if you answered what you could:

  • Do you have any details on how the webpage is creating the popup, for example Javascript, native (ActiveX), or as a result of something else?
  • Is the popup modal (can you click on the window behind it)?
  • Does the scenario work in standalone IE?
  • How are you minimizing Edge?
  • When the website is frozen, is the rest of the browser responsive? Can you create and close tabs?

A video showing what you saw would also help

Hi @ssmole5, thank you for your reply.


The website uses ActiveX. The pop-up is not modal. I misspoke earlier about minimizing the browser. Edge is completely frozen including the minimize button. Pressing Alt+Tab does not reveal the pop-up as a choice. The only way to get to it is with the Task Manager as I described. The website works correctly in standalone Internet Explorer.

@ssmole5, Here are some screen captures. When I click Sign Timesheet, a window pops up to ask me if I am sure I want to sign. I cannot see the window unless I bring it to the front with Task Manager.

Thanks for the updates, we're able to narrow down the scenario a lot. Now we know the popup is a dialog window shown from an ActiveX control, it's showing up behind Edge, and you can only get the dialog to show in front of Edge via the task manager. The thing about ActiveX controls is they can do just about anything, which makes it hard to diagnose from symptoms alone. We could find out with a repro

Can you confirm that the dialog is initially showing behind Edge? That's a symptom I've never heard of before so I wanted to double-check, I've heard of similar issues where the dialog shows in front of Edge but ends up behind if you alt + tab away and back again. We have a fix for a related dialog issue reaching canary builds next week, but it doesn't sound like the same issue after clarifying the details.

You say "The pop-up is not modal." but "Edge is completely frozen including the minimize button", which either means the popup is modal or Edge is hanging after showing the popup. In standalone IE, when the popup is shown can you minimize IE (or switch tabs or anything)? If not, than I would consider it a modal dialog :grinning_face:.

Assuming the dialog is modal and it's showing up behind Edge, I would want to debug the dialog HWND styles & relationships (like the class of the owner) with spy++, or we could write a small program to dump it via winapi to identify the scenario a bit more for us. But that sounds pretty difficult to arrange. We can think about it for next week

@ssmole5, Thank you for sticking with me.


I can see the pop-up for a split second before it disappears. I'm assuming it is behind Edge because clicking Bring to Front in Task Manager brings it back. I tried Internet Explorer, and I cannot click anywhere in IE while the pop-up is open. Please let me know if there is anything you want me to try. 

@Michael Griffith   I am seeing the same thing with an active X application with pop up windows. 


best response confirmed by Michael Griffith (Occasional Contributor)

I'm sorry that I never came back to give an update.  Microsoft Premier Support spent a lot of time helping me.  We ran all sorts of trace tools and gathered logs.  Unfortunately, my problem lies with the third-party application developer.  Microsoft cannot see into the developer's ActiveX code, but they believe that it includes a window.focus command for both the application and its pop-up.  They think that the two get in a race condition and the IE window is winning which hides the pop-up.

I had the same issue and I added the site to my trusted site and reduced the security to let run most addond and popups. It fixed the problem.
Sorry i have the same issue, but i can't find the option to bring to front via the task manager.

@Spiderper  i tried this as well but with no luck.   


Im stuck until i can find a way to access the hidden popup

@Michael Griffith 


I had a similar issue with Cognos reports and IE mode. I was able to resolve it by going to Control panel - Internet Options - check turn on Pop-up Blocker and Settings select medium for blocking level and check Show notifications.


I hope that helps.