What is that popup on Windows 10 that disappears after a split second?

If you run Windows 10, you may have noticed a popup window being launched on the screen once a day, or even regularly.

It is spawned and immediately closed again. This makes it difficult to understand what spawns it, why it is launched, and whether it is something that you need to be concerned about.

One of the issues of this is that you may be thrown out of full-screen applications when that happens. Several users of Windows 10 reported that they get the window every hour or so and that it makes playing games a nightmare because of that.

The file that gets executed every hour or so is called officebackgroundtaskhandler.exe, and you can find it under

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\officebackgroundtaskhandler.exe

If you check the log on your system, for instance, you may notice that this is the case on your Windows 10 device.

officebackgroundtaskhandler

This issue has been a hot topic since April 15th when a user reported it on Microsoft’s official Answer forum.

Is there a really, really good reason that the “OfficeBackgroundTaskHandlerRegistration” task (see it in Task Scheduler, Microsoft, Office) must run every hour?  This is what it says that it does: “This task initiates Office Background Task Handler, which updates relevant Office data.”

 I ask because it runs officebackgroundtaskhandler.exe in such a way that it flashes a window (itself) on the screen. Only instantaneously to be sure, but it’s noticeable, especially once you catch onto what’s happening. You can run the task manually if you want to see it without waiting.

 Why doesn’t the task use one of the many tricks to hide a window from displaying? 

If Microsoft Office runs on the Windows 10 machine, two tasks are scheduled to run OfficeBackgroundTaskHandler. They are:

  • OfficeBackgroundTaskHandlerLogon which runs when the user logs on to the system.
  • OfficeBackgroundTaskHandlerRegistration which runs every hour.

 Solutions:

The task window should not be launched when the task is run, and there are plenty of ways that Microsoft could have picked to hide the task window instead of spawning it every hour on the user system.

The two main options that you have been to disable the task, or to switch it from running under User to System.

1.     Disabling the Task

office task

It is unclear what the task does, and you should monitor Office closely after disabling it to make sure everything works as intended. The task is still run on login though.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type Task Scheduler, and hit the Enter-key.
  2. Go to Task Scheduler > Task Scheduler Library –> Microsoft > Office
  3. Locate the task OfficeBackgroundTaskHandlerRegistration.
  4. Right-click on the task, and select the disable option.

2.     Run under System account

The second option that you have is to change the user group the task runs under. Switching it to System reportedly hides the popup window from spawning.

office task2

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type Task Scheduler, and hit the Enter-key.
  2. Go to Task Scheduler > Task Scheduler Library > Microsoft > Office
  3. Right-click on OfficeBackgroundTaskHandlerRegistration and select Properties.
  4. Select “Change User or Group”.
  5. Type system.

Click ok.

Or Wait for some time, Microsoft is going to release the patch build 16.0.8201.2025. As of now this patch released for those participating in the Office Insiders Slow program. It will be included in a future update for those not participating in Insiders.

How to install Office updates manually?

Check the link given below:

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Install-Office-updates-2ab296f3-7f03-43a2-8e50-46de917611c5

Source: ghacks, Microsoft, MS Office

2 thoughts on “What is that popup on Windows 10 that disappears after a split second?

    1. Thank you, Jason.Initially, I thought my laptop was hacked or infected with some spyware, updated my antivirus manually and scanned, nothing found. Windows OS updated manually. Checked my Firewall settings. Everything was alright. Started searching on the internet, found the answer in Ghack.net and MS Office support. same thing uploaded on my blog. Anyways Microsoft is going to release a patch soon for this issue.
      Happy computing.

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